Fijivillage
4 June, 2020, 3:51 pm
Central - 24°C Rain
Fijivillage
NEWS SPORTS
4 June, 2020, 3:51 pm Central - 24°C Rain
ACCF
ACCF

COVID-19 Response Budget

COVID-19 Response Budget

By fijivillage
Friday 27/03/2020
Attorney General and the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Attorney General and the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum presented the COVID-19 Supplementary Budget to parliament at 7.30 on Wednesday 26th 2020

Sayed-Khaiyum said they introduced a COVID-19 Budget Response to offer relief to Fijian families, bolster businesses, protect workers, and fund life-saving containment efforts.


Financial lifeline loan package remains in place to assist severely impacted small and medium-sized businesses in Fiji - RBF

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 29/04/2020
The Reserve Bank of Fiji. [image: File]

The Reserve Bank of Fiji confirms that the financial lifeline loan package remains in place to assist severely impacted small and medium-sized businesses in Fiji.

Fijivillage has received confirmation that under the three facilities combined, more than $300 million has been lent out to businesses to date.

Following the COVID-19 Response National Budget, the RBF says it is continuing to support local businesses by granting access to emergency funding to help keep them and the Fijians they employ, operating through this difficult period.

The Reserve Bank offers three facilities targeted to Small and Medium Enterprises through the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme; Import Substitution and Export Finance Facility; and Disaster, Rehabilitation and Containment Facility.

An SME is defined as either an enterprise with a turnover between $30,000 to $500,000 or an enterprise that employs fewer than 50 workers.

RBF says people in these categories are eligible for the relief.

Those looking to start a new SME can also take advantage of these facilities by applying through relevant lending institutions for assistance.

Small and Medium Enterprises may access these funds through an application to a commercial bank, licensed credit institution or the Fiji Development Bank.

Funding will be subject to each individual bank’s normal credit criteria.

The RBF says the funding will range from $10,000 up to $500,000, depending on the SME’s requirements.

The Reserve Bank says loans above $500,000 can be considered under special circumstances.

The SME Credit Guarantee Scheme will cover 50 per cent of the principal amount outstanding on defaulted SME loans, up to a maximum of $50,000 per individual business.

Latest financial statements for your business from a certified accountant; Tax compliance certificate/letter; Business registration certificate; Business plan and cashflow projections; and an application to a commercial bank, licensed credit institution, or FDB stating the level of funding sought and the rationale supporting your request are needed.

The Fiji Chamber of Commerce has also been asked by the RBF to assist potential clients with their cashflow statements.




People not taking social distancing seriously in supermarkets and in long lines outside banks

By Iva Danford
Tuesday 28/04/2020
People lined up outside a bank in Suva and being relaxed about social distancing.

It has been noticed that people have been relaxed about social distancing in supermarkets and in long lines outside the supermarkets and banks.

Fijivillage have noticed this in the past few weeks as there is a general feeling of not knowing the threat or ignoring the fact the COVID-19 still exits in Fiji and other countries.

We have also noticed that while some retailers are monitoring in the inside, people lining outside are still standing very close to each other.


Untitled-1-Recovered-Recovered


People have frequently been told to practice social distancing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, but no matter how often we have been given such advice, it is noticeable that people are not following it.

Social distancing means staying home as much as possible and avoiding crowded public places.

COVID-19 spreads from person to person and reducing the ways people come in close contact with each other is essential.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says it is important for people to know that they still have to maintain physical distancing if they are at a picnic or even at home grogging with others.

Untitled-1-Recovered-Recovered


Qiliho says they are tasked with enforcing this but there should also be personal responsibility by people.

He says they will use their community policing to go out and spread the message about COVID-19.

The Police Commissioner has stressed that we are not out of the woods yet.





137 ration packs distributed to families in the quarantined areas in Nabua and Soasoa Settlement in Labasa through the Veilomani Food Bank initiative

By Shanil Singh
Tuesday 28/04/2020
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission CEO, Joel Abraham distributing ration packs. [image: FCCC]

137 ration packs have been distributed so far to families in the quarantined areas from Nabua Muslim Settlement in Suva and Soasoa Settlement in Labasa through the Veilomani Food Bank initiative to address food poverty.

Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission CEO, Joel Abraham says these packs contain food items such as rice, flour, cooking oil, potatoes, onions, dhal, salt and sugar and other items such as kerosene and bathing soap.

Abraham says they will be following up on these families on a fortnightly basis to check how these families are doing and a second wave of food rations will be delivered.

He also says this Saturday they will be going out to Ba and Dreketi to ensure that these communities are also assisted.

The Veilomani Food Bank initiative has been established to assist Fijian families affected by COVID-19 quarantine measures, and are currently unable to work and put food on the table.

Meanwhile Digicel Fiji today donated $5,000 to the Veilomani Food Bank initiative.




Fiji Corrections Service provides financial assistance to the spouses of 10 Corrections staff who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 28/04/2020
Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Services Commander Francis Kean with Corrections staff and spouses of the ten Corrections personnel. [image: Fiji Corrections Services]

The Fiji Corrections Service has provided financial assistance to the spouses of ten Corrections personnel who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

These families received $300 each to help them cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seven families are from the Central and Southern Division, two families are from the Western Division while one is from the Northern Division.

26-year-old, Ulamila Ravidiki, a pastry chef at the Novotel Hotel in Lami says the assistance was most unexpected but is most appreciated.

The mother of two says that she had been laid off from work for the past month without any pay and with no guarantee when they would start again.

Ravidiki says that she thanks the Fiji Corrections Service for remembering them as it has been a tough few weeks mostly because they do not know how long this crisis would go for.

She adds the donation will go towards the family groceries and teaching aid for the children.

Meanwhile, Tokasa Viniana who works for Peninsula Hotel in Suva says she was quite humbled by the kind gesture but adds that family was always very important to the Fiji Corrections Services.

The mother of five says this money will be put aside for when school starts because she is not working and they have to plan.

Commissioner of Fiji Corrections Services, Commander Francis Kean said that this small gesture of financial support to their staff who are affected by the COVID 19 pandemic is a reflection of their values in the Corrections Services; Family and Empathy.

He adds that they trust that this small support will be put to good use.




Nurse helps disadvantaged families who have medical needs and calls for much needed assistance for her cause

By Naveel Krishant
Tuesday 28/04/2020
Lanieta Lelea . [image: Facebook]

A nurse who returned from a peacekeeping mission in Iraq last month is now going to homes of the disadvantaged families who have medical needs and cannot afford to go to the hospital for the dressing of their wounds.

Lanieta Lelea, who is a nurse with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces says she is helping these people, and is also doing high blood pressure and diabetes checks in the Davuilevu area.

She is calling for people to assist her in this cause by providing medical items as she is also getting requests to treat people from Lovoni Road, Cunningham and Vatuwaqa.

la-sm


Lelea who has been a nurse for 24 years, says she wants to help the senior citizens but after she posted about her initiative on Facebook, she has received messages from even young people who are not able to make it to hospital.

In an effort to get the equipment to help her carry out her work she has reached out to people on Facebook via the Barter for Better Fiji page.

Lelea says she needs things such as trays, forceps, medical kits and white bed sheets that she can use to change the dressings of patients.

She is calling on people to provide her assistance so she is able to help others.


To provide assistance for medical supplies, you can contact Lelea on 2079420 or connect with on her Facebook page, La Nabainivalu.




Police will push forward to jetties and wharves to ensure compliance of restriction measures - Qiliho

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 28/04/2020

Police Commissioner, Sitiveni Qiliho says more police officers will be pushed forward to our jetties and wharves to ensure compliance of restriction measures to avoid overcrowding which was witnessed last night in Suva.

People have raised concern on the lack of physical distancing being practised by people.

Qiliho says Police were present however a sudden heavy downpour that occurred while boarding was taking place led to the sudden rush for shelter inside the boat that was leaving for Lau.

