People can now easily understand whatever is announced in the 2023/2024 National Budget after the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad launched the Citizen Guide to the National Budget booklet at the Civic Centre.
The booklet outlines the Government’s estimated revenue and expenditures for the 2023/2024 financial year and also serves as a blueprint for the Government’s financial activities, including its priorities, policies and medium-term economic and fiscal goals.
While launching the booklet, Professor Prasad says today marks a significant milestone in the coalition government's journey towards transparency and accountability, good governance and improving citizen engagement and empowerment in public management generally.
Professor Prasad says the launch of the citizen budget booklet is just the beginning and it is a collective responsibility for its widespread accessibility, making sure all citizens are well informed.
He says our journey towards a more transparent and inclusive society is to embrace this opportunity to familiarise yourselves with the citizen budget booklet and get others to do the same and actively engage in the budget process.
He says that together we can build a future where budget decisions are made collectively and where the power of democracy truly rests in the hands of the people.
Fiji Council of Social Services Executive Director Vani Catanasiga says this document is very simple and it is a clear demonstration of governance intention for inclusive governance, democracy and transparency.
She says it is a clear sign this government are serious about rebuilding trust, as it is a small step towards a journey that we should embark on as a country as we seek to rebuild democracy and enabling space for the participation of the citizens of this country.
Citizen Constitution Forum, Policy and Research Officer Lusia Lagilevu say they hope that more collaboration with the government will bring forth much more progress in terms of public participation through democratic processes.
She says they look forward to working with the Finance Ministry in strengthening public participation and also hope this booklet will be translated into other languages known in the country.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor for the Reserve of Bank Fiji Esala Masitabua thanked the team for putting the citizen budget together as they look forward to the prosperity of the country, making sure there are more winners than losers.
USP Head of Journalism Salendra Singh says this citizen budget booklet is very well laid out and well explained.
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