Previous governments failed in sugar industry: Seruiratu – FBC News

Defense Minister Inia Seruiratu questioned why opposition MPs did not acknowledge the deteriorating state of the sugar industry before the FijiFirst government came to power.

Seruiratu was responding to attacks in parliament, blaming the current administration for the problems facing the sugar sector.

However, the head of government in parliament provided an interesting insight – quoting the late Dr Brij Lal who identified in the 1990s – that the uncertainty of lease renewals, the impending expiry of access to preferential prices at the EU and the poor state of the factories were the biggest obstacles facing the industry.

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Dr Brij Lal said the industry our people have been associated with for over a century is in decline. Unfortunately, our leaders did not have the foresight to encourage diversification to deal with this eventuality. What were they doing? These are the exact words of Dr. Brij Lal.

Minister of Defense Inia Seruiratu

He also pointed out that since coming to power, the FijiFirst government has done more for the sugar industry than previous administrations.

“We have done a lot. Look at the condition of the mills, look at the efficiency of the mills. Watch CBUL. They were occupied with the Constitution from 1995 to 1997 – it was one of the priorities that should have been sorted out at the time as it affects ordinary Fijians.

Seruiratu says these attacks by opposition MPs are a way to curry favor with voters ahead of the election.


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Rachel J. Bradford