12 Sep 2012

Indian technicians due in Fiji next month to start sugar mill assessments

12:16 pm on 12 September 2012

The Fiji Ministry of Sugar's Permanent Secretary says technicians from India are due next month to start assessing the upgrading required at the Lautoka, Rarawai and Labasa sugar mills.

Manasa Vaniqi says upgrade work agreed under an earlier technical assistance scheme with India was never completed but the interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama's recent visit to India resurrected the deal.

Mr Vaniqi says in 2006 the Indian government loaned Fiji 50.4 million US dollars so it could pay for the work to be done.

"We are paying a loan to a work that was incomplete. So the Prime Minister was able to persuade the Indian government to please, send another technical mission to have a re-look at the work that was already done."

Manasa Vaniqi says the Indian government has also agreed to extend the moratorium on repayment of the loan to 10 years.