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Fiji Time: 08:58, Monday 21st Apr 2014
Untitled Document
Budget Buildup
 
-> Education Ministry expected to have biggest allocation...
-> Wages Council hopes for decent increase...
-> People eager to know effect of National Budget...
-> Police focus on public safety...
-> Hopes high for benefits entailed in 2012 Budget...
-> Health Ministry looks to impose new Fat Tax...
-> Investors should be prepared to pay decent wages...
-> Allocation for bus fare to continue...
-> Tough decisions have to be made...
-> Govt looks at privatizing more state owned enterprises...
-> $100M make up agriculture imports...
-> Roads, water and electricity vital to better living conditions...
-> Don’t rely on handouts says Shekhar...
-> Hazelman expects more growth initiatives...
-> Please think of increase in cost of living...
-> Council to discuss their proposal...
-> 26,000 benefit from assistance...
-> NFA looks to upgrade fire, ambulance services equipment...
-> Retailers plan to increase trading activities...
-> No decision yet on PMS for civil servants...
-> Ministry hopes for budget increase...
-> Local Govt Ministry to seek increase in budget...
-> Fiji Export Council hopes Budget will further strengthen industry...
-> Retailers would like to see better foreign investment...
-> Focus on capital projects...
-> Tourism Fiji hopes for same allocation...
-> Seeto hopeful for adequate funding...
 


 

Education Ministry expected to have biggest allocation - Nov 25

The Education Ministry is expected to have the biggest allocation.

The Ministry of Education was allocated $245.098 million for this year’s budget.

From this, the bus fare assistance for students continued this year with a $12 million allocation.

Also, $18.3 million was allocated for tuition fees and text books assistance for this year.

Primary education was allocated $109.25 million while secondary education received $106.563 million.

In addition, the higher education institutions were allocated a total of $64.6 million, with the University of the South Pacific receiving $36.6 million, University of Fiji $3 million while the Fiji National University $25 million.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said that the Fijian Government has made large investments in developing a coherent tertiary education system with a progressive and responsive curriculum.

Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said that improving the financing of education institutions remains a goal of the government and they are proud of the system created to ensure the adequate distribution grants to the urban and rural areas.

Story by: Filipe Naikaso and Sneh Chaudhry

[ Top ]

Wages Council hopes for decent increase - Nov 25

The Wages Council hopes to see a decent increase in wages for workers in the upcoming year and for it to come into effect on time.

Wages Council chairman Father Kevin Barr said this since the 2010 Wages Regulations Orders came in to effect one year later and saw an increase by 5%.

He said their hope for 2012 is to have a decent increase in wages for workers to cope with the cost of living.

Father Barr said that the wages seem to remain stagnant however the cost of living and inflation keep rising so the government should be concerned about this matter.

The Wages Regulations Orders is expected to be released on time by May 2012.

Story by: Khusboo Singh

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People eager to know effect of National Budget - Nov 24

As the government gets ready to present the 2012 National Budget to the people tomorrow, people are now waiting to find out how they will be affected through the prices of goods and services and the delivery of government services.

The main revenue for the government in the National Budget is through taxes and it is always a balancing act for any government to ensure that it rakes in the much needed revenue but at the same time think of the plight of the people.

Targeted assistance for the less fortunate is also something people look forward to.

In the 2011 National Budget, VAT was increased from 12.5 percent to 15 percent on many items except some essential items.

The government had anticipated that it would rake in about $532M in VAT this year surpassing anticipated receipts for last year by $103M.

This major increase in income from VAT was attributed mainly to the increase in the VAT rate on goods and services.

Direct taxes that people paid this year to the government were expected to rake in $454.5M, which is $19M more compared to 2010.

Direct taxes are income taxes comprising of personal or PAYE taxes, corporate taxes, dividend taxes, capital gains taxes and other minor taxes.

An important point to note is that people who earn $15,000 or less do not pay personal income tax as the government raised the income tax threshold from $9,000 to $15,000.