The Commissioner is also calling on shipping operators to assist ongoing efforts by implementing measures that will ensure their passengers or those utilizing their services are able to maintain physical distancing.

Qiliho says they will continue to work with officials from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji and Fiji Ports to ensure all measures are adhered to and continue to call on every individual to also take responsibility for their own wellbeing.




No arrests for social gathering breaches last night while 4 people arrested for breaching curfew hours - Qiliho

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 28/04/2020
Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho. [image: file]

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho has confirmed that there were no arrests for social gathering breaches last night while four people were arrested for breaching curfew hours.

Qiliho says two cases were recorded in the South while the North and West recorded one case each.

The Commissioner says while the decrease in the number of social gathering breaches was anticipated due to the relaxation of restrictions, Fijians cannot be complacent and resort back to potential life threatening habits.

Qiliho says physical distancing and avoiding the sharing of bilos and glasses during any social gathering is still being emphasized, and again, if you don’t need to leave your home, please do the right thing, and stay home.




Ministry of Health stresses that all sporting events in the country remain temporarily suspended

By Naveel Krishant
Tuesday 28/04/2020

The Ministry of Health says although restrictions have been lifted to allow gatherings of 20 people or fewer, they wish to remind the public that all sporting events in the country remain temporarily suspended.

The Ministry says this includes events organized by sporting bodies as well as those organized at community levels by community members.

The Health Ministry further says this is in line with the measures announced by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to contain the spread and local transmission of the virus.

They add the risk of person to person transmission of COVID- 19 is high when there is a large gathering of people and at places such as sporting facilities, stadiums or even village playgrounds where maintaining a safe physical distance can be a challenge.

The Ministry adds while sporting events are not permitted at this stage, Fijians however are free to undertake their own exercises.

They says these could be simple exercises such as jogging or walking adding regular exercises and healthy diet is key to a stronger immune system.

Fiji currently has 7 active cases while 11 patients have recovered.

The Health Ministry says Fijians should not be complacent and should continue to take heed of the COVID-19 measures adding that the Government remains on the highest alert level and will advise the public as soon as possible if more cases are found




Punjas Group of Companies faced issues with its rice products during the lockdown period

By Dhanjay Deo
Monday 27/04/2020
A range of Punjas rice products. [image: Punjas.com]

Punjas Group of Companies says it faced some issues with its rice products during the Lautoka and Suva lockdown period however it has been sorted and stocks are being replenished in supermarkets.

Procurement Manager, Avnit Kumar says their shipment from Vietnam and Thailand had to be diverted to New Caledonia during the lockdown period.

Kumar says this is why some of their rice products like Long Grain, Jasmine and Calrose Rice got affected on the shelves.

He says the issue has been rectified and they now have a good amount of stock of these items.




Close to 40,000 people working in the hotel and tourism sector on leave without pay and reduced hours

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 27/04/2020

Close to 40,000 people working in the hotel and tourism sector in the country continue to remain seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands of workers have been sent on Leave Without Pay while a small number of people are on reduced hours and on rotational work.

Chief-Executive-Officer-of-Association-Fantasha-Lockington


Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association CEO, Fantasha Lockington says the assessment of the industry is that more than 150,000 people are directly or indirectly affected by the drastic drop in visitor arrivals as a result of the global pandemic. This includes all the businesses connected with the provision of goods and services when we have tourists in the country.

Lockington says it is devastating for the entire industry for now - with no light seen at the end of the tunnel.


Lockington says this time of the year would have been the beginning of the high season however Fiji does not hold any bookings rather than returning residents from April to June this year.

She says the industry does not know and no one can predict at this stage on when the borders will open, and when can tourists safely come into the country.

Lockington says health protective measures will also need to be in place when the borders do open up.


She says from April to June last year, we had 235,634 visitors.

Between January to June last year, we had 470,000 visitors and they spent $1.2 billion. For the whole of last year, Fiji had 894,000 visitors and $2.1 billion came in through tourism earnings.

Lockington says the March arrival figures are down 53 percent, from 59,000 visitors in March last year to 27,972 visitors this year.

empty-hotels   





Only 7 active cases of COVID-19 with zero new cases is the best birthday gift - PM

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 27/04/2020
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama cuts his birthday cake at the NDMO office today.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has tweeted that he has already received the best birthday gift this morning after the confirmation that Fiji now has only 7 active cases of COVID-19 and there have been zero new cases.

Bainimarama who turns 66 years old today, says 11 of the 18 patients have now recovered, and all 7 patients remain in stable condition.

COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at CWM

He also says we now have 61% recovery rate.

According to the brief provided by the Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete to the Prime Minister this morning, the 54-year-old Soasoa man from Labasa and his wife have now tested negative twice.

april-07-sm Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete.

Bainimarama says there is more good news as the 107 tests done in the last two days have all returned negative.

Further relaxation of the health directives today as gatherings of 20 or fewer people allowed

There is a further relaxation of the health directives as gatherings of 20 or fewer people will be allowed from today.

However Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has confirmed that even one new confirmed case can result in going back to the earlier restrictions.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho also says it is important for people to know that they still have to maintain physical distancing if they are at a picnic or even at home grogging with others from today.

Qiliho-sm

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho 

He says people can now drink grog with their neighbours or other people but it is important to maintain physical distancing, not to share bilos and cigarettes.

Qiliho says they are tasked with enforcing this but there should also be personal responsibility by people.

The Police Commissioner says it is still important for people to understand that if they have nothing to do they should stay home.

When asked if Police would arrest or caution those not practising physical distancing especially with social gatherings of 20 people or fewer allowed from today, Qiliho says all of these things will come into play and they have to do that because they are tasked with enforcing it.

Qiliho says he would also like to thank the majority of Fijians who have been following the restrictions. 




37 arrested over the last 24 hours for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions

By Naveel Krishant
Monday 27/04/2020
[Photo:Fiji Police Force]

37 people were arrested over the last 24 hours for alleged cases of COVID-19 restriction breaches.

Police Commissioner, Sitiveni Qiliho says the Eastern Division recorded 19 cases, 10 for social gathering 9 for breach of curfew.

Qiliho says the Southern Division recorded 11 cases, 6 for breach of curfew and 5 for social gathering.

He adds the Western Division recorded 7 cases, 6 for social gathering and 1 for breach of curfew.

Both the North and Central Divisions recorded nil arrests in the last 24 hours.

Qiliho says as the restrictions on social gatherings are being relaxed to 20 people or fewer, everyone needs to still take responsibility and ensure that they do not risk their own lives, the lives of their loved ones and all other Fijians.

He adds the message remains the same, if you don’t need to leave your home, then please do the responsible thing and stay home.

The Police Commissioner says the relaxation of the social gathering restrictions should not be used as an excuse to hold unnecessary yaqona and drinking parties as this can also lead to other probe problems including assault.

He adds physical distancing measures should still be practiced at all times.




Further relaxation of the health directives today as gatherings of 20 or fewer people allowed

By Vijay Narayan, Semi Turaga
Monday 27/04/2020
Families gathered for a day out at My Suva Park, Suva before the health directives came in to place: [image: file]

There is a further relaxation of the health directives as gatherings of 20 or fewer people will be allowed from today.

However Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama has confirmed that even one new confirmed case can result in going back to the earlier restrictions.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho also says it is important for people to know that they still have to maintain physical distancing if they are at a picnic or even at home grogging with others from today.

Qiliho-sm

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho 

He says people can now drink grog with their neighbours or other people but it is important to maintain physical distancing, not to share bilos and cigarettes.

Qiliho says they are tasked with enforcing this but there should also be personal responsibility by people.

The Police Commissioner says it is still important for people to understand that if they have nothing to do they should stay home.

When asked if Police would arrest or caution those not practising physical distancing especially with social gatherings of 20 people or fewer allowed from today, Qiliho says all of these things will come into play and they have to do that because they are tasked with enforcing it.

