Big salaries were wasteful – Minister Singh

Minister for Sugar, Charan Jeath Singh speaking at a press conference in Suva, on Wednesday, February 01, 2023. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Wasting taxpayers’ funds on people who were not worthy.

This was how Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh described how the FijiFirst government ran the sugar industry.

He said he was shocked to see the hefty salaries and allowances former Fiji Sugar Corporation CEOs were paid.

While revealing the salary packages of former FSC CEOs on Wednesday, he said the allowances were far beyond what they should have been paid.

“God knows what those allowances were for,” Mr Singh said.

“But for certain, it’s beyond what they should be paid.

“I think the whole idea for us is to let the public know where and how these people have been running the show at FSC and how much they were collecting in terms of wages and allowances.

“If the industry was sinking, they should have realised that there is a benchmark.”

He said the CEO’s salary now was “reasonable,” Mr Singh said.

“I would say a benchmark for the CEO’s in the current climate, I think $250 (thousand) was the upper mark. It could be lower than that.

“From my experience in the private sector, I think $250 is a reasonable salary and of course, it comes with experience.

“So this is something with a similar situation where the previous CEO for FBC was getting $30,000 per month.

“These are a bit of things that the previous government has been doing, wasting money, public funds, taxpayers money on people who were not worth the job that they were doing.”

When asked whether he would consider setting up a salary structure for FSC, Mr Singh said a review “will definitely be done”.

“We will want to see that there is right salary paid to the right person, as per their qualifications.”

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