The total revenue for government this year was estimated at $1.745B while the total expenditure stood at $1.96B.

It will be revealed tomorrow what areas the government will concentrate on to generate more revenue and what areas it will focus on when spending the tax dollars.

Targeted business or growth incentives, infrastructure development or upgrading are also important in the budget as this generates investments which then generate more income and jobs for the people.

An important point to remember is that if the overall expenditure increases in a National Budget, it will also mean that the government has to generate more revenue through taxes that people pay.

The other option for the government to sustain increased expenditure levels is to borrow more money.

According to the 2011 National Budget, government’s total debt stock was $3.1B in 2009, compared with $2.9B for 2008.

The 2010 debt stock of both domestic and external debt was estimated at $3.4B.

A total of $518M was allocated for debt repayments this year.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced tomorrow morning.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

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Police focus on public safety - Nov 24

Police operations has a focus this festive season and also for the upcoming year and that is the safety of the members of the public.

Director Operations SSP Rusiate Tudravu said in doing so, his department has made submissions in light of the National Budget tomorrow.

SSP Tudravu said they will need some technical equipment and also transportation for next year.

The National Budget will be announced tomorrow.

Story by: Tokasa Rainima

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Hopes high for benefits entailed in 2012 Budget - Nov 24

The hopes are high among the people on what the 2012 National Budget has in store for them.

Fijivillage caught up with some members of the public on what are some of their expectations on the allocations to the various ministries and stakeholders and how it will benefit them.

Most have highlighted the challenges faced as an individual and in their communities, hoping that it will be addressed in the coming year.

Story by: Sofaia Koroitanoa

Health Ministry looks to impose new Fat Tax - Nov 24

The Health Ministry is looking at the government to impose a new Fat Tax.

Ministry spokesperson Peni Namotu said he cannot say when this new tax will be imposed but discussions have already taken place on this issue.

Namotu said they are focusing the Best Buy approach to ensure that people are well informed before they purchase a product.

The ministry said it is planning to implement the ban on advertising of junk food items from some time next year.

Namotu said work is still underway in this area and they have already determined the classification of what is junk food.

Work has already started with the manufacturers and Namotu said the manufacturers have been asked to remove children from TV advertisements.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

Investors should be prepared to pay decent wages - Nov 24

"The 2012 National Budget should be directed to encourage local and overseas investors but investors should also be prepared to pay decent wages to workers."

These are the words of Wages Council chairman Father Kevin Barr.

Father Barr said the budget does not deal with the Wages Council directly but they would like to see more investors that will contribute towards economic growth.

However, he said the investors should be prepared to pay decent wages to workers.

He said with this occurring, the people will actually benefit from the growth incentives.

He said with new investors it is also better to have decent unions as well that can represent their workers and support them.

Story by: Khusboo Singh

Allocation for bus fare to continue - Nov 24

The Ministry of Education was last year allocated $245.098 million for this year’s budget.

From this, the bus fare assistance for students continued this year with a $12 million allocation.

Also, $18.3 million was allocated for tuition fees and text books assistance for this year.

Primary education was allocated $109.25 million while secondary education received $106.563 million.

In addition, the higher education institutions were allocated a total of $64.6 million, with the University of the South Pacific receiving $36.6 million, University of Fiji receiving $3 million while the Fiji National University received $25 million.

Story by: Filipe Naikaso

[ Top ]

Tough decisions have to be made - Nov 24

The government is not flushed with money and people need to realize this as we approach the 2012 National Budget announcement.

Those are the words of the chief executive of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation Nesbitt Hazelman as he stressed that people should understand that additional allocations mean more revenue measures through taxes or more borrowing.

Hazelman said tough decisions have to be made.

According to the 2011 National Budget, government’s total debt stock was $3.1 billion in 2009 compared with $2.9 billion for 2008.

The 2010 debt stock of both domestic and external debt was estimated at $3.4 billion.

