She says it will help government in terms of long term servicing of debt. A key focus of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is to remodel health care service provision so as to maintain readiness to be able to contain future threats from the pandemic whilst ensuring better coverage and quality. This has been confirmed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening of the Nakasi Fire Station. Kumar says they are looking at corridor studies like zoning McGregor Road in Suva, Kennedy Avenue in Nadi and Sunset Point in Korotogo, Sigatoka completely as commercial. All those receiving the state welfare assistance in the Poverty Benefit and Care and Protection schemes are also getting $50 food vouchers for approved basic food items. Lal says the budget has taken into account the interests of the wide range of stakeholders and sets the right strategies towards our road to recovery from the catastrophic effects of COVID-19. Sayed-Khaiyum adds the Savusavu Chamber of Commerce will work alongside town administrators to integrate the model’s various environmental safeguards. He says at the same time, the Prime Minister, who is the Sugar Minister received an average of $3,000 per day as overseas travelling allowance in 2019. FIA President Nitesh Lal says this is such a courageous budget. He says this means people still are being forced to pay 41% in taxes in the form of 32% duty plus 9% VAT. The NFP Leader says the government’s expectation that this reduction would raise consumption demand and increase VAT revenue may be misplaced and unrealistic. The Attorney General has announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget that as New Zealand’s success against the virus has them on the fast track to COVID-Contained status, Fiji will soon drop any quarantine requirement for New Zealand-based travellers. Akbar says she is also happy for the 13,000 plus teachers who will not be subjected to any pay cuts. As the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget that customs duty on 1,600 items and fiscal duty has been reduced to … While speaking in the National Budget Consultation in the western division, Viljoen says they aim to bring 300,000 people to Fiji for the duration of the Bula Bubble, once the date is confirmed. He said he wanted to hear from the people on their ideas of moving forward, considering the challenges they encountered. WAF CEO Barry Omundson says border restrictions due to COVID-19 has slowed them down at the moment. Government has allocated $60 million for the Fiji Recovery Rebate Package in the 2020/2021 National Budget where through Fiji Airways, the government will give the first 150,000 visitors $400 each to go towards packages including flights, accommodation and Food and Beverages. [image: File], President of the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nur Bano Ali, Fiji Retailers Association President Vinay Kumar, Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Tourism, Trade and Transport, Shaheen Ali. The budget for OPM in 2019-2020 is $17.6 million, comprising $12.7 millionfor operating expenditure, $4.4 millionfor capital expenditure and VAT of $0.5 million. Sayed-Khaiyum says they are offering a deal for the construction of new private hospitals and medical service centres. Prasad adds that he would have preferred a bigger allocation for the Ministry of Health to ensure that our health services are up to par. Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar has assured the community of Wakanisila that they are close to finalising the details for the development of their community under the informal settlements initiative. $7.6 million has been allocated for a community programme to improve the quality of roads and enhance pedestrian safety through the construction of footpaths. The 2020/2021 National Budget address will be delivered by the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at 7.30pm tonight. Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission CEO, Joel Abraham says they have already started work to ensure that duty and tax reductions announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget are passed down to the consumers. The Water Authority of Fiji is waiting for the arrival of 22 generators from overseas that will be installed at certain treatment plants and pumping stations to ensure that they are able to continue to supply water when power outages occur. He had mentioned that for the rest of the civil service, even given the historic pay rises through recent years, they aren’t cutting salaries adding pay cuts started with the leadership, and that’s where the biggest cuts have stopped, because that’s what leaders do. [image: Fijian Govt], Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. The Governor says in preparation for the COVID-19 Response Budget in February this year, the RBF’s estimate for 2019 growth was downgraded further to 0.5%. Budget Highlights. $6 million has been allocated for reform and restructure of the Fiji Police Force. The Authority was allocated $25.2 million in the current budget to improve water distribution systems. National Sports Commission Chairman Peter Mazey says most of their allocation will be for grants to sporting bodies and they hope their request for an allocation for the development of local sports offices is approved. Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho says with the regularization of more Special Constables in the next financial year, he expects to see the services to pick up in many folds. This program which got funding of 23.7 million dollars in this financial year assists Fijians with an annual income below $20,000. He says to keep things simple for the “telcos” and support the longstanding commitment to streamline the sector’s regulations, the data levy introduced last year and the telecommunications service licensing fee have been replaced with a single 2 per cent revenue-based telecommunications licence fee. She says if government is supporting families to put food on the table, they know that there are ratepayers that are facing difficulties and they may not be able to pay rates. FY2020 Budget. The 2020-2021 Budget builds on key measures introduced in the COVID-19 Response Budget to support economic recovery, rejuvenate private sector activity, protect jobs, Salary increments for teachers who obtain new qualifications will now be approved and paid in the next financial year. The Ministry for Economy says targeted spending is necessary to stimulate economic activity and fund essential COVID-19 measures. It aims to rehabilitate roads, bridges and jetties to achieve climate-resilient transport infrastructure, more efficient project management support and effective institutional management. For TELS, the government has made some policy changes to raise the qualifying standards for students and lower costs. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Attorney-General and Minister for Economy INTRODUCTION 1. Customers only have to pay the VAT component and normal domestic tariff rate applies for any additional units consumed over 100 units. Kumar adds consumer spending has become very scarce in the last 3 or 4 months as people have been spending their money on essential items only. The survey has recommended a roadmap for the recovery of the tourism industry, training for tourism workers for the “new normal”, diversified marketing campaigns and more business support with particular focus on small and micro-businesses. 