Archive for the ‘Fiji economic disaster’ Category

Frank’s plans for sugar -a new CSR?

August 28, 2014

Islands Business News has forecast the collapse of the sugar industry when the current EU agreement under the Lome Convention lapses.  We’ll face tariff barriers that will kill our high-priced production. The EU offered 350 million Euros in aid to lift our productivity but Bainimarama knocked this back in 2009.  He wasn’t interested in an election until he had had at least 4 years dictatorship so he could censure the media, stack the judiciary and jail political rivals.

A blogger on another site claimed that the sugar industry’s problems started in 1987 but the facts are clear. In 1986 we had 22,000 growers producing 4.1 million tonnes of cane from 70,0000 hectares.  In 1996 we were still producing 4.3 million tonnes of cane.  By 2006 after leases were not renewed and growers dropped out, production fell to 3.2 million tonnes.

It took Frank to cut acreage and yields to the point where we produce on 1.5 million tonnes of cane in 2012.  Sugar produced fell from 310,000 tonnes in 2006 to 150,000 tonnes in 2012.

So what is Frank’s plan? In January we were told of a Chinese mission visiting to discuss a possible refinery joint venture and the scope for purchasing 100,000 tonnes of sugar in the medium term.  Does this mean Frank plans to sell FSC to a Chinese company?  If he does we can be sure he’ll bankrupt cane farmers first and hand them and their land to a new CSR, the Chinese Sugar Refinery.

Frank’s plan for the sugar industry is well hidden from sight but his plan for power is easy to see in legislation like the Land Use Decree which gives him the power to hand huge tracts of land to a Chinese sugar refinery.  Cane farmers should not think the Land Use Decree was crated for their benefit. If it was, he would have used it for that purpose already, but he’s left cane farmers to the TLTB.

Corruption Fighter

Army to stay out of politics

August 20, 2014

Frank’s sugar ministry boss, Lt Col Manasa Vaniqi, has announced that this year the military will not be in the cane fields to monitor cane burning.  Law enforcement will be left the Fiji Police Force, as it should be. Lt Col Vaniqi again showed us he’s not the sharpest knife in the cane fields by saying: “We have a Constitution in place now and everyone has to follow the law of the land”.  In other words, he admitted that before the constitution was in place the regime did not feel it had to obey the law!!

Fiji Times 19 August 2014  No military assistance

Water and Hospitals now schools

August 13, 2014

The list of government facilities that have run down over the past 7 years is long and growing.  Taps without water, mothers being left to have babies on the hospital steps, now it is revealed our primary schools are sending students who can’t read to high school.  The removal of external examinations such as the Fiji Intermediate Examination, Fiji Eighth year Examination and the Fiji Junior Certificate has taken away important checks on what students have learnt.  Just think how much worse our mumbling PM would be if he hadn’t been forced to repeat fourth form to scrape by with a C Grade Fiji Junior.  The abolition of examinations was just a way of saving money, which disadvantages small and remote schools whose students will have trouble proving they’re up standard without external examinations.

Fiji Times August 12, 2014  Alarm over illiteracy

Bainimarama’s 13 year plan for agriculture

August 5, 2014

FDN got it wrong about whether Seruiratu would get FijiFirst nomination but we did not get it wrong pointing out his admission that agricultural output has more than halved as a proportion of national income under the Bainimarama regime.  So what does Baini do? he promises a 5 year plan!  So what needs if we add the 8 years he’s already had is a 13 year plan.  Apparently his plan “incorporates hard-learned lessons from other developing countries around the world”.  What we want to know is what lessons he learned from the disaster of agriculture in Fiji under his rule.  Agriculture’s share of production has been more than halved. It’s not only sugar – it’s copra, rice, cocoa, beef, goats, fish and ginger.  Production of all of these have dropped under Bainimarama.  This was admitted by his own Minister.

 

Radio Fiji 2 August 2014  Fiji launches first ever Agricultural Policy

Where is Khaiyum when you actually need him?

July 23, 2014

The cane harvest in the Northern division is the latest area to be hit by Water Authority of Fiji failures. Cane labourers have quit and returned home as a result of continuous intermittent water supply. Harvesting cane is hard work for low pay, when you add in lack of access to water when you need it, the job just doesn’t seem worth it. So where is our Minister for Public Enterprises who runs the whole show like it’s his personal business? He’s always ready to interfere but never ready to take responsibility.