Meanwhile, the Federation will also be watching closely the incentives offered in the National Budget that will assist businesses in dealing with rising costs.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced on Friday.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

[ Top ]

Govt looks at privatizing more state owned enterprises - Nov 23

Government is looking at privatizing more state owned enterprises.

Public Enterprises permanent secretary Elizabeth Powell said enterprises such as Food Processors, Fiji Meats Industry Board and Rewa Rice are in the process of being privatized.

She said they are looking at privatizing as many state owned enterprises as possible.

With the budget set to be announced this Friday, Powell added the ministry hopes to continuously increase their contribution to Government.

Story by: Sofaia Koroitanoa

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$100M make up agriculture imports - Nov 22

$530 million was the estimated food import bill for Fiji in 2010.

Out of this total, approximately $100 million is made up of agriculture imports.

Permanent secretary for Agriculture Colonel Mason Smith said they are still focused on growing locally in an effort to decrease these agriculture imports however for some imports they have to be realistic as it cannot be grown in Fiji.

Review level of staffing by the Ministry in an effort to get rid of duplication has revealed they are lacking in certain areas.

Colonel Smith added that they were satisfied with their 2011 budget allocation and that after having had discussions with the Ministry of Finance, they don’t foresee any problems with their expected 2012 budget allocation.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced on Friday.

Story by: William Waqavakatoga

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Roads, water and electricity vital to better living conditions - Nov 22

The upgrading of roads, water and electricity are the three key areas to better living conditions.

With only days to the 2012 National Budget address, Works and Transport Minister Colonel Timoci Natuva said that these areas are vital in accelerating economic activity in the country.

Natuva added that the government has already allocated most of its resources and funds towards making living standards for all "Fijians" better.

In 2011 alone, government allocated more than $500 million towards infrastructure development which included providing electricity to 1,500 homes and to outer islands under the Rural Electrification Program.

Infrastructure development is currently underway at the Kings Highway from Korovou to Rakiraki, the Sawani-Serea Highway right up to Vunidawa which is targeted to be completed by 2013.

At the same time, upgrading water treatment plants and providing water tanks to ensure that villagers have access to clean and safe drinking water.

Story by: Selina Navuso

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Don’t rely on handouts says Shekhar - Nov 22

As the country awaits the announcement of the 2012 National Budget, people living in poverty have been called to stand up and take some responsibility in trying to make their lives better.

The chief executive officer of Save the Children Fiji Chandra Shekhar said in their survey, they have identified a number of factors affecting children who come from poor backgrounds.

He said it is high time most of the recipients stand on their own two feet instead of just relying on handouts.

He said getting funding and getting the work done is very challenging.

The poverty rate stands at 31% of the country’s population.

The announcement of the 2012 National Budget will be held this Friday.

Story by: Sneh Chaudhry

[ Top ]

Hazelman expects more growth initiatives - Nov 21

With just days remaining for the 2012 National Budget to be announced, the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation is hoping that more growth initiatives are announced and the less fortunate are assisted through a public and private sector partnership.

CEO Nesbitt Hazelman said one of the areas that they are proposing is for the government to set up economic zones in the North-West areas of Viti Levu and have targeted assistance for businesses like the manufacturing sector.

Hazelman said with the Kings Highway almost complete, all the areas along the highway now have connectivity and infrastructure, and many people in the area will benefit with businesses setting up there and providing jobs.

Hazelman also revealed that they have now engaged a consultant to have discussions on the proposed work on the Minimum National Wage for Fiji.

He said up to date statistics are needed on this before final decisions are made.

However, he said it may take a few years before the final outcome is known.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced on Friday.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

[ Top ]

Please think of increase in cost of living - Nov 21

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on the government to consider the high cost of living due to inflation.

Chief Executive Premila Kumar said that since the Council’s budget submission in 2010, the situation for consumers has worsened with increases in the prices of basic food and non-food items triggered by external factors.

