Polye expresses concern over rice project

National

OPPOSITION Leader Don Polye says the proposed commercial rice project in Central should not be allowed to go ahead.
He said the project gave a monopoly to a certain rice company which was not good for the country.
“Monopolies are bad,” Polye said.
“This was a project that came to me when I was Treasurer and I threw it back to them to change everything as it was not beneficial for the economy of the country,” he said.
He said it had now come to light that Cabinet had given a 30-year monopoly to the company “which is bad, bad, bad, very bad for this country”.
“This project cannot go ahead,” Polye said.
“We cannot allow it. There must be competition in how we produce rice and other products.”
He said the Government even intended to give all powers of buying and selling rice to one company.
“That company is also very questionable,” Polye said.
“It’s the wrong decision, by any standard, and that must be reconsidered.”
Polye commended Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru for agreeing that the project could not be allowed under the World Trade Organisation free-trade agreement.
“I urge the minister to stop this nonsense,” he said.
“I think the prime minister should be ashamed for allowing such an NEC decision to be made under his nose. He should not have allowed that decision to be made at all.”
Polye said the agreement was “absolutely dangerous to competition, to local participation, to SMEs”.

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