Abraham stresses that they will do fair assessments for the businesses and consumers. 12/21/2020 National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says he is disappointed with the allocation made to agriculture, social welfare and fisheries in the 2020/2021 National Budget. Sayed-Khaiyum says they will continue to balance the health risks and ensure that we have pathways for economic recovery. Kumar says the Lautoka swimming pool project is being reviewed after a preliminary investigation was conducted. Fijivillage spoke to a number of people this afternoon, who shared their opinions on the budget. The seeds will be provided following a signed commitment by the village Turaga-ni-Koro and the amount of rice seed to be provided will be equivalent to the population size of the village. When asked if Fiji Airways will time themselves to recommence at the same time, Sayed-Khaiyum says a lot of it depends on how New Zealand treats their returning citizens. Minam highlighted this when asked what is his prediction for interest rates in Fiji in the next three years at the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation Symposium. A lot of people are unemployed,” he said. It has also been announced that the Parenthood Assistance Programme has been temporarily put on hold pending further review, and the guaranteed cane price for sugar has been reduced from $85 to $70 per tonne. The CEO says the operators in the tourism and the hotel sector are still trying to look after their workers on reduced hours or leave without pay however this cannot be sustainable for a long period of time. Senior Budget Analyst (Economic Services Sector) CLOSED ... Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Ministry of Economy, Fiji posts news and promotions. 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. He also claims that the $60 million provided under the Recovery Rebate Package is a contrived method of channeling fresh funds to the debt ridden Fiji Airways. Lockington says this is like icing on the cake as they had not expected that. BSP Fiji says for business customers, there will be principal and interest holidays for up to six months. He say they will also look at the Women’s 15s Rugby World Cup which Fiji qualified for last year. He says this is their priority, not to use their hard-earned money to purchase white goods and luxury items in abundance. Tropical Cyclone Yasa Lifted House With Man Inside, Tragic Nadi Accident Lands Seven In Hospital, HMAS Adelaide On Way Here As Part of Australia's $4.5m Humanitarian Mission, HMAS Adelaide On Way Here As Part of Australia’s $4.5m Humanitarian Mission, 7,000 Ration Packs Ready For Eastern Division, Man Charged With Attempt To Kill His Mother Granted Bail, Best Christmas Gift For 30K Tattslotto Winner And Sick Mum, Bus Checker Turned Corrections Recruit- My Success Journey, Volotu’s Family To Hold His Memorial On Christmas. The Government subsidizes the remaining 48%. $0.7 million is allocated to complete the feasibility study and detailed design of Labasa bypass road - Stage 1 and 2. In addition, for new, non-hybrid cars they are reducing fiscal duty from 15 per cent to 5 per cent. Karan says he thinks the Economy Minister did not have time to explain in detail the methodology of the payments in his budget speech. Chauhan also calls on people to support local businesses as we all need each other to see these days out. Fijian Government's Digital Transformation Programme. The Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov signed six investment certificates under the Investment Promotion Act (IPA) with a total value of over BGN 110 million, which are expected to create nearly 600 new jobs. 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. A 150 percent tax deduction has been announced for hotels to hire local entertainers. 45,954 senior citizens who are 65 years and above with no source of income are being assisted under the Social Pension Scheme. Obviously your expenditure needs to come down too. Chauhan says he also agrees with the tourism and hotel sector that the Service Turnover Tax and Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy should be temporarily reduced to make our hotel packages more attractive. He says Government has made $100 million available to make sure every unemployed Fijian is able to access their full relief payments. Speaking to Fijivillage after the Budget Address, Rabuka says the main purpose of the budget is recovery and we will have to wait and see how much of the recovery can be made from the budget. This financing is provided on concessional terms under the Small Islands Economies Exception with 0% interest, a 10-year grace period and 40 years maturity. The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has been allocated $159.0 million in the 2020-2021 National Budget. Chaudhry has labeled the reduction a gross breach of trust adding that the government has reneged on a promise it made to the farmers during the 2018 general election campaign to pay a guaranteed cane price of $85 a tonne for the next three years (2019-2021). He says inflation is now -3.5 percent and one of the major contributors of this is the price of kava while the other factor is oil prices. Meanwhile, as the 2020, cane crushing is underway, the three mills crushed 182,545 tonnes of cane as at 13th July 2020. The CEO of Fiji Hotels and Tourism Association, Fantasha Lockington says they are delighted the Government has delivered by providing relief for both import and excise duties and tax surcharge. Meanwhile, the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said that those people who genuinely cannot afford to pay their water bills would have payments deferred rather than be disconnected until the 31st of March next year. The Force is expanding the reach of its services and aims to improve response time through the procurement of new specialised equipment, including communication equipment, IT equipment, forensic science tools, police boats and traffic management equipment. Weekly Media Schedules. 21. 