She said that the challenge is not just one of balancing expenditure cuts against tax revenue but the Government also has an obligation to protect its citizens by ensuring that any changes in policy or spending must provide relief rather than further hardship for Fiji’s consumers.

Kumar said that in its submission for next year’s budget, the Council has asked for a reduction in the tax payable amount on chargeable income to allow consumers to cope with the increased cost of living.

She said they have also urged the government to increase duty on unhealthy food items and oil, remove VAT on electricity bills for those consumers using less than 250 KWH per month and better monitoring systems including hefty penalties on businesses that do not reduce prices of products where duty has been removed or reduced.

The Council also called on the government to create an accident compensation Commission that could deal with various types of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, accidents at work places and review the Compulsory Third Party Insurance legislation.

Kumar said that the Council has requested an additional $200,000 to better empower consumers next year.

The Council received a little more than $601,000 this year.

Story by: Sneh Chaudhry

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Council to discuss their proposal - Nov 21

The Ba Provincial Council is expected to discuss their proposal for the 2012 and 2013 budget in this week’s meeting.

Chairman Ratu Meli Saukuru said all the plans and proposals for the New Year are on track.

Meanwhile, when asked if they had sought for any allocation in the upcoming National Budget announcement, he said that all submissions from the 14 provincial councils have been referred to the iTaukei Affairs Ministry.

The meeting will be held this Thursday in Lautoka.

Story by: Tokasa Rainima

[ Top ]

26,000 benefit from assistance - Nov 21

26,000 people have benefitted so far from Social Welfare assistance this year.

Minister for Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni said this was the target of their assistance which included welfare allowances, food voucher programs and women empowerment programs at a cost of $36 million.

Dr Luveni said close to 4,000 people have also graduated from the Social Welfare income generating project and training scheme in which most have been employed or have started their own businesses.

She added there are plans to build on the current scheme for next year in which the ministry has sought an increase for their 2012 national budget allocation.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced this Friday.

Story by: Sofaia Koroitanoa

[ Top ]

NFA looks to upgrade fire, ambulance services equipment - Nov 17

The National Fire Authority is looking at upgrading its fire and ambulance services equipment next year.

Acting chief executive officer Aseri Radrodro said that is a challenge currently faced by NFA.

Radrodro who did not wish to comment on NFA’s submission on next year’s budget said they wish to have the necessary equipment for various works done by the Fire and Ambulance departments.

Radrodro said that they have already managed to achieve a 50 percent reduction in fires as compared to last year which is a huge challenge to maintain in moving forward.

NFA has responded to 79 fires in the third quarter this year compared to 168 fires for the same period last year.

Story by: Sneh Chaudhry

[ Top ]

Retailers plan to increase trading activities - Nov 16

With the budget set for next Friday, Fiji Retailers Association plans to increase their trading activities.

Fiji Retailers Association President Himmat Lodhia said small and medium businesses face troubles such as not being able to meet costs and not being recognized which they are trying to address.

Lodhia said they’re satisfied with what they are doing and hopes to see closer co-operation between the government and the retailers.

Story by: Khusboo Singh

[ Top ]

No decision yet on PMS for civil servants - Nov 15

The Public Service Commission and the government as a whole is yet to decide on when the Performance Based Pay System will be implemented for civil servants.

PSC permanent secretary Parmesh Chand said some work has been done in the area of performance based pay but proper monitoring systems need to be in place for pay increments based on performance.

Chand said the Job Evaluation Report for certain groups of civil servants have already been implemented where the roles and responsibilities were assessed and the pay structures adjusted accordingly.

He said the full implementation will depend on considerations in the budget.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced next Friday.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

[ Top ]

Ministry hopes for budget increase - Nov 15

With the 2012 Budget announcement to take place next week the Department of Roads from the Transport Works Ministry is hoping that they will receive an increased allocation from the $100 million they received last year.

