The Fiji Sugar Corporation is not bankrupt, is financially sound and will continue with the cane payment according to FSC CEO, Bhan Pratap Singh who is calling on cane farmers not to be discouraged.
Singh says Fijians who directly or indirectly rely on the sugarcane industry, suffer when thoughtless political statements are made and most recently, the leader of the National Federation Party labelled FSC as ‘bankrupt’ which is grossly misleading and seeks to tarnish FSC’s reputation as a private corporation.
Singh adds FSC has continued to publish its financials and have very detailed financials for 20 plus years available on their website, and one can analyze and see that there are factual errors in Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry’s releases.
Singh has urged Chaudhry and Prasad to think about the sugarcane industry and the thousands of farmers, cane cutters, lorry drivers, and their families who rely on it, instead of playing politics.
Professor Prasad says the reality of the matter is that FSC is technically insolvent and bankrupt without the support of taxpayers through Government because of the Corporation’s inability to pay its massive debts.
He also says no amount of sugar-coating can hide this painful and bitter truth of a Corporation that has been left in a dilapidated state like its milling equipment under the leadership for the last 15 years.
Prasad adds Singh should know that late last year Government through the Ministry of Economy was forcibly acquiring about 6 percent shares held by individuals and organisations at $0.005 or half a cent per share.
He says if this is not bankruptcy, what is.
In a statement, Chaudhry had stated that none of the five reasons advanced by the FCCC in support of the increase provides any justification for the hefty 64% price hike of sugar from $1.40 to $2.30 per kg.
He says FSC’s cost of manufacture of 1kg sugar was $1.03 as per its latest published annual report for 2020.
He says the old ex warehouse price of $1.40 gave FSC a profit margin of 37c or 36% and that this was more than reasonable.
Chaudhry further says therefore there is no justifiable basis for an increase.
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