Qiliho says he would also like to thank the majority of Fijians who have been following the restrictions. 




No comments yet from Fiji Sun, MIDA and Grace Road Church on claims made in paid advertisement

By Vijay Narayan, Semi Turaga
Sunday 26/04/2020
The paid advertisement from The Grace Roads Church that appeared in The Fiji Sun.

There are still no comments from Fiji Sun, MIDA and Grace Road Church on claims made by Grace Road Church in a paid advertisement in the Fiji Sun claiming the reason for the COVID-19 outbreak is the unjust persecution, imprisonment and slandering of its leader Reverend Okjoo Shin as a cult.

We have asked MIDA if this conforms to the Code of Ethics for Advertising in the Media Act.

Grace-Road-Church-covid-19-post-sm

Grace Road Church made this claim in the paid advertisement titled "The Judge of God - Judgement Has Now Begun".

Under the sub-heading - "COVID-19: What is the reason?" Grace Road Church said, "We believe the reason for COVID-19 outbreak is because of Spirit of Truth was slandered as a cult, persecuted and imprisoned".

The leader of Grace Road Church Reverend Shin is mentioned in the advertisement as "The Spirit of Truth Reverend Okjoo Shin".

The Health Ministry and WHO have stated that COVID-19 was discovered in late December 2019 after an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases was noted in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China.

On December 31st last year, China alerted the WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people.

The virus was unknown.

Several of those infected worked at the city's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was shut down on January 1.

As health experts worked to identify the virus amid growing alarm, the number of infections exceeded 40.

On January 11th, China announced its first death from the virus, a 61-year-old man who had purchased goods from the seafood market.

Treatment did not improve his symptoms after he was admitted to hospital and he died of heart failure on the evening of January 9.

Grace Road Church says they have violated neither the law of God nor this world's law.

The son of the founder of the Grace Road Church Daniel Sungdo has refuted the charges of Assault, Incarceration, Child Abuse, and Fraud which his mother Reverend Okjoo Shin and the Church have been accused of by people they are calling traitors.

Sungdo says their church has violated neither the law of God nor this world's law.

The founder, Reverend Shin is serving a sentence of six years in prison for detaining her followers in Fiji and subjecting them to violence and barbaric rituals.

She has been serving for more than 1 year and 8 months.

The Suwon District Court, in South Korea, jailed her for keeping some 400 followers in captivity in Fiji, with their passports reportedly taken away by senior church leaders.

The court also said the followers spend their days performing forced labour and attending evening sermons.

In a more than 17 minutes video on its social media page, Sungdo addressed the issue directly saying “But to the self-proclaimed Christians, pastors, missionaries and the General Assembly who accused our Reverend and Grace Road Church of being a cult, to the people who were among us who discovered the truth and forsook the truth through their false testimonies, and the investigator (the son of a self-proclaimed missionary) who allied with the traitors with his devious plots, and to the press who turned a blind eye to the truth and branded our Reverend and our Church with intentionally maligned and devious editing: You have sued Grace Road Church, the group of true Christians who see, hear, believe and act by the Bible”

Grace Road Church has also been long accused of severe public beatings known as “ground threshing”.

Sungdo says what is so wrong about them carrying out threshing on the floor as written in the bible by understanding the word of truth.

He says they made a resolution to themselves and they slapped themselves adding how is this assault.

Sungdo says they are confident to confess and testify that all churches must carry out the biblical threshing floor and show an example that people are able to live by the law of God without requiring the world's law.

The Grace Road Church has also started a petition for a retrial of their leader's case in South Korea.

In a statement, the Church said "Grace Road Church's Reverend Okjoo Shin was sued by plaintiffs composed of people who claim to be victims on grounds of "bodily harm, special assault, assault, aggravated confinement, special confinement, fraud, violation of commercial law, violation of child welfare laws (neglect, abuse) and abetment of assault, sentenced to 6 years in 1st trial, 7 years in 2nd trial, and our appeal was dismissed at the Supreme Court"

Reverend Shin has been held in a detention centre from 24th July 2018 until now.




83 people to appear in special court sittings today after being arrested for COVID-19 breaches in the last 24 hours

By Semi Turaga
Sunday 26/04/2020
[Photo:Fiji Police Force]

83 people will appear in special court sittings around the country today after being arrested and charged for curfew and social gathering breaches in the last 24 hours.

Police say of the 83 arrests, 61 were for social gathering breaches.

The Western Division recorded 25 reports with 11 for social gathering breaches.

21 cases were recorded in the Southern Division.

The Eastern Division 18 cases recorded with 13 of those arrests for social gathering breaches.

Nine cases were recorded in the Northern Division while Central Division recorded 10 cases for social gatherings.

The Central and Northern Divisions both recorded nil reports of breach of curfew.

Special court sittings will be called in Lautoka, Nadi, Sigatoka, Tavua, Rakiraki, Nasinu and Suva this morning.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says physical distancing of two metres should be maintained at all times and people should not share cigarettes, takis or bilos during grog sessions.




7 people appear in special sitting in court today for breaching curfew and social gathering restrictions

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Sunday 26/04/2020
2 of the 7 people who allegedly breached the curfew hours

Seven people appeared in a special sitting in the Suva Magistrates Court today for breaching curfew and social gathering restrictions.

Two 42-year-old men who allegedly breached the curfew hours have been granted bail.

Inia Cama Ledua and Nemani Biu were drinking liquor along a road in Suva during curfew hours last night.

Magistrate Joseph Daurewa has granted them bail with one surety each and $500 bond.

They have also been told to visit the Totogo Police Station every Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Magistrate Daurewa also told the two men that they should not change their address and if they do so then they should get the approval from the court.

The case has been adjourned to 3rd June. Five people who allegedly breached social gathering restrictions have also been granted bail.

It is alleged that Timea Burenatau,Teweru Uriam, Benioni Malakito, Bataba Apisalome and Maere Banian were sharing food at Bidesi Park in Suva yesterday.

The defence lawyer objected to the charges as his clients had told him two of them were standing outside a car eating while 3 of them were inside the car.

Their lawyer also objected to the interview done on Friday where there was no interpreter present and some technical terms were used.

Magistrate Daurewa told the prosecution to provide the video in their next hearing and it should be typed out clearly.

The five people have been released on a bail bond of $500 each.

The case will be called again on 5th June.




Grace Road Church says they have violated neither the law of God nor this world's law

By Semi Turaga
Sunday 26/04/2020
Son of the founder of the Grace Road Church Daniel Sungdo

The son of the founder of the Grace Road Church Daniel Sungdo has refuted the charges of Assault, Incarceration, Child Abuse, and Fraud which his mother Reverend Okjoo Shin and the Church have been accused of by people they are calling traitors.

Sungdo says their church has violated neither the law of God nor this world's law.

The founder, Reverend Shin is serving a sentence of six years in prison for detaining her followers in Fiji and subjecting them to violence and barbaric rituals.

She has been serving for more than 1 year and 8 months.

The Suwon District Court, in South Korea, jailed her for keeping some 400 followers in captivity in Fiji, with their passports reportedly taken away by senior church leaders.

The court also said the followers spend their days performing forced labour and attending evening sermons.

In a more than 17 minutes video on its social media page, Sungdo addressed the issue directly saying “But to the self-proclaimed Christians, pastors, missionaries and the General Assembly who accused our Reverend and Grace Road Church of being a cult, to the people who were among us who discovered the truth and forsook the truth through their false testimonies, and the investigator (the son of a self-proclaimed missionary) who allied with the traitors with his devious plots, and to the press who turned a blind eye to the truth and branded our Reverend and our Church with intentionally maligned and devious editing: You have sued Grace Road Church, the group of true Christians who see, hear, believe and act by the Bible”

Grace Road Church has also been long accused of severe public beatings known as “ground threshing”.

