by Alan Ah Mu
APIA: THURSDAY 8 AUGUST 2013: The Agriculture Stores Corporation Ltd is soon to be privatized as part of the Governments continuing privatization programme.
Yesterday Government rushed through Parliament a bill which set adrift state-owned Agriculture Stores Corporation for outfits in the private sector to compete to buy it.
Under the Agriculture Store Corporation Repeal Bill 2013, the corporation is dissolved; it’s assets and liabilities transferred to a new entity, the Agriculture Stores Corporation Ltd – with the exception of two assets, land at Savalalo and Vaitele.
From there it will be put up for tender.
To avoid creation of a monopoly no one person may bid for the corporation, Minister of Agriculture Store, Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, said.
Faumuina did not clearly reply to a problem raised Opposition MP Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, namely that of a monopoly created if a company bought the corporation.
The move follows Government’s privatization policy, he said.
Agriculture Store is broke, said Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Aeau Peniamina.
Aeau wasn’t influenced by Faumuina’s reply that the corporation improved in the last two years.
Set up in 1975 to offer agricultural goods, the corporation has struggled in the face of increased competition from the private sector.
It operates three stores on Upolu Island.