The plan is that TELS will go in the new budget – Deputy PM Gavoka

The plan is that TELS will go in the new budget – Deputy PM Gavoka

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 22/03/2023
Deputy Prime Minister and SODELPA Leader, Viliame Gavoka

The Tertiary Loans and Scholarship Scheme or TELS will go in the new budget that starts in August this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Viliame Gavoka says that has been SODELPA’s understanding all along as it was also part of the coalition government’s agreement.

Gavoka made it clear to fijivillage News that the work on the policies are underway with the relevant ministries.

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka had said in January that the current arrangement on TELS will continue for Semester 1 this year.

Rabuka says more time has been given to the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and the Solicitor General’s Office to thoroughly consider the legal and financial implications of suspending the existing student loan repayments, writing off all outstanding students debts owed to the Government and to bring the necessary legislation and policy amendments back to cabinet.

The coalition government has announced that all TELS repayments are now put on hold.

In February this year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad said they are finalising the legal amendments required to forgive over $610 million in TELS debt.

He said this will lift off this huge burden from thousands of families and graduates who can now use the money otherwise used for TELS repayment to support themselves and the livelihoods of their families. Professor Prasad also clarified that apart from this, they are considering other measures that will be announced in the upcoming budget.

One of SODELPA’s manifesto promises was that the TELS loans will be forgiven and tertiary education will be made free as long as students have an acceptance letter from the education institute.

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