Fiji Labour Party today calls on the government to open up markets for the milk industry so that the problem of shortage can be solved immediately.
Rewa Dairy has failed to meet the demand for milk in the country despite being given special protection on import duties. This has only augmented the burden of fulfilling basic necessities on the people by increasing the price of an already overpriced milk.
This is further causing unnecessary problem as poor people are forced to eliminate milk from their diets subject to high price and this is likely to cause malnutrition amongst the children.
Rewa Dairy is trying to hide its failure in addressing the shortage problem that has been there for the past year by coming up with lame excuses, now flippantly saying that farmers need help to justify import of milk. One should be mindful that they are making exorbitant profit due to the preferential treatment given to them by this government. This is simply daylight robbery.
First VAT increase, then tariff increase on all those food items and now this, it is deplorable and unacceptable. It clearly shows that this government is only for the rich. Wasn’t duty supposed to decrease with the re-introduction of VAT?
Under this government, citizens are being milked dry by monopolies like Rewa Dairy, Telecom and FINTEL. It is only working for vested interests of cronies like Rewa Dairy CEO. It is high time that people like Sam Speight stopped using farmers as an excuse to hide their pathetic inefficiencies and fill their pockets.
Milk is not a luxury food item but it has become so in Fiji because of people like Speight and the government’s slackness in dealing with him and by keeping him in the system.
The citizens of this country deserve far better and no longer need to suffer man like Speight any more. The government of the day owes this to the children of this country. It should ensure that they are not deprived of their very essential nutritional requirement.
Protection has only bred inefficiency, it is time for the government to take firm action and open up markets so that monopolies stop ripping the consumers apart. If Rewa Dairy has failed to achieve results despite millions of dollars being pumped into the industry then another firm should be given opportunity to serve the nation.
Dr. Ganesh Chand
Member for Lautoka Urban Indian Communal Constituency