The Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar has confirmed that they have not made any new submissions for capital projects in the 2020-2021 National Budget, but they have requested for funds to continue with the First Home Buyers Grant, First Land Purchases Grant and Social Housing Grant.
She says under the Social Housing Grant they subsidize rent for Public Rental Board and Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) tenants.
Kumar says they have also asked for funds in the completion of Koroipita in Lautoka so that homes are provided for underprivileged people in the community.
She says they will continue with the formalization of informal settlements like Sakoca in Nasinu, Tore and Field 4 in Lautoka.
Kumar says three informal settlements should be ready by the end of this year which includes Waidamudamu, Cuvu and Ledrusasa where they will be given 99 year leases.
She says it is better for them to complete the existing projects rather than asking for more.
$2 million was allocated in the 2019-2020 National Budget to upgrade informal settlements.
Kumar says over 520 people have been assisted through the First Home Buyers Grant, First Land Purchases Grant with over $5.3 million.
She says in this time when a country goes through a recession, as a Ministry they need to focus on planning, change in policies and reviewing procedures so that they can streamline the system and reduce any wastage if there is any.
Kumar says if they fix their policies and procedures they will minimize corrupt practices.
She says there should be checks and balances in place, like who decides on who should be the new tenant.
Kumar says the ministries’ budget is expected to decrease depending on what the focus of the budget would be.
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