17 Apr 2004

Fiji government and Labour Party accept report on restructuring sugar industry

9:40 am on 17 April 2004

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, and the Labour party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, have accepted an Indian technical mission's recommendations to restructure the ailing sugar industry.

The agreement, amid some reservations by the Labour party, came at this week's "talanoa" talks convened by Dr Sitiveni Halapua of the Hawaii-based East West Centre.

Mr Qarase says an ad hoc parliamentary select committee on sugar will be established and will report back in June.

Mr Qarase says he hopes India will help finance some of the 35 million US dollar cost of the restructure along with the Asian Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.