Sungdo says what is so wrong about them carrying out threshing on the floor as written in the bible by understanding the word of truth.

He says they made a resolution to themselves and they slapped themselves adding how is this assault.

Sungdo says they are confident to confess and testify that all churches must carry out the biblical threshing floor and show an example that people are able to live by the law of God without requiring the world's law.

The Grace Road Church has also started a petition for a retrial of their leader's case in South Korea.

In a statement, the Church said "Grace Road Church's Reverend Okjoo Shin was sued by plaintiffs composed of people who claim to be victims on grounds of "bodily harm, special assault, assault, aggravated confinement, special confinement, fraud, violation of commercial law, violation of child welfare laws (neglect, abuse) and abetment of assault, sentenced to 6 years in 1st trial, 7 years in 2nd trial, and our appeal was dismissed at the Supreme Court"

Reverend Shin has been held in a detention centre from 24th July 2018 until now.




Grace Road Church claims in paid advertisement the reason for COVID-19 outbreak is the imprisonment and slandering of its leader

By Vijay Narayan, Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
The paid advertisement from The Grace Roads Chrurch that appeared in The Fiji Sun.

The Grace Road Church is claiming in a paid advertisement in the Fiji Sun that the reason for the COVID-19 outbreak is the unjust persecution, imprisonment and slandering of its leader Reverend Okjoo Shin as a cult.

It made this claim in the paid advertisement titled "The Judge of God - Judgement Has Now Begun".

Under the sub-heading - "COVID-19 : What is the reason?" Grace Road Church said, "We believe the reason for COVID-19 outbreak is because of Spirit of Truth was slandered as a cult, persecuted and imprisoned".

The leader of Grace Road Church Reverend Shin is mentioned in the advertisement as "The Spirit of Truth Reverend Okjoo Shin".

Shin-Ok-Ju-Founder-SM1
Shin Ok-Ju

The advertisement further says "Furthermore, some Christian leaders of the world, who use the Bible, transgressed against God.

Many plagues have emerged since creation, but this prevailing COVID-19 is completely different.

COVID-19 is God's Warning to turn from lawlessness and unrighteousness, God's sign to show the end of the time for the wicked with their works and God's Sword to judge this wicked world!"

The same advertisement has also been shared by Grace Road Church on its Facebook page.

Grace-Road-Church-covid-19-post-sm

The World Health Organization, the Health Ministry and health experts have stated coronaviruses are a large group of viruses, with six of these viruses known to cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to the more serious Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The Health Ministry and WHO have stated that COVID-19 was discovered in late December 2019 after an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases was noted in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China.

On December 31st last year, China alerted the WHO to several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people.

The virus was unknown.

Several of those infected worked at the city's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was shut down on January 1.

As health experts worked to identify the virus amid growing alarm, the number of infections exceeded 40.

On January 11th, China announced its first death from the virus, a 61-year-old man who had purchased goods from the seafood market.

Treatment did not improve his symptoms after he was admitted to hospital and he died of heart failure on the evening of January 9.

We are currently trying to speak to the Grace Road Church, Media Industry Development Authority and Fiji Sun on the publishing of the advertisement.

We are also asking MIDA if this conforms to the Code of Ethics for Advertising in the Media Act.




Practice physical distancing in your social gatherings of 20 people or fewer from Monday - Qiliho

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says it is important for people to know that they still have to maintain physical distancing if they are at a picnic or even at home grogging with others from Monday when social gatherings of 20 people or fewer will be allowed.

He says people can now drink grog with their neighbours or other people but it is important to maintain physical distancing, not to share bilos and cigarettes.

Qiliho says they are tasked with enforcing this but there should also be personal responsibility by people.

The Police Commissioner says it is still important for people to understand that if they have nothing to do they should stay home.

When asked if Police would arrest or caution those not practising physical distancing especially with social gatherings of 20 people or fewer allowed from Monday, Qiliho says all of these things will come into play and they have to do that because they are tasked with enforcing it.

Qiliho says he would also like to thank the majority of Fijians who have been following the restrictions.

There are other social issues we have to be aware of as a lot of people are out of jobs - Qiliho

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says for them in policing it is not just about COVID-19 because there are other social issues they have to be aware of as a lot of people are out of jobs.

He says people will see their posture changing and there will be snap checkpoints if they see people are not adhering to the restrictions.

Qiliho also says it is also important for parents and guardians to know where their children are as it is a difficult task for Police to be picking up juveniles for breaches.




Brief survey on COVID-19 impact on the wider Fijian business community being done by Ministry of Commerce and International Finance Corporation

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
Permanent Secretary Shaheen Ali

A brief survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the wider Fijian business community is being done by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism, and Transport and the International Finance Corporation.

Permanent Secretary Shaheen Ali says they are working very closely with the various industries and Government agencies to get a fair assessment of immediate on the ground impact in order to devise policy redress and incentives.

He says the survey will help find practical solutions.

Ali says irrespective of how big or small the operation, everyone should have a say.

He further urged businesses across-all-sectors to participate in the survey to assist in the upcoming budgetary process, which has commenced, for the next financial year.

The survey will assess the overall impact of the crisis and TC Harold on businesses, what is and could be done to adapt in the short, medium, and long term, what changes are being made, and can be made to ensure business continuity, recovery, and growth




Practice physical distancing in your social gatherings of 20 people or fewer from Monday - Qiliho

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says it is important for people to know that they still have to maintain physical distancing if they are at a picnic or even at home grogging with others from Monday when social gatherings of 20 people or fewer will be allowed.

He says people can now drink grog with their neighbours or other people but it is important to maintain physical distancing, not to share bilos and cigarettes.

Qiliho says they are tasked with enforcing this but there should also be personal responsibility by people.

The Police Commissioner says it is still important for people to understand that if they have nothing to do they should stay home.

When asked if Police would arrest or caution those not practising physical distancing especially with social gatherings of 20 people or fewer allowed from Monday, Qiliho says all of these things will come into play and they have to do that because they are tasked with enforcing it.

Qiliho says he would also like to thank the majority of Fijians who have been following the restrictions.

There are other social issues we have to be aware of as a lot of people are out of jobs - Qiliho

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says for them in policing it is not just about COVID-19 because there are other social issues they have to be aware of as a lot of people are out of jobs.

He says people will see their posture changing and there will be snap checkpoints if they see people are not adhering to the restrictions.

Qiliho also says it is also important for parents and guardians to know where their children are as it is a difficult task for Police to be picking up juveniles for breaches.




58 arrested in the last 24 hours for allegedly failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
[Photo:Fiji Police Force]

58 people were arrested by Police in the last 24 hours for allegedly failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and 43 of those arrests were in relation to social gathering breaches.

Police confirm most of the arrests for social gathering breaches were in relation to people drinking grog and alcohol in groups.

The most number of arrests were recorded in the Western Division which is 27 and 20 were for social gathering breaches.

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says the Southern Division recorded 16 reports and 11 were for social gathering.

The Southern Division includes Samabula, Tamavua, Tacirua, Nabua and Nasinu and other areas outside of the Suva Central area.

Qiliho says the Eastern Division recorded 13 cases including 10 for social gathering breaches.

Two arrests for social gathering breaches were made in the Central Division.

The Central Division which includes Suva City, Waimanu Road, Toganivalu Road, Reservoir Road and the whole of Laucala Bay.




There are other social issues we have to be aware of as a lot of people are out of jobs - Qiliho

By Semi Turaga
Saturday 25/04/2020
Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho [Photo: Fijian Government]

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says for them in policing it is not just about COVID-19 because there are other social issues they have to be aware of as a lot of people are out of jobs.

He says people will see their posture changing and there will be snap checkpoints if they see people are not adhering to the restrictions.

Qiliho also says it is also important for parents and guardians to know where their children are as it is a difficult task for Police to be picking up juveniles for breaches.

