Singh’s claim ‘grossly overstated’
7 February, 2023, 10:15 am
Former Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman and CEO Abdul Khan says Sugar Minister Charan Jeath Singh’s claim that he was paid a salary of $802,800 per annum was “grossly overstated”.
He said Mr Singh “should verify the correct annual salary and donate the balance to worthy charities in Fiji”.
Mr Singh, while speaking to the media on February 1, said Mr Khan was paid up to $840,000 per year in salary and bonuses between 2011 and 2016.
Speaking to The Fiji Times from New Zealand, Mr Khan labelled Mr Singh’s comments as “outrageous”.
Mr Khan said contrary to the claims made by Mr Singh – during his tenure at the FSC the miller turned a profit of $1.8 million in two years after recording a $175.1m loss, there was no forced redundancy which would have resulted in unnecessary hardship to Fijian families, FSC increased cane payment from $45 to almost $89 per tonne, increased sugar production from 132,000 to 227,000 tonnes, improved TCTS (tonnes cane to tonne sugar) from 13.5 to 8.1; and negotiated an insurance pay-out of $44.5 million after Cyclone Winston.
“When I was engaged in 2011, the industry was on the verge of collapse after the failed multimillion dollar mill upgrade project,” he said.
Mr Khan said an independent report by an international consulting firm concluded that Government would need to inject around $100 million per annum over a five year period from 2011 to make the industry viable.
“I was officially appointed from mid-2011 after an international search including Fiji, and other than me, the search found two suitable candidates wanting $700,000 to $750,000 Australian dollars as well as other executive allowances and bonuses.
“Mr Singh stated that I was paid $802,800 per annum which is grossly overstated and Mr Singh should verify the correct annual salary and donate the balance to worthy charities in Fiji.”