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Rio Tinto dumps plan to double payment terms to 90 days

Caving in from outcry from suppliers and political pressure,Rio Tinto dropped itsplan to extend the lengthof payment terms on up to A$24 billion of supply contracts to 90 days from 45 days,effective immediately, The Australian FinancialReview reported April 14.

A number of Australian companies raised their concerns to theprime minister and other key ministers regarding the change in payment terms asit puts cash-flow pressures on smaller companies and their business operations.

"I spoke to senior management at Rio Tinto and conveyedthe government's concerns and asked that they re-examine their decision, takingthese considerations into account," the report cited Resources Minister JoshFrydenberg as saying.

Rio Tinto maintained its payment terms for suppliers with contractsin place, as they were at March 30, reasoning that the company values its partnerships.

"Future arrangements with our suppliers will be negotiatedas part of any discussions about new contracts, to maintain the competitivenessof our business and our future ability to develop our assets," Rio Tinto said.