27,913 households have benefited from Government’s free water initiative, which will continue to expand in this financial year. Office of the Prime Minister 2019-2020 Budget. For car loans, there will be six months principal and interest holiday. He says later, when the Macroeconomic Technical Committee met in April and May in preparation for the 2020-21 National Budget, the estimate for 2019 was further downgraded to -1.3% as the Committee now had access to actual 2019 production data for most of the sectors including government accounts. Economic Indicators for Fiji including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Fiji economy. 1Source: 2020/2021 Budget Supplement: Fiscal Year Nominal GDP, Page 141. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was speaking during his first nationwide budget consultations at the Sai Hall, Sigatoka, and Civic Centre in Nadi yesterday. Sayed-Khaiyum says they have allocated funds for the construction of new modernised Police Stations in Nakasi, Nalawa, Nadi and Lautoka. Those pay rises will be backdated. She says businesses are looking at reducing costs and they are in survival mode. He says for grid extension projects, EFL will consider –– on a case-by-case basis –– payment schedules up to six months or more for large capital investments. Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation President, Sandeep Chauhan, National Sports Commission Chairman Peter Mazey. While speaking in the 2020/2021 National Budget consultation in Lautoka, Sayed-Khaiyum says the government could be looking at incentives for those hotels and resorts who will look at offering attractive tourist packages with Fiji Airways. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced a number of tax and duty reductions in the 2020/2021 National Budget last night. The government says the massive reduction in taxes announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget is expected to stimulate business and consumption activity. With the tourism sector feeling the full brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the country’s major revenue and employment source, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was a need for assistance to help sustain those affected. FNPF will also allow withdrawals for those who have been unemployed for more than 6 months and who could not withdraw before. With this allocation they have other projects like completion of the three year reseals contract with a total of approximately 220km of infrastructure resealed over the three years. They are significantly slicing their rates,” he said. Lal further says it is apparent that the government has been uninhibited in relation to the budget deficit and public debt, which were primary considerations when formulating national budgets in past years. Chaudhry is questioning as to why grants to FBC has not been suspended when the government promptly suspends grants to schools if their accounts are not submitted when due. Ali says because the National Budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 was delayed to July, the Macroeconomic Committee met in early July instead of the usual May or early June. In 2019, Fiji imported $42.6m worth of rice. He adds farmers who face financial difficulties in loan repayments due to the first three payments of $70 per tonne can always approach the Ministry. The NFP Leader says one wonders if this is to do with the long-term protection given to a local company. For TELS, 130 new awards for MBBS, oral and dental, and 10 new awards for the Pilot Training Programme will be suspended. The TELS qualifying marks based on Year 13 results has been raised from 200 to 250. Mazey says the Sports Commission understands what the government is going through. Meanwhile, 25,467 families are currently being assisted under the Poverty Benefit Scheme. How do we travel? He says these innovative approaches can help capture massive market and investment opportunities. Sayed-Khaiyum says duties on goods are significantly reasonable at the moment and there have been concerns raised in the past where the reduction of duties have not been passed on to the consumers. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will deliver the National Budget address at 7.30pm on Friday 17th July. Fiji Airways CEO and Managing Director, Andre Viljoen says to get maximum number of tourists during the Bula Bubble, the airline company is looking at reducing the airfare from Australia to Fiji from AUD$654 to AUD$450. 2020-2024 Budget Book 2 - Ministries & Agencies Business Plans The CEO says WAF’s board has approved their new 5 year strategic plan that will see them focus on their existing plans and a long list of things that needs to be done and repaired. As part of the project, a new 40 megalitre treatment plant in Viria, Rewa and intake pumping station and 10 megalitre Waitolu reservoir and bulk water mains is expected to be completed in the next financial year. The government has allocated around $100 million funding support for the unemployment assistance scheme. $17.9 million was allocated towards the rural electrification projects in the 2019/2020 National Budget of which $12.5 million will be used for Grid Extension Program. IFC Country Representative for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Tuvalu, Deva De Silva says the survey has provided a glimpse of the impact of the pandemic on Fijian businesses, this is critical to the Fijian government and its partners in formulating a strategic response to the impacts of COVID-19. As the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget that customs duty on 1,600 items and fiscal duty has been reduced to 5% and import excise tax on a range of white goods have been eliminated, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission says they will ensure that the benefits of this reduction will be passed down to the consumers. Ali says so far this year all the indicators are negative, sectoral performances are all weak, consumption is down and private sector growth is significantly low. It is this Committee that confirms and releases the forecast and provisional GDP, exports, imports and balance of payments estimates for Fiji. He has announced that they will also continue supporting micro, small and medium enterprises through their highly-concessionary loan packages. Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced in his 2020/2021 National budget speech that for two straight seasons, government paid cane growers $85 per tonne but in the final third season of the arrangement, they will be reducing the guaranteed price for cane from $85 to $70. Paradise Beverages Limited has also released a price list of its products reflecting the reductions. This was on top of the 349.8 million dollars allocated to the health sector in the 2019/2020 financial year. It says this will create new employment opportunities and absorb workers that have been laid-off during the pandemic. He says it does not do any good for an economy on life support which the government hopes to revive through consumption spending for some individuals to be hoarding money. 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