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. They will get $15,000 if they buy their first home. He adds they will be lowering the bus fare for pensioners by ten dollars a month given the low usage they have recorded and a general COVID-associated drop in travel. Economic Indicators for Fiji including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Fiji economy. Fringe benefits by employers will be VAT exempt. The Fiji Trades Union Congress says they would like to see VAT to be exempted from basic food items in the National Budget announcement tomorrow night. The Fiji COVID-19 Business Survey: Tourism Focus received responses from over 3,500 businesses, including 620 tourism businesses. Prasad says basic food items like rice, flour, tea, garlic and onions as well medicine was already duty-free but people will still have the burden of paying 9% VAT on them. 2020-2024 Budget - Budget Breakfast Presentation. 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. This will see the continuation of free education and bus fare subsidy. The Ministry of Agriculture is allocated $65.3 million in the 2020/2021 budget while in the last financial year, an allocation of $78.7 million was made. He says if you build or upgrade a hospital, depending on your level of investment, you can be granted up to a 20-year tax holiday on your new hospital or up to a 60% tax deduction on your renovation works. Referencing New Zealand’s resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji was taking a measured approach, but at the same time allowing the economic activity. Prasad says at the same time the 32% duty on milk and butter have not been reduced. He adds the budget has also not increased allocations to grow the primary sectors of the economy like agriculture, as many expected. Government is expected to fork out $20.83 per tonne to meet the guaranteed cane price of $85 per tonne as the forecast price for a tonne of sugar for the 2020 Crushing Season is expected to be $64.17. Or break-even.”. Sayed-Khaiyum says there will be no pay cuts for other civil servants. Sayed-Khaiyum says it is important they target resources on families facing the most severe hit to their finances rather than more broadly-focussed assistance payments. Mazey says 26 sporting bodies have handed in their submission for grants and as of this year, all the sporting bodies who requested for funding have received it. This program which got funding of 23.7 million dollars in this financial year assists Fijians with an annual income below $20,000. Individuals and businesses can do so from today through 8 January 2021. Koya says the industry stakeholders need to look at that and say that the government has done its part and its now for us to do our part. He says businesses need to keep their costs down but one of the major issues they are facing now is the rent they are being charged and interest rates charged by banks on business loans. You can check out the full list of items and duty and tax deductions on our website, fijivillage. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Hon. 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. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum confirms that they have made allocations with respect to social protection programs like the Poverty Benefit Scheme with the anticipation that more people will fall through the cracks and will need that assistance due to the economic impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister for Economy says there are no plans to do that. Singh says there is also an urgent need for more classrooms in some schools as some classrooms are highly populated and these classes need to be split for better education. He adds that everybody knew the economy was down last year and the government knew it because its revenue collections were one-quarter off the National Budget. She says under the Social Housing Grant they subsidize rent for Public Rental Board and Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) tenants. Through Fiji Airways, the Fijian Government will give the first 150,000 visitors $400 each to go towards packages including flights, accommodation and Food and Beverages. There is no confirmation on pay cuts for civil servants. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Around $30 million is allocated for the small and medium business loan programme in the next financial year. The Macroeconomic Committee is made up of Heads and senior representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Fiji Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport, Office of the Prime Minister, Investment Fiji, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service and is chaired by the Governor of the RBF. He says they will continue to look into it in terms of the cost of funds and as and when the cost of funds come down. The government is currently spending more than $105 million a year to assist Fijians through various programs. Sayed-Khaiyum adds the Savusavu Chamber of Commerce will work alongside town administrators to integrate the model’s various environmental safeguards. 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. He says the $15 per tonne shortfall of the first three cane payments will be made up in the fourth and final wash-up cane payment in October 2021, which falls in the next financial year, with the government paying the remaining balance. Meanwhile, 33,000 families have received the seed packages from the Agriculture Ministry’s Farming Response for Backyard Gardening Package. 52,640 people are being assisted under the Bus Fare Concession Program where senior citizens aged 60 years and above and disabled persons receive a $40 top up per month. Ali also reveals that more than 7,000 applications have been received for concessional loans for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises that the government had put out. He says there is more reason for this to be done because of the close relationship of the Attorney General with the CEO of FBC. The Institute says they look forward to working with relevant stakeholders and assisting where required to make our road to recovery from the economic effects of COVID-19 a smoother transition. