17 Nov 2004

Call for Labour Party leaders in Fiji to come clean about sugar industry deal with Indian officials

4:15 pm on 17 November 2004

The Labour Party leader in Fiji is describing as pure mischief-making, allegations he stands to gain from any sugar industry deal with India.

Fifteen Indian government officials met the Fiji prime minister earlier this year during a review of the sugar industry.

The recommendations made by the Indian delegation for possible reforms included buying materials to upgrade sugar mills in Fiji.

One report says a company, of which Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry and the senator, Anand Singh, are directors, stood to get a 10 per cent cut on any business deal made between India and Fiji.

The opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says Mr Chaudhry and the former attorney-general must come clean.

"Perhaps there was some initial involvement from the former attorney-general and members of the Labour party, and that somehow it's linked. The suggestion is 2.5 million dollars has already been transmitted or changed hands. To ensure that there is no disruption to this important restructure we're going through, there must be full disclosure, so that everybody knows who the players are."