Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says the report by the ANZ Bank that the inflation will be 13 percent this year is wrong.
While responding to FijiFirst MP Jone Usamate about the mitigation on the ANZ report prediction, Professor Prasad says ANZ should be very careful while making such wild projections because the methodology they used is based on the gross value added of the retail sector.
He says for their mitigation, the government allocated $50 million and paid $200 each to 227,000 students for back to school, they did not raise VAT on 22 food items and added basic medicine, they increased social welfare allowance, sugarcane farmers got higher prices, the government did not touch the income tax threshold and they also wrote off the burden of paying the TELS debt by students as soon as the government was formed.
Professor Prasad says this is a government that is concerned and aware, and has put in the appropriate mitigation measures.
He also says if the need arises, they will put more measures.
When questioned by Usamate on clarification of the inflation level based on the official Consumer Price Index, Professor Prasad says the official average inflation released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics in 2022 stood at 4.2 percent while the year-end inflation stood at 3.1 percent in December 2022.
He says the average inflation from January to October is around 1.7 percent while the recent year inflation for October 2023 stood at 4 percent.
Professor Prasad says the current 4.0 inflation rate in October 2023 means that consumer prices are 4 percent higher compared to a year ago in October 2022.
He says inflation is measured by the Consumer Price Index based on a representative basket of goods and services purchased by the consumer with different weights.
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