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji’s target markets were Australia and New Zealand under the Bula Bubble. She says the Lautoka City Council should be finalizing the scope of work soon. Customers only have to pay the VAT component and normal domestic tariff rate applies for any additional units consumed over 100 units. Waqainabete says they understand that there will be more vulnerable people that will need to be assisted due to the current circumstances. The government has allocated around $100 million funding support for the unemployment assistance scheme. The best prices are expected to be determined by competition, location of the retailers, size of the businesses and the costs associated with it and the mark up percentages. Fijivillage has received information that the Fiji Rugby Union had submitted that they wanted $1.7 million to focus on the preparation for the Men’s and Women's 7s teams to the Olympic Games next year. Strong emphasis is now on reviving key sectors of the economy through promotion of production oriented investment and productivity, without losing focus on fiscal responsibility. Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says New Zealand still has a few timelines to meet before Fiji drops quarantine requirements for NZ tourists. Welcome to Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget. The 2020/2021 National Budget has received a lot of positive response from members of the public who believe that budget has eased their burden especially with the tax reductions and other incentives announced. Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they are mulling over the proposals that have been put forward to reduce taxes and duties in the tourism sector and in other areas however he says the concerns remain on whether any reductions will result in changes to the pricing structure in the hotel industry. In addition to this, government is also expected to continue providing initiatives to increase rice farming where the Ministry of Agriculture is already providing rice seeds up to 30kg (for 1-acre farms) to every sugarcane farmer. Kumar says the government has presented a smart National Budget to soften the impact and create the conditions for a strong recovery. We are proud to serve the state by providing quality information and consultative services to decision makers and other stakeholders in the state. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced a number of tax and duty reductions in the 2020/2021 National Budget last night. Fiji 2020 Agriculture Sector Policy Agenda FOREWORD The agricultural sector plays an important role in Fiji’s economy. 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. $4.8 million has been allocated to improve water distribution systems. Government is providing $24.5 million to further improve water treatment quality; $1.5 million for the replacement of water meters; $2.6 million for non-revenue water; $7.3 million for the upgrade of wastewater treatment plants; and $4.5 million to upgrade the wastewater distribution system to ensure that Fijians within urban centres are connected to the wastewater reticulation system. He adds half of a percent of that new, simplified fee will go into an existing trust fund set aside for the continued development of Fiji’s telecommunications industry, allowing Fiji to further cement its standing as the ICT hub of the Pacific. 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. 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. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum confirmed that 24,000 people had downloaded the app. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had announced in the 2019-2020 National Budget that to further support Fijian cane farmers, Government will provide a guaranteed price of $85 per tonne for the next two years, ensuring continued confidence and peace of mind in the industry. The World Bank’s US$7.4m commitment to Fiji is being delivered through a US$6.4m dedicated emergency health project through the International Development Association. The first round of forecasting is undertaken just before the release of the National Budget around May or June and the second round is done around October. The Ministry for Economy has said that keeping the economy afloat and supporting businesses and those that are unemployed is critical for immediate relief and long-term economic recovery. When questioned by Legend FM News, FBC CEO Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says all external audit reports up to the financial year ending 31st December 2019 have been submitted to the Ministry of Economy and the Department of Public Enterprises. According to the 2020/2021 National Budget, any sponsor which donates to a Fiji National Sports Commission recognised entity will receive a 150% tax deduction, with no threshold. You can also follow live coverage of the speech, live updates, detailed analysis and budget responses on our website, fijivillage tonight. Ali says they have submitted that ECAL should be looked at with a lot of business interest at heart and they hope the focus of the 2020/2021 National Budget will be to reduce the cost of the businesses. BSP Fiji says for personal loans, there will be six months' principal and interest holiday. Ali adds that government will need to support businesses as without businesses there will be no economy. He says Fiji’s economy is now being reset. The NFP Leader says the government’s expectation that this reduction would raise consumption demand and increase VAT revenue may be misplaced and unrealistic. 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. In March, BSP Fiji announced that to assist customers impacted by COVID-19, they will be providing relief packages on a case by case basis. According to the 2020/2021 National Budget Supplement, a sum of $1.5 million has been allocated to assist the private sector with the development costs associated with large construction projects. $33 million was utilized to make up for the $85 guaranteed price for the 2018 sugarcane season. While responding, the Attorney General has also revealed that the country’s Debt to Gross Domestic Product Ratio is expected to go higher than 60 percent as government revenue is not as strong as it used to be. Sayed-Khaiyum made this comments after Nadi Chamber of Commerce President, Doctor Ram Raju asked him on whether the Reserve Bank of Fiji can print $1 billion and give it to the Ministry of Economy at a zero percent interest rate. Can help capture massive market and investment opportunities Moresby, Brussels and Kuala Lumpur will be from! Materials that contribute to the health Ministry for capital expenditure in the development of Wakanisila there is a norm! 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