Practice physical distancing in your social gatherings of 20 people or fewer from Monday - Qiliho

Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says it is important for people to know that they still have to maintain physical distancing if they are at a picnic or even at home grogging with others from Monday when social gatherings of 20 people or fewer will be allowed.

He says people can now drink grog with their neighbours or other people but it is important to maintain physical distancing, not to share bilos and cigarettes.

Qiliho says they are tasked with enforcing this but there should also be personal responsibility by people.

The Police Commissioner says it is still important for people to understand that if they have nothing to do they should stay home.

When asked if Police would arrest or caution those not practising physical distancing especially with social gatherings of 20 people or fewer allowed from Monday, Qiliho says all of these things will come into play and they have to do that because they are tasked with enforcing it.

Qiliho says he would also like to thank the majority of Fijians who have been following the restrictions.




COVID-19 remains public enemy number one – PM

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 24/04/2020
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

The Prime Minister says as we see some of the restrictions lifted, it’s vital the Fijian public go about their lives responsibly, in ways that do not compromise the practice of physical distancing and put Fijian lives at risk.

Bainimarama says coronavirus is still public enemy number one.

He says since this Monday, they have tested 114 more samples for COVID-19, and all have returned negative.

The Prime Minister says the health screening effort in Ba is progressing extremely well.

Bainimarama says nationwide, the government has restocked with thousands of COVID-19 tests, a step critical to boosting confidence in the success of the health containment efforts.

He also says 10 of the 18 patients have made full recoveries from the virus.

There are eight active cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Fiji, meaning that, for the first time, more Fijians have recovered than are currently still living with the virus.

Bainimarama has applauded every Fijian responsible for aiding these recoveries and delivering us this beacon of hope.

But he says as relieved as we all are, we must still reckon with some sobering realities.

The Prime Minister says no confirmed case of coronavirus in Fiji has been in a person over the age of 65. He also says most of the patients have had no underlying health conditions.

Bainimarama says his point is, in Fiji, so far we have been blessed by demographics, and more vulnerable Fijians have been spared. But he says if we lull ourselves into complacency, that could all too tragically change.

He also says across the world, over 186,000 lives have been lost to this virus.

Bainimarama says every day, tens of thousands more added to the total. He says we cannot allow Fiji to fall victim to the same fate.

He stresses that we are at war with COVID-19, we must stay vigilant, we must stay disciplined and we must keep ourselves one step ahead of this killer virus.

The Prime Minister also says if we keep the course, we will be able to confidently rank ourselves among the nations leading the world in stomping out coronavirus.

He says our success so far leaves us a reason for cautious optimism.

Bainimarama says they have isolated every close contact of every case of the virus in our country, a world-leading feat.

He says of the over 900 samples they have tested in Fiji, only 2% have returned positive, compared from up to 19% or even higher in harder-hit countries.




10pm to 5am curfew from tonight

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 24/04/2020

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced progressive relaxation of the health restrictions relating to COVID-19 – which include the nationwide curfew to start at 10pm and go until 5am from tonight, the resumption of all passenger inter-island travel, by air and sea from tomorrow and social gatherings of 20 people or fewer will be allowed from Monday.

Bainimarama also says if even one new case is detected, the most stringent health protection measures will snap right back into place.

He confirms that nightclubs, swimming pools, cinemas and gyms will all continue to remain closed.

Houses of worship will remain closed until further notice.

All schools will remain closed as well until the 12th of June 2020.




University lecturer Vinay Nand facing charges of bribery and failure to comply with orders appears in court

By Dhanjay Deo
Friday 24/04/2020

A 40-year-old university lecturer of Koroba, Nakasi is facing charges of bribery and failure to comply with orders related to COVID-19 appeared in the Nausori Magistrates Court today.

Vinay Nand was allegedly found drinking liquor with Shalvin Goundar and Saten Mudaliar at Deepwater Settlement on Wednesday afternoon.

It is alleged that Nand tried to bribe a Police Officer by offering $500 to be released from custody.

It is alleged that Nand initially took out $40 from his pocket and told the Police Officer that he will withdraw and give the remaining amount later.

The court has ordered for Nand to surrender his travel documents.

Nand has been released on bail and the matter has been adjourned to the 12th of next month.

Goundar and Mudaliar have also been released on bail.




76 arrested last night for alleged breach of COVID-19 restrictions with majority being caught drinking yaqona and alcohol and playing rugby

By Dhanjay Deo
Friday 24/04/2020
Police operations in the Central Division. [image: Fiji police}

76 people were arrested last night for allegedly breaching COVID-19 restrictions.

In most cases, people were caught drinking yaqona and alcohol.

A group of people were arrested in the Western Division after they were caught playing rugby.

Of the 76 cases, 34 were recorded in the Western Division with 26 social gathering breaches and 8 curfew breaches.

The Southern Division which includes Samabula, Tamavua, Tacirua, Nabua and Nasinu and other areas outside of the Suva Central area recorded 14 cases of social gathering breaches.

The Central Division which includes Suva City, Waimanu Road, Toganivalu Road, Reservoir Road and the whole of Laucala Bay recorded 13 cases, 12 for social gathering breaches and one for curfew breach.

The Eastern Division recorded 12 cases of social gathering breaches while the North recorded three 3 cases, 1 for breach of curfew and 2 for social gathering breaches.




Tikoduadua says the cash strapped government has no shame while AG states there's confidence in the system

By Dhanjay Deo
Saturday 28/03/2020
NFP President, Pio Tikoduadua and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

National Federation Party President, Pio Tikoduadua says the current rudderless cash strapped government has no shame.

In his response to the COVID-19 Response Budget, Tikoduadua says someone who is an expert with theatrical and drama skills, the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while delivering the supplementary budget tried to arouse the emotion of the people by blaming the Opposition and brandishing high in the sky figures of how the assistance was to stay ahead of the COVID-19.

Tikoduadua says in reality, in terms of direct assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the loss of paid employment and reduction in business activities in the formal and informal sector is $100 million under Head 50 of the Budget Estimates and this too is under restriction.

He says other measures announced as part of government’s stimulus package such as deferment of loans and interest payments and affected members allowed to withdraw their own funds from FNPF are not direct assistance from government.

Meanwhile the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in his Right of Reply says that there's confidence in the system and they will be also willing to give levels of comfort if the problem persists.




It is not easy being a teacher now - Kepa

By Dhanjay Deo
Friday 27/03/2020
SODELPA MP, Ro Teimumu Kepa

SODELPA MP, Ro Teimumu Kepa says it is not easy being a teacher now as just in the past few years, allocations for counsellors, school chaplains and boarding school allowances have been removed from the budget.

In her response to the COVID-19 Response Budget, Ro Teimumu says the sad thing about this is that the schools that are impacted particularly by the absence of school chaplains and boarding school allowance are mostly schools where the indigenous Fijians are the majority.

She says the indigenous Fijians have been told over the years that these schools have been established for them.

She says students themselves had highlighted to the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last year that lack of discipline is of great concern to them.

Ro Teimumu says there is so much indiscipline in schools and the Attorney General does not bother to find out what is the root cause to this negative behaviour.

Meanwhile, Ro Teimumu says she welcomes the 20 percent reduction in her parliamentary salary as it is for a worthy cause however, the Prime Minister and Minister should take a reduction of 50 percent to make it meaningful as this will be the first time ever for them to take a pay cut.




Akbar well aware of students missing out on official learning time if 2 weeks holidays extends

By Dhanjay Deo
Friday 27/03/2020
Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar

Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar says she is aware that every passing minute, they will be missing out on official formal learning time if circumstances forces them to extend the two weeks school holidays beyond the schedule dates.

Akbar says the Ministry of Education will re-adjust the budget, re-align the school terms, re-schedule examinations and re-assess the curriculum to have timely content coverage.

Akbar then told Ro Teimumu Kepa that they do not have time to dwell over petty issues.

