Acting Prime Minister and the Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says they want to be open about the national budget and are saying they will raise tax but are still deciding by how much it will be raised.
While speaking during a budget consultation session at the Lautoka City Council hall, Professor Prasad says the budget they want to formulate will rest on three fundamental principles where they want to have a fiscal consolidation strategy, revenue policies and ways to look after the people.
He says they want to ensure they have a fine balance where they do not only collect enough revenue but spend enough as well.
Professor Prasad says the Macro-Economic Committee has just revised the GDP growth forecast from 6.3 percent to a conservative 8 percent which means it can be higher than that.
He says this is coming from a very strong rebound in tourism numbers where forward bookings show we are almost achieving 100 percent recovery.
The Acting Prime Minister says remittances are strong where more than $300 million has come in the first quarter of the year and when extrapolated in the next three quarters, they expect about $1.3 billion in remittances.
He says this is driving buoyancy within the consumption side of the economy.
Professor Prasad says there is also a sense of confidence in the investors and amongst the people and they are also expecting big announcements by some international investors as well.
He says there is also a strong desire from international partners which they feel was not there before to look at Fiji as a country that provides strategic position as part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Professor Prasad says the government wants to ensure that they provide the right environment and are looking at how to improve the ease of doing business - whether it has to do with town councils, Department of Town and Country Planning or TLTB.
He says they now have an Investment Facilitation Committee chaired by the Ministry of Trade and Investment to ensure a conducive environment is provided to the investors.
The Deputy Prime Minister adds they are not bringing back stamp duty as yet but might consider it the following year.
The 2023-2024 National Budget will be delivered on the 30th of this month.
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