22 Nov 2004

Fiji Labour Party under further attack over links to company involved in sugar industry upgrade

9:24 pm on 22 November 2004

A Fiji government backbencher has accused senior Labour Party officials of trying to benefit from the restructure of the ailing sugar industry.

Radio Fiji says Ted Young did not name the officials but earlier reports had identified than as the Labour leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, and Labour senator, Anand Singh.

Mr Young told parliament that according to his information, the two Labour officials had formed a company to deal on a commission basis with the suppliers of plant and equipment for the restructure and upgrading of sugar mills.

Mr Young said the Fiji government has agreed to guarantee a loan of 50-million US dollars from the Indian government for the restructure.

Mr Young has accused the two Labour Party officials of trying to take part of the 50-million for themselves at the expense of the Fiji taxpayers.

Mr Young says the intervention of the two Labour officials is unnecessary because the Fiji Sugar Corporation is capable of making the purchases itself.

He has called on the two men to come clean and declare their interest.