She says in no circumstances, they will compromise the quality of education delivered to children and they will try to do their best under whatever circumstances.

Rosy Akbar.





COVID-19 Response Budget is a monkey budget - Nawaikula

By Iva Danford
Friday 27/03/2020
SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula

SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula says that the COVID-19 Response Budget is a monkey budget.

In his response to the budget, Nawaikula says that the budget is poor and incompetent as more is needed.

He says that the $40 million is not enough for the Health Ministry to fight COVID-19.

Nawaikula says the Minister for Health should resign because he is not properly empowered.

Nawaikula says government should take on the responsibility that they brought in COVID-19 to Fiji.

He says that the 20 percent salary deduction for the Prime Minister, Minister for Economy, other Ministers and Assistant Ministers is not enough.

Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate then raised a point of saying that Nawaikula is misleading parliament by saying that all the Ministers get $200,000, because they don’t.

Nawaikula also mentioned that inter-island shipping will be closed. Usamate then raised another point of order saying that it will be open, people will not move but cargo will move.




As a responsible government we decided not to impose a 35% pay cut on all civil servants - Waqainabete

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020
Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete and NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad

Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says although NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad is denying that he called for a 35 percent pay cut for all civil servants in a Fiji Times opinion piece, the opinion piece is still on the NFP site where Prasad had made the call for a pay cut for the Prime Minister, Ministers, Speaker, Members of Parliament and all those in the civil service and those in the government commercial companies.

Doctor Waqainabete says as a responsible government, they have decided not to impose a 35 percent pay cut on all civil servants as proposed by the NFP Leader.

The Health Minister says it is important for the doctors and nurses working tirelessly at the moment to know what the NFP had said in the opinion article on March 21st.

Professor Biman Prasad said he never said to cut the pay of all those in the civil service.

Fijivillages can confirm that the opinion article by Professor Prasad on March 21st is still on the NFP website where Prasad had made the call for a pay cut for the Prime Minister, Ministers, Speaker, Members of Parliament and all those in the civil service and those in the government commercial companies and statutory organisations.

Professor Prasad says there was an error and somewhere along the way, his opinion piece was changed as Fiji Times also sends all it’s articles to it’s lawyers. He says he does not want to blame anyone and changes will also be made to the article on their website.

Professor Prasad also says that he stands by his interviews given on March 16th and 17th where he did not say that all those in the civil service should get a pay cut. The opnion piece was publishe din the Fiji Times on March 21st.




We support some of the measures in the COVID-19 response budget however it's a disappointing and dishonest budget- Prof Prasad

By Naveel Krishant
Friday 27/03/2020
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says they support some of the measures in the COVID-19 response budget however he labelled it as a disappointing and dishonest budget.

While making his contribution to the budget debate, Professor Prasad said the government did not bring the virus in the country but he says we are confronting a double tragedy.

He says the first tragedy is the devastation and loss the virus will bring and the second is that we do not have money to respond to it.

Professor Prasad says it is not a billion-dollar budget.

The NFP Leader adds that the government is only doing two useful things which are topping up FNPF accounts and increasing the health ministry’s budget. He says after that it is up to everybody else.

Professor Prasad says in his view the government is hoping that the crisis will not get worse adding that this is the first government that always runs to the FNPF.

The NFP Leader was talking about the FNPF when Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum raised a point of order.

Prasad also claimed that the health ministry has only conducted less than 200 tests for COVID-19.

Minister for Health, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete clarified that they have done more than 200 tests.

Meanwhile, Prasad says his understanding was that he had 20 minutes to respond to the COVID-19 Supplementary Budget.

He made these comments after Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau interjected Professor Prasad and asked him what was his time limit.

Ratu Epeli says that he was informed by the whips and his understanding was that members will have about 7 minutes.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Vuniwaqa happy that COVID-19 Response Budget will help maintain the current social protection programs

By Semi Turaga
Friday 27/03/2020
The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is happy that the COVID-19 Response Budget will help maintain the current social protection programs.

This includes the Social Pension Scheme, the Poverty Benefit Scheme, the Care and Protection Allowance, the Rural Pregnant Mothers Program and the Disability Allowance.

Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa has told parliament the total allocation to the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation for this fiscal year is now 144 million dollars.

This allocation is an increase of about 60 million dollars from the initial 2019/2020 National Budget.

Vuniwaqa says the very fact that the budget for the Ministry has been increased during these trying times speaks volumes of where the heart of this government is.

Vuniwaqa also confirms the National Women’s Expo will not be held this year.





Money needed by Fijians - PM

By Iva Danford
Friday 27/03/2020
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

“We need to put money into the pockets of Fijians now.”

This was highlighted by the Prime Minister while giving his response to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Budget.

Bainimarama says there is also a need to extend a lifeline to Fijian businesses and a need to get more life saving supplies for doctors and nurses to test for the virus.

He says that he does not think some sitting in the chambers realise what is happening around the world right now and just how bad things are going to get.

Bainimarama say that he knows the Fijian people shared his frustration last night listening to the tedious back and forth delaying hearing what the budget contained and the support it provides.




It was very easy to make the decision to cut the pay of all elected officials - PM

By Semi Turaga
Friday 27/03/2020

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says it was very easy to make the decision to cut the pay of all elected officials.

The 20% pay cut is for the Prime Minister, Ministers and parliamentarians for the next 6 months.

This will total $400,000.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




A lot of the COVID-19 Response Budget is only based on what the govt can give employers in terms of tax policies, concessions and incentives - Prasad

By Shanil Singh
Friday 27/03/2020
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says a lot of the measures that have been announced in the COVID-19 Response Budget are only based on what the government can give to employers in terms of tax policies, concessions and incentives.

Professor Prasad believes there is little support for those who are going to be unemployed and little is directly going from the government coffers who will be suffering badly for the next few months.

He says essentially, this reflects on the tight fiscal space that the government has had even before COVID-19 hit Fiji.

Professor Prasad adds this is reflected in the government’s inability to provide a very direct stimulus package to businesses, people and small and medium enterprises in particular.

He also says that they are happy with the announcement that elected Members of Parliament will take a 20% pay cut

The NFP Leader says the decision to reduce FNPF statutory contributions is a measure to help both the employers and employees although this is a difficult time but that is perhaps reasonable and that would help employees to keep some of their money which is their savings.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Government revised all expenditure meaning there is less money required by Ministries to carry out their work - AG

By Semi Turaga
Friday 27/03/2020
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the government has revised all expenditure which has meant that there is less money required by Ministries to carry out their work.

But he says they have cut the expenditure in such a manner that it will not affect them from doing their normal work.

He says the Ministries are carrying out the services.

Some expenditure cuts include overseas trips and workshops.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




More borrowings than expected but the government says it is necessary in response to COVID-19

By Semi Turaga, Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020

A total of $3.536 billion has been allocated in the COVID-19 Response Budget.

The Ministry of Economy says the revised total expenditure takes into account the current spending trend, reprioritisation of capital expenditures, anticipated operational savings and new COVID-19 related allocations.

Based on projected total revenue of $2.507 billion, the net deficit stands at $1.028 billion for the COVID-19 Response Budget, equivalent to 9.0% of GDP. The deficit will be financed through both domestic and external borrowings from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

By July this year, the government’s domestic debt is expected to total $4.992 billion while external debt is expected to total $1.996 billion. This will take the total debt to $6.988 billion.

The Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says, of course, they have to borrow more because of the new expenditures and the depletion in government revenue.

He says they could have very easily done a 10% salary cut for civil servants and statutory organisations and would have saved 120 million dollars or more instead of going out to borrow another 100 million dollars.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the fact of the matter is they need to keep the economy moving and they obviously have to re-finance.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Tax collections projected to be $1 billion lower than expected

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020

Overall tax collections are projected at $2.022 billion for the 2019-2020 financial year.

