She says that the lead consultant and contractor has been terminated and the special administrators are now working on the new scope of work where the tender will be called to complete the rest of the works. He says at $15 a tonne less, growers are being short changed by as much as $28 million based on the forecast of 1.8 million tonnes of cane for the 2020 season. Internships of doctors will be for 2 years. 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. For TELS, the government has made some policy changes to raise the qualifying standards for students and lower costs. Lal says business sectors will benefit from the large tax cuts and rebates, duty abolishment and reductions. Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation President, Sandeep Chauhan says the country should continue to focus on growing sectors like Agriculture even after tourism picks up and also focus on new sectors like call centres, Business Process Outsourcing, repacking of goods for exports and increasing food processing activities. He adds once Fiji’s larger economic recovery gets underway, the bottom-line of the cane growers will be among their priorities. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had announced that the Government will be funding the hiring of 223 intern nurses, 40 midwives, and the advancement of 105 medical interns to become full-time medical officers, now that they’ve completed their one year of intern service. A lot of people are unemployed,” he said. Professor Prasad has questioned as to how the RBF got Fiji’s economic growth rate for 2019 wrong and why has it taken until July this year for the RBF to admit that in 2019 the economy went down and not up. Bank South Pacific Fiji says it has been assisting more than 5,000 customers impacted by COVID-19 with its relief packages. Major changes announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget. The Water Authority of Fiji says they will not disconnect Fijians who are genuinely impacted by COVID-19. 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. Economic Indicators for Fiji including actual values, historical data, and latest data updates for the Fiji economy. This will not apply to the legislature and judiciary as the other two independent arms of the state. Lal says they understand that the government does not perceive that these sectors have the potential to expand substantially in the short term. 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. 2021 ECONOMIC POLICIES Assessment of Korea's Economy by Global Credit Rating Agencies A Guide to Korean Taxation 2020 2021 Budget Proposal. The survey revealed that 41% of staff from all businesses are on reduced working hours or days, 10% are on leave without pay and 5% have been made redundant. He adds that many sectors, especially the tourism sector have requested the Service Turnover Tax and the ECAL to be reconsidered. Konrote says their multilateral partners like the Asian Development Bank and World Bank’s financing terms are extremely concessional where they get good repayment terms which are around 40 years and almost 0 percent interest rates. He is questioning on how rents for government offices are going up when the property market has been down since late 2018. Kumar says over 520 people have been assisted through the First Home Buyers Grant, First Land Purchases Grant with over $5.3 million. He says notwithstanding the impact that COVID-19 has on the economy and the nation as a whole, they have continued to receive and process applications for compensation. Senewiratne says two things about these businesses are very critical, one the skills set and the other financial literacy. The Minister highlighted that for the 2020-2021 financial year they will focus on completing capital projects which include the Lautoka Swimming pool. He says a public-private partnership that empowers coastal communities to make sustainability and resiliency central to their development and daily life, the Blue Town Model aims to help these communities adapt to protect the oceans in a way that simultaneously generates economic activity. 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. Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Tourism, Trade and Transport, Shaheen Ali says the government has undertaken consultations with the Fijian business community to understand the impact of COVID-19 on them. Based on this new price list by Paradise Beverages Limited, some supermarkets and liquor outlets have changed their prices. 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. Kumar adds the removal of business licenses is the best news he has ever heard because there was no standardisation of business licenses. The government says the massive reduction in taxes announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget is expected to stimulate business and consumption activity. Education Minister Rosy Akbar says while there has been a slight reduction in the free education grant, the focus will be making sure the quality of education is not compromised. Sayed-Khaiyum has also announced that excise tax on alcohol will go down by 50 percent. Dialogue Fiji Executive Director, Nilesh Lal says when expansionary budgets are formulated, reducing wasteful expenditure and inefficiencies should always be an objective. The Ministry of Women altogether was allocated $127.7 million in the last budget and this year it has been increased to $159 million. He says this is their priority, not to use their hard-earned money to purchase white goods and luxury items in abundance. Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says there will be a huge inflation in the country if the Reserve Bank of Fiji prints notes valued at $1 billion as the value of the Fijian dollar will come down. With the announcement that the Free Medicine Scheme will continue, Health Minister Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete has assured that their staff will actively continue to go out and try and register the new people that meet the requirements for the scheme. FSC CEO, Graham Clarke had earlier highlighted that they expect to get close to $200 million revenue from the sale of sugar and molasses for the 2020/2021 season. He says these items are not for sale but to be given to athletes for free. 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. Fiji FA’s CEO, Mohammed Yusuf says people can now sponsor teams for as low as $500 or a lesser amount and if the sponsor goes through the Fiji FA, they will be able to qualify for the 150 percent tax exemption. Around $30 million is allocated for the small and medium business loan programme in the next financial year. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Hon. To continue operations, the businesses need health and safety certification, advice on business strategy, new markets and support to increase sales domestically. From toothbrushes to spectacle lenses, contact lenses and artificial eye solution; to testing equipment for businesses to help lower production costs; to life jackets, life belts and fire alarms to strengthen public safety; to laundry detergent; to exercise books; to hygiene products like deodorant and shampoos; to food items, like tomatoes, jams, soy sauce, salmon, sardines, cereals, sweet biscuits, potatoes, chocolates, pasta, baking powder and peanut butter; and tourism-related equipment. We are proud to serve the state by providing quality information and consultative services to decision makers and other stakeholders in the state. IFC’s support for the survey on the impact of COVID-19 on Fijian businesses has been complemented by the support of the Australian and New Zealand Governments under the Fiji Partnership. Fiji FA’s CEO, Mohammed Yusuf says these sporting equipment are given by FIFA, the Oceania Football Confederation and other overseas-based donor agencies. National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says the reduction and elimination of duty on 1,600 items will not have a positive impact on the livelihood of the ordinary workers and citizens and the many thousands of workers who have lost their jobs. Omundson says they have had to continue their operation even with this reduced income. A 150% tax deduction is being offered to hotels and restaurants that use local entertainers. A major focus is expected to be put on those farmers who are members of the fully-managed commercial farms that have contracts with Fiji Agro Marketing as government has already announced plans regarding food security and agriculture growth plan for the country. Koya says the general complaint is cost of Food and Beverages being too high and this is the government doing its bit to ensure there is a drop in prices. 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. So, if you are now only working three days a week, you will receive $88 every two weeks; if you’re down to working only one day a week, you will receive $176 every two weeks. The Minister for Economy stresses that we need to bring back jobs and reduce taxes particularly in tourism. ], Skipper Cup / Farebrother Sullivan Trophy Challenge. 21. Sayed-Khaiyum further says as Fiji looks to safely reopen to tourists, the hospitality industry can even get creative with all-inclusive options that allow us to be cost-competitive with destinations like Bali and Phuket, when they open for businesses, they will do so with a vengeance. Prasad says that is more than 50% of what an average producing grower receives as net income in 16 months adding this is grossly insulting, yet the Prime Minister’s silence is deafening. She says 54 percent of the work is completed. Weekly Newsletter. 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. Shandil has encouraged all consumers to make good use of the initiatives announced in the 2020/2021 National Budget. She says the 2020/2021 National Budget is aimed at building a productive, a more sustained and inclusive economy. Lal says it is now the responsibility of the traders to pass the benefit of these reductions to the market. General Secretary Agni Deo Singh says this is to ensure that teachers are rewarded for the hard work that they do which is a legitimate expectation. The Association of Banks in Fiji has reassured the Minister for Economy as part of their submission for the 2020/2021 National Budget that they will continue to assist the customers who are unable to make loan repayments even if they are unable to pay after their loan repayment holiday. Anthony says they would also like to see that the FNPF contributions by employers be restored to 10 percent from 5 percent at the soonest. An allocation of $3.5 million is provided for rural water carting to communities in non-metered areas during periods of drought, water disruption and during the current recovery period from