Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF) has clarified that it has revised the schedule of Fee and Charges after very careful consideration. The Chief Executive Officer of SCGF, Raj Sharma was referring to the comments made by a Tavua sugar cane farmer, Rajendra Raglu last week on the fees and charges, as reported in the Fiji Times of 12th April 2021.
Sharma conveyed that the Progressive Fee structure has been set and a
complete waiver of Application Fee for medical, funeral or natural disaster needs, irrespective of the amount is now in place.
There was no fee review ever since SCGF started its main branching operation since 1997. Over the last 24 years; the cost of operation, business environment and service expectation in terms of service delivery has
The compliance environment and inherent risks of credit or loan default risks have also increased.
Non-productive farm loans coupled with breaches of loan conditions
are some of the main reasons for the revision of fees.
Comparatively the fee is around 10-20% of what other banks would charge, said Sharma.
This is effectively from 1st January 2021, 30 days’ notice in compliance to the Consumer Credit Act 1995 was given in local daily – Fiji Sun on 1
st December 2020 and growers (who have loans) were advised in writing with 31st December 2020 Loan statement, added Mr. Sharma. In addition, press release and additional media coverage on the implementation of fee was made. The revised fee does not apply for the Northern
farmers in light of the TC Yasa.
The Service Fee is $6 per quarter which is $2 per month effective 31st March 2021 as per
the schedule of Fee & Charges and are charged quarterly. Again it is very reasonable
compared to other institutions that charge $10 per month.
On the Interest rate, Mr. Sharma said it differs based on the product and ranges from 3 to
6%. Again these rates are only 30% to 60% of what banks currently charge on cane farm
loans. The interest rate applied before was accrued on daily basis and charged at the end
of the year. This is not a universal practice however, those growers on such arrangement
75 Drasa Avenue, Lautoka.
SugarCane Growers Fundwill continue to remain on such facility until the loan is paid off and or they wish to switch
with top up loans.
Sugar Cane Growers Fund is governed by its own Act as trust fund. Therefore, the Board
and Management have fiduciary duty to ensure that the fund is sustainable and provide
value for farmers and the industry as whole.