Principal transport economic planning officer Sainiana Radrodro said this increase in allocation will help finish the remaining projects that are underway before 2014.

Radrodro added that in addition to assistance from Government they also receive assistance from overseas.

The 2012 Budget announcement will be on Friday next week.

Story by: Selina Navuso

[ Top ]

Local Govt Ministry to seek increase in buget - Nov 11

More funds are needed for better housing for the poor and sustaining the environment.

Local Government Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua highlighted this as the ministry seeks an increase in the 2012 budget allocation.

Colonel Saumatua who could not reveal the specific amount said it is not only needed for these areas but also for Local Government.

He added they have achieved the goals they have set out for this year especially in upgrading various squatter settlements around the country and are already setting out their corporate goals for next year.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced on the 25th of this month.

Story by: Sofaia Koroitanoa

[ Top ]

Fiji Export Council hopes Budget will further strengthen industry - Nov 09

The Fiji Export Council hopes the 2012 National Budget will further strengthen the export industry.

Council general manager Jone Cavubati said economic growth is based on exports, and exporters should be well looked after to ensure increase in exports which will be good for the economy.

He added Fiji has an export led growth policy.

Meanwhile, figures from the Fiji Bureau of Statistics show total exports for 2010 was $1.549 billion compared to $1.2 billion in 2009.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced on the 25th of this month.

Story by: Ronal Deo

[ Top ]

Retailers would like to see better foreign investment - Nov 09

With the Budget coming up towards the end of this month, the Fiji Retailers Association said they would like to see better foreign investments.

President for the Fiji Retailers Association Himmat Lodhia said with the upcoming Budget, the government should support incoming companies and provide further incentives so that employment increases and the economy moves forward.

He said the government is currently doing a good job but better work should be expected to be seen in the upcoming year.

He said incentives for fisheries and agriculture sectors for instance will make a difference to the economy.

Story by: Khusboo Singh

[ Top ]

Focus on capital projects says Mazey - Nov 09

The government needs to focus more on capital projects and infrastructure in the 2012 National Budget which will raise investment levels and increase GDP.

Fiji Chamber of Commerce president Peter Mazey said targeted initiatives are needed such as reduction in interest rates for home and investment loans, and even in the investment area.

Mazey added the Government has to reverse the trend of low growth the country had over recent years.

The 2012 National Budget will be announced on the 25th of this month.

Story by: Ronal Deo

[ Top ]

Tourism Fiji hopes for same allocation - Nov 08

Tourism Fiji is happy with their last annual budget of $23.5 million and expects the same allocation at the National Budget announcement in three weeks time.

Tourism Fiji has been receiving a budget of $23.5 million since 2009 which not only has led Tourism Fiji to a new direction but has also helped in the drawing up of new marketing strategies which in turn has seen an increase in visitor numbers surpassing those in previous years.

Outgoing Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto said that the focus for Tourism Fiji is to continue targeting BRIC countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Tourism Fiji has set a target to surpass one million visitors by 2016.

Story by: Selina Navuso

[ Top ]

Seeto hopeful for adequate funding - Nov 08

With the national budget to be announced later this month, there is hope that adequate funding will be provided to promote Fiji overseas.

Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association president Dixon Seeto said with the increase in the number of tourists coming to Fiji, they are hoping that adequate funds will be provided so that Tourism Fiji can work on more strategies and promote Fiji.

Seeto added that with tourist numbers increasing, this has also seen an increase in the number of people getting employed in the tourism sector.

It was earlier revealed that visitor arrivals for July was 72,067 compared to July last year which was a record year of 67,263.

Story by: Praneeta Deo

[ Top ]

 





 
- National Budget 2012
- PM’s Budget Address

- Budget Evaluations

Evaluations provided by accounting firms...

- Budget Revenue Policies - Tax & Customs (PDF-400KB)
- Revenue Measures Introduced (PDF-2MB)
- Photos
- National Budget 2013
- National Budget 2011
 
 

 


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