29 November, 2022, 8:02 pm Central - 26°C Rain

NFP demands that deduction of the premium for insurance bundle for cane growers to be refunded by this Friday
We have the mandate to make decisions on behalf of the growers โ€“ Sugar Cane Growers Council

NFP demands that deduction of the premium for insurance bundle for cane growers to be refunded by this Friday

We have the mandate to make decisions on behalf of the growers โ€“ Sugar Cane Growers Council

By Dhanjay Deo
Wednesday 03/11/2021
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad and CEO of the Sugar Cane Growers Council Vimal Dutt

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the deduction of premium for the insurance bundle for cane growers from the final payment for the 2020 crop without the growersโ€™ consent is fraud however the CEO of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Vimal Dutt says the Council has the mandate to make decisions on behalf of the growers especially when it is to do with their welfare.

Professor Prasad says they are demanding that all growers be refunded by this Friday, failing which they intend to report the matter to police.

The NFP Leader says unknown to growers, 37 cents per tonne has been deducted for the bundle insurance scheme. He says it is not an authorised deduction permitted under the Master Award.

He says the yearly premium for the $10,000 cover is $52 per year or $1 per week but all growers who have harvested over 141 tonnes of cane last year have had more than $52 deducted from their proceeds.

The NFP Leader has further questioned whether the Sugar Cane Growers Council authorised the deductions adding that an unelected Council does not have powers to do this. Professor Prasad has also questioned why the deduction is not reflected on the statements provided to growers.

He adds this is alleged fraud and like a racket where unsuspecting growers without their knowledge and agreement have overpaid for something that they do not know about.

The CEO of the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Vimal Dutt had earlier said the $600,000 deduction for the Growers Micro Bundle Insurance Scheme is a deduction from the growers total share of proceeds and not from the unit price of around 12,000 growers.

Dutt further says this is the only material methodology for deductions now as there is no alternative solution to it.

Dutt says in time to come they may explore external funding that would probably ease the situation. He says the Sugar Cane Growers Fund paid the premium for the Growers Micro Bundle Insurance Scheme from 2017 to 2020 and the Government also paid the premiums for 6 months.

He further says this means it becomes the responsibility of the growers to pay the premiums for the 2021 season. According to Dutt, 360 growers have benefitted from the claims with a value of $1.1 million which means this money has reached the growers and their families.

The CEO of the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Bhan Pratap Singh had also said earlier that all deductions have been made in accordance with the provisions contained in the Master Award.

We have contacted Dutt and Singh for a response on NFPโ€™s statement. They are yet to respond.



Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Womens Rugby World Cup 2022
Quarter-final qualification is now the goal for the Rooster Chicken Fijiana 15โ€™s following their 21-17 victory against South Africa.
41 days ago

Queen Elizabeth II passes away
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.
71 days ago

Fiji wins Melrose Cup after 17 years
Fiji wins the RWC 7s title after 17 year drought
72 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Rabuka and Chaudhry take to TikTok to reach out to potential voters while Bainimarama posts that he is not here to dance
Some leaders like Peopleโ€™s Alliance Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka and Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry have taken to TikTok to promote the init...
3 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Commonwealth Lawyers Association concerned over the invoking of criminal contempt for scandalizing the court against Richard Naidu
The Commonwealth Lawyers Association is concerned over the invoking of criminal contempt for scandalizing the court against lawyer Richard Naidu, ...
3 hours ago

Chaudhry asks Sayed-Khaiyum to show evidence of where Chaudhry is asking people to vote for him because they have Hindu blood
Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry is asking FijiFirst Party General Secretary, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to show evidence where he had claimed ...
3 hours ago

Tower Insurance plans to create 100 new jobs in Fiji
Tower Insurance plans to create 100 new jobs in Fiji in their 2023 Financial Year. This was stated by Tower CEO Blair Turnbull, who says they now ...
5 hours ago

Chaudhry, Prof.Prasad, Kamikamica, Cama and Narube confirm their participation on fijivillage Straight Talk at 7pm tomorrow
The countryโ€™s economy and how it affects the people matters to everyone. Since it is a critical issue for Fiji, a special fijivillage Straight ...
5 hours ago

30-year-old man alleged to be involved in Savusavu aggravated robbery, arrested
A 30-year-old man who is alleged to be involved in an aggravated robbery case where he and three others stole a taxi in Savusavu last week has been ...
5 hours ago

TOP