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Fiji Pine starts paying back 10 year old loan

July 7, 2015 6:54 pm

The Fiji Pine Group has made the first payment for a $12 million loan that dates back to 2001.

Finance and Public Enterprise Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum received a $600,000 cheque from Fiji Pine Executive Chair Faiz Khan last night.

“Here is an organization that many had written off, that many thought would not be able to pay off this debt. They have themselves proactively undertaken to pay off this loan. It does go into government coffers to ensure that we use that money for the benefit of all Fijians. It also means that any organization, state owned enterprises or statutory authorities that are assisted by the government actually have a responsibility to ensure that the money given to them is spent wisely.”

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Fiji Pine had been receiving about $1 million every year from 1990 to 2001 for pine replanting. However as the company’s performance dropped, it was unable to repay the government until now.

Executive Chair Faiz Khan says they’ve made a commitment to pay back the taxpayers with payments of $600,000 every 6 months.

Khan adds the way things are going, Fiji Pine is likely to make good on its loan earlier than expected – through additional payments.

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