This is expected to be lower than the original budget by $1.058 billion, a decline of 34.4%.

Compared to the collections in the 2018-2019 financial year, tax revenue will be $797.7 million lower which is a 28.3% decline.

Major reductions are expected from VAT collections, income taxes and customs revenue.

Over $3 billion was forecast in total VAT collections in the current financial year however due to the slowdown in the economy and VAT exemptions for medical supplies, the forecast for total VAT collections in the revised budget is just over $1.9 billion.

Dividends from state-owned enterprises are expected to decrease together with lower collections from various fees, fines and charges.

This decline is compensated by the one-off $206.1 million divestment proceeds from Energy Fiji Limited.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




COVID-19 Response Budget: Tax and duty changes

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020

To assist the medical sector during the COVID-19 crisis, importation of the following items will be exempt from Import VAT:

-Hand sanitizers and antibacterial hand wash

-Gloves -Masks -Disposable hair nets -Disinfectant wipes

-Tissue papers

-Face shield

-Medical goggles and spectacles (used in the lab and medical facilities)

-Protective plastic garments for surgical and medical use

-Protective garments of textiles or rubberised textiles

-Long sleeve medical gowns

-Scanners and cameras used in medical examination

-Ethanol for companies involved in hand sanitizer production

-Disinfectants Vaccinations and Medicaments of Chapter 30 of the Customs Tariff

-Air purifier

-Boots &ndash specifically used in medical environment

-Hospital beds

-Hydrogen peroxide

-Paper bed sheets

-Thermometers and Medical equipment under Chapter 90 of the Customs Tariff.

Duty has also been zero-rated for most of these medical items to give relief to those people even buying items like hand sanitizers, masks and disinfectants.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Dr Waqainabete stresses to Nawaikula to stop lying to people, the govt did not bring COVID-19 to Fiji

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020
Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete [L-R] and SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula

Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete has stressed to SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula to stop lying to people and made it clear that the government did not bring COVID-19 to Fiji.

This is after Nawaikula repeatedly said that the government brought the virus to the country by neglect.

Infrastructure Minister Jone Usamate says the government did not bring COVID-19 to Fiji.

He told Nawaikula to stop spreading fake news.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




COVID-19 Response Budget: Tertiary Loans

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020

For students repaying Tertiary Education Loans, all repayments will be suspended until 31st December 2020, providing these working Fijians around $10 million dollars in immediate relief.




COVID-19 Response Budget: Sugar

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020

$50 million has been allocated to the Fiji Sugar Corporation for Cane Delivery Payment.

The government is in the process of acquiring FNPF and FHL’s shares in the FSC to meet the legal requirements to convert the government's debt in FSC into equity.

Fiji Rice Limited has already confirmed they will inject $1 million dollars into a rice planting scheme.

There will also be an additional $1 million allocation towards the Ministry of Agriculture to bolster Fiji’s food security.




Urgent COVID-19 Response Needed

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020
Minister for Economy

Minister for Economy and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says under the crushing weight of this pandemic, our economy is projected to contract by 4.3% this year, an optimistic projection that depends entirely on the success of Fiji and our major source markets in combating the virus.

He says COVID-19 has been present in Fiji for 1 week and the government will have no choice but to lock down Fiji if people do not follow the measures taken to contain the disease.

Sayed-Khaiyum has called on parliament to pass this budget with consensus today to assist the affected Fijians.

The Minister for Economy says Fiji can come back from this crisis better and smarter.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this virus will reshape our society and we must embrace this new reality

He says some people are blind to what is happening and the huge effects of COVID-19.

While delivering the Supplementary Budget in Parliament, Sayed-Khaiyum says this virus has paralyzed the world.

The Minister says this would be the most severe depression of our time.

Sayed-Khaiyum says for Fiji, the effects will be far worse than Cyclones Winston, Josie, Tino and Keni combined and even more.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




COVID-19 Response Budget: Donor Fund Set Up

By Vijay Narayan
Friday 27/03/2020

Sayed-Khaiyum says a COVID-19 Donor Fund has been set up. New Zealand has pledged $3 million and Australia has pledged a total of AUD $12 million.

In the wake of COVID-19, the government has had positive discussions with the Asian Development Bank to top up its previously-pledged funding of US$100 million by up to US$100 million more.

The World Bank is also offering Fiji US$5.5 million dollars from its COVID-19 facility.




COVID-19 Response Budget: Education

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020

The government will add another $20 million to the education budget to cater mainly for teachers’ salaries now that the total number of teachers working in the country has been consolidated.




COVID-19 Response Budget: Elderly Travel Allowance Reduced and to be reviewed in 3 months

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020

The Travel Allowance for the elderly reduced from $40 to $20 per month.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the government expects the younger people in the family to assist in doing errands for the elderly following this reduction.

This reduction will be reviewed in three months.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf





COVID-19 Response Budget: More Initiatives

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020

To offer serious mortgage relief for homeowners, the government will also be reducing stamp duty rates for Fiji resident taxpayers for mortgages from 1.7% to 0%.

Foreign nationals will see their mortgages’ stamp duty reduced from 5% to 0%.

A 100% write-off will also be granted for the construction of new commercial and industrial buildings, provided the appropriate approvals are obtained before the end of the calendar year.

A 100% write-off of up to $10,000 will be made available on the purchase of fixed assets for business purposes.

And to continue to build an inclusive economy through these tough times, deductions for businesses employing Fijians living with disabilities for three consecutive years will increase from 300% to 400%.

The tax deduction that businesses can claim on their first full-time employee will increase from 200% to 300%.

The tax deduction on wages paid for applicable student apprenticeships will also be increased to 300%.

A 300% tax deduction will also be offered for any donations that businesses make to the government’s COVID-19 donor fund, a trust to be utilised for any coronavirus assistance, from medical supplies to economic relief.

The Minister for Economy has also announced that tax deduction for business rental.

Landlords can reduce rent for business from $1,000 to $500 and the $500 being lost can be claimed and the government will carry the burden.

The VAT Monitoring System implementation will be deferred.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




COVID-19 Response Budget: Fuel duty to increase by 20 cents per litre

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020
Minsiter of Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The Minister of Economy has announced that the government will be raising revenue by increasing the fiscal duty by 20 cents per litre for fuel.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says thanks to a dramatic reduction in the price of fuel, Fijians will still pay lower rates of fuel than they do today.




COVID-19 Response Budget: Health and COVID-19 Response

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has also announced a $40 million top-up for the Health Ministry.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this is for more masks, ventilators, set up fever clinics, fund vital awareness campaigns and also fund emergency COVID-19 plans.

To ensure the medical sector has the specific, technical tools it needs to combat the COVID-19 crisis, the government will introduce a VAT exemption on imports for a vast range of medical supplies and equipment, effective immediately.

Sayed-Khaiyum says they are adding the $40 million to enhance the health system’s capacity to respond to this pandemic on top of the $347.5 million allocated to the health sector in this financial year.




COVID-19 Response Budget: Water and Electricity

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020

Energy Fiji Limited will now fully match the government’s existing 50% subsidy on the first 100 units of electricity for all of its subsidised customers.

This is for the households earning less than $30,000 annually.

Through July 2020, the Water Authority of Fiji has agreed to cart water to any area in Fiji impacted by water cuts regardless of expected repair time at a cost of $4.25 million, and suspend all disconnections until 31st December 2020, forgoing $28.4 million in revenue.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Relief for loan and hire purchase payments for those who have lost jobs and are on reduced hours

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 26/03/2020

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says there will be deferred loan repayments for six months for any Fijian who has lost their jobs or had their hours reduced.

Mortgages, personal loans and even hire purchase payment plans from stores like Courts, Carpenters and others all qualify.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




20% pay-cut for all MPs for the next 6 months

By Vijay Narayan, Naveel Krishant
Thursday 26/03/2020

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced a pay cut of 20% for the Prime Minister, Ministers and parliamentarians for the next 6 months.

