The Ministry of Forestry says bonus payments are the prerogative of the Board of Directors of Fiji Pine Limited Company and not of the Ministry.
Clarifying a media report which stated delay in bonus payment as cause of pine plantation fires’, the Ministry said the Government has appointed directors to the board together with landowners’ representatives that make company decisions.
The Ministry in a statement said it does not interfere in the day-today-running of the company and the directors are aware of the Government’s goal to increase landowner participation in the industry.
“Goals that the previous administration disregarded when it revoked all the contracts for silvicultural and harvesting services with forest-based business.”
“As a partner in the industry, the Ministry wants to reassure landowners that it is committed to achieving the goals of the sector, including the transfer of ownership to landowners once the business has reached a level of stable financial growth and resource availability.”
The Ministry said between 1980 to the early 1990s, the company suffered a $30 million in losses due to the fire and it does not want the company to suffer losses due to fire.
“We are urging landowners and all stakeholders in the industry to take precautions to protect their resources from fire,” the statement said.