30 Nov 2010

Fiji interim PM tells Fiji Water to relinquish land leases

11:26 am on 30 November 2010

Fiji's interim Prime Minister has told US company Fiji water that if it no longer wants to operate in the country, it must cancel its leases.

Four hundred jobs have been lost with the company shutting its doors after the interim regime announced a massive hike in the tax on exported bottled water.

Fiji Village reports Commodore Frank Bainimarama says the company must inform the Director of Lands and Yaqara Pastoral Company from whom it has leased the land it operated on.

Commodore Bainimarama says the government will then call for international tenders to extract this valuable resource.

He says Fiji Water has adopted tactics that demonstrate that it does not care about Fiji or Fijians.

Fiji Water's President John Cochran says the country is becoming increasingly unstable and is a risky place to invest, but the company is willing to work through the tax issue with the Fiji government.

Commodore Bainimarama says the company knows Fiji is not unstable, but makes these statements because it doesn't want to pay the new Water Resource Tax.