Lamb chops for deals

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Minister for Sugar Charan Jeath Singh (closest to camera) with FSC staff in Labasa mill. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh has warned contractors of the sugar industry to be honest in their dealings or face termination of contracts.

This follows the contract termination of a Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) employee who asked contractors for lamb chops and other personal gains in return for a contract.

He told farmers during a consultation in Labasa yesterday such behaviour would not be tolerated.

“For this case, the contractor showed me the text messages from the FSC worker asking for lamb chops and other things so we had to terminate his contract,” Mr Singh said.

“FSC had a contractor that supplied good standard of caustic soda, but this worker with FSC started buying from another contractor at a lower price and he showed management that he had saved some money for the company.

“But this new supplier didn’t have the same standard of caustic soda as the other contractor so we then found out that the worker wanted things in return.”

Mr Singh said terminating of contracts because of mismanagement or abuse of office would be the stand taken by his team and he expected FSC to do the same.

“Any contractor that does not carry out a good job such as fixing the cane access roads will not be paid until they complete their work and should be done properly,” he said.

Farmers told Mr Singh most times, contractors would only gravel a portion of the cane access roads and ignored the other roads.

This, they said, had affected their travel to the mill to drop-off their harvested cane.