Sayed-Khaiyum says this shows they are leading by example.

This will total $400,000.

He also says, for the time being, they won’t be mandating salary cuts across the civil service, nor their statutory bodies or government-owned companies.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Government will pay 21 days Sick Leave for people earning less than $30,000 if they test positive for COVID-19

By Vijay Narayan, Naveel Krishant
Thursday 26/03/2020
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Minister for Economy and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the government will pay 21 days Sick Leave for people earning less than $30,000 if they test positive with COVID-19.

A 300% tax deduction will also be allowed to employers for wages/ salary paid to employees who are self-quarantined and approved by Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Relief for affected workers coming through FNPF or the government

By Vijay Narayan, Naveel Krishant
Thursday 26/03/2020

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says from today, once the budget gets passed, Fijian workers in the hospitality sector who have lost their jobs or have reduced hours since 1st February 2020, can, for now, access an initial $1,000 from the FNPF if they have the funds in their account.

Sayed-Khaiyum says if they do not have that amount, the government will subsidise the difference.

All those employees affected by the nationwide physical distancing requirements, along with employees in the Lautoka confined area who have been placed on leave without pay or had their hours cut, will be able to access an initial $500 dollars from FNPF.

If they do not have enough funds the government will subsidise the amount.

Fijians in the informal sector who are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 will be paid a one-off sum of $1,000.

Furthermore, for those affected in the informal sector in the lockdown areas, the government will also be providing a one-off relief payment of $150 for all those who have a street trader or hawker license.

The Minister says all FNPF employees contributions will reduce from 8% to 5%.

This will be from 1st April to 31st December 2020.

This is expected to put $80 million in the pockets of employees.

Employers’ FNPF contributions will reduce from 10% to 5% from 1st April to 31st December.

Sayed-Khaiyum says over the next nine months, this will keep $130 million in their accounts.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Some people are blind to what is happening with the huge effects of COVID-19 - AG

By Vijay Narayan, Naveel Krishant
Thursday 26/03/2020
The Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says some people are blind to what is happening and the huge effects of COVID-19.

While delivering the Supplementary Budget in Parliament tonight Sayed-Khaiyum says this virus has paralyzed the world.

The Minister says this would be the most severe depression of our times.

Sayed-Khaiyum says for Fiji, the effects will be far worse than Cyclones Winston, Josie, Tino and Keni combined and even more

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




When 2019/2020 budget was done no one predicted that we would have COVID-19 - Waqainabete

By Vijay Narayan, Naveel Krishant
Thursday 26/03/2020
Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete and SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula

Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete says that when the 2019/2020 budget was done, no one predicted that we would have COVID-19 as SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula attacked Dr. Waqainabete by saying that the Minister did not do anything to address COVID-19.

Dr.Waqainabete says if they knew they would have put aside appropriations.

Dr. Waqainabete says that this was unacceptable as the sons and daughters of this country have been working on this for the last 5 months. He says this is despicable.

Meanwhile, Nawaikula says you cannot just table the Supplementary Budget and expect to debate and pass the budget tomorrow.

Nawaikula says the government is trying to suspend several Standing Orders to push through the Supplementary Budget.

Nawaikula also attacked Health Minister, Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete saying that he has done nothing for COVID-19.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf




Close to 25,000 people have lost their jobs in the tourism sector and they need to be assisted urgently - AG

By Vijay Narayan, Naveel Krishant
Thursday 26/03/2020
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has revealed in Parliament that close to 25,000 people have lost their jobs in the tourism sector and they need to be urgently assisted by government and access funds from their FNPF if they have enough funds.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the government is using the law to urgently assist the people who have lost their jobs.

He says the reality of the matter is that we have a dire situation on our hands.

Sayed-Khaiyum adds they do not want the dilly-dallying like the opposition is doing.

He revealed that the government will make available $60 million to those people who have lost their jobs already.

Sayed-Khaiyum says we need to take action now.

He adds that the Budget Book is available and they should debate it today.

The Minister for Economy says if the opposition feels 3 hours is not enough then they can debate it for 7 hours.

He says they are here to do a job and parliament is a workplace.

NFP MP Pio Tikoduadua had also opposed the motion for 1 day debate today saying his leader, Professor Biman Prasad has been saying that the economy is coming to a grinding halt. He asked where is the boom.

Tikoduadua says 3 hours of debate for the Supplementary Budget is not good enough.

Leader of the Government in the House, Inia Seruiratu says parliament can be debating all of next week but every day counts.

Seruiratu says Italy had 5 COVID-19 cases on February 23rd.

He says a month later they have 60,000 cases.

Seruiratu says we need to take immediate action.

COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ESTIMATE 2019-2020
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ESTIMATE-2019-2020.pdf

ECONOMIC AND FISCAL UPDATE SUPPLEMENT TO THE COVID-19 RESPONSE BUDGET ADDRESS
http://www.parliament.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SUPPLEMENT-TO-THE-COVID-19-RESPONSE-BUDGET-ADDRESS.pdf



AG to present COVID-19 supplementary budget to parliament at 7:30pm today

By Naveel Krishant, Semi Turaga
Thursday 26/03/2020
Minister for Economy and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Attorney General and the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will present a COVID-19 Supplementary Budget to parliament at 7.30 tonight.

Sayed-Khaiyum says they are introducing a COVID-19 Budget Response to offer relief to Fijian families, bolster businesses, protect workers, and fund life-saving containment efforts.

He says they haven’t a moment to spare.

Sayed-Khaiyum had earlier said that we cannot risk waiting until the close of the financial year to re-evaluate government spending priorities and take stock of government revenue streams.

Sayed-Khaiyum had said there are key expenditures that must be made to ensure the protection and continuation of the Fijian way of life, that includes our people’s health, their jobs, their businesses and their food security.

The Minister added that the economy remains under prudent and responsible management and the government will not hesitate to make tough decisions with a view towards long-term economic prospects.

He had said rest assured, the government will be leveraging every channel of growth at its disposal to keep the economy prosperous, keep Fijians employed, and keep businesses afloat, all while putting people’s well being first.

Stay with us for the latest from the supplementary budget announcement tonight on Fijivillage.



Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Fiji's approach to deal with effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic
As Fiji battles against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and organisations have come forward to lend a helping ...
35 days ago

Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold
As Tropical Cyclone Harold hit Fiji mainly causing destruction to Kadavu and the Lau Group, we give you an in-depth report on stories of the build-up ...
54 days ago

COVID-19 Response Budget
Attorney General and the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum presented the COVID-19 Supplementary Budget to parliament at 7.30 on Wednesday ...
69 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Applications under government’s new concessional business loan initiative to be handed in between 8th to 30th June
The government has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fiji Institute of Accountants, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Fiji Revenue...
4 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
$20,000 donated by Macao-based Chinese company to COVID-19 Relief Fund
$20,000 has been donated by Macao-based Chinese company David Group and its charity arm, Soi Ian Charity Association to the COVID-19 Relief ...
17 minutes ago

Central Division tsunami siren test from 10am-11am tomorrow
A live tsunami siren test will be conducted in the Central Division from 10am to 11am tomorrow by the National Disaster Management Office in ...
29 minutes ago

20 new job opportunities to be created as businessman intends to build a new supermarket in Rakiraki
Rakiraki businessman George Shiu Raj says they are intending to build a supermarket in Rakiraki Town at the site where his buildings were destroyed ...
30 minutes ago

US to ban passenger flights from China from 17 June
The US is to ban passenger flights from China from 17 June, in the latest sign of tensions between the two economic giants. BBC News reports that the ...
2 hours ago

Villagers of Waito in Tailevu expected to get secured employment at Waito Farms Pte Limited
Good news for villagers of Waito Village in Tailevu as they can expect secured employment after the Agricultural Marketing Authority of Fiji ...
2 hours ago

TOP