Fiji Times, July 23, 2014 Cutters leave fields

Bainimarama senstivity points to the truth

July 22, 2014

The Fiji First Family party are all trying to say that debt was higher under the Qarase Government than under the 8 years of Bainimarama, but the facts  to refute this are not hard to see. The Qarase Government never borrowed for on-going operational expenses. Loans funds were used only to invest in capital, the same strategy that helped build FHL into a strong financial position. Qarase’s Government did get approval for a loan of US$150 million in 2005/2006, but it was Bainimarama who got his hands on the money and used it for who knows what after he seized government via the military coup of 2006 One thing is clear: the message is getting out there with voters that Bainimarama has mortaged the country for his own benefit and he knows that people know this. They know that all presents he’s showering on people now will be paid for later, and it will be the people not him who pays.

Fijilive July 22, 2014 No borrowing for operation expenses: Qarase

Dr Luveni this lie will not fly

July 17, 2014

Yesterday we wondered if she was lying – now we know. According to the Fiji First Family Party Minister Jiko Luveni, Fiji’s debt is now lower than ever. This is the biggest lie she’s told since she last said to a patient “this won’t hurt at all”. How can we borrow more and owe less?  The list of projects funded by borrowing is very long. Roads, hydro power, the failed mill refit, the list goes on and on.  A quick check of facts on the IMF site shows the truth: “Fiji’s external debt remains low from a regional perspective, but it has increased rapidly recently, largely reflecting the US-dollar denominated sovereign bond issued in 2011, and increased reliance on bilateral loans from nontraditional sources for infrastructure financing“.   The facts are not hard to check. It took us one google click and 30 seconds. Click on the link below to see the facts from the IMF.
Republic of Fiji—Concluding Statement of the 2013 Article IV Consultation Mission
August 19, 2013

Aiyaz on the campaign trail

July 14, 2014

How many years does it take to fix water supply?  Well a lot more than 8 OBVIOUSLY.  And you want to talk about cheap roads that wash away?

Jyoti P has done her best to make it look like Khaiyum is on fire, but read the Fiji Sun’s disgraceful propaganda carefully and it looks like he’s fizzling. In a series of meetings he met ‘hundreds of people’ (how many in each meeting?), only made short speeches and then answered questions. Unlike his rivals, Jyoti says, his speeches were not “speeches riddled with attacks and counter attacks at opponents”.  However, when asked about water supply problems he “attributed water problems in Nadi to wrong engineering decisions made years ago by past governments”.  He has had nearly 8 years of dictatorial rule and he blames previous governments!  He also said that “they could get Fiji Roads Authority to come and build cheap roads and bridges, but in six months time, it would be washed away.”  Does he think we’ve forgotten that’s exactly what happened with the roads built by the Malayasian ompany he personally contracted?  We all remember and our only question is: was the debt owed for building those shoddy roads also washed away.
Fiji Sun July 14, 2014  More Than a Party

Foreign investment facts

July 9, 2014

The facts) show 2006 was our best year ever for foreign investment as % of GDP

The Fiji Sun has dared to publish a few selected facts about foreign investment. It fell from US$341 million in 2008 to US$ 164 million in 2009 and then, after some recovery, FDI in 2013 was US$272 million. What the Fiji Sun doesn’t dare say is that 2006 was the highest ever year for foreign investment in Fiji. The Qarase mutli-party government is the only truly representative government we’ve ever had and foreign investors were inspired, thinking this must mean the end of coups. How wrong they were. Since then foreign investment has not only fallen, it’s also been limited mostly to Chinese investment bent on plundering our natural resources. The Fiji Sun quotes some interesting points from a UN Report on foreign investment. It dismisses the sort of sweetheart deals offered by Bainimarama to his Chinese friends and says “What is needed is assurance of stability, enforcement of property rights and contractual obligations and quick legal remedies”.  In other words dictatorship with a stacked court system are the last thing we need.

Another FSC excuses season off to a good start

July 7, 2014

The harvest is barely a week old and the excuses are again flowing better than the cane and the sugar. Ever since FSC was put in the hands of a succession of regime stooges things have gone from bad to worse.  The figures speak for themsleves. The industry has been halved.  The best excuse the regime has got is the cut in the price paid for our sugar by the EU, but they never use this one because it reimnds us the EU offered the aid needed to re-structure the industry to cope with the drop in price, but our Minister for Sugar knocked back the aid because he didn’t want the lecture about democracy.

Radio Fiji Sun Jul 06, 2014 Teething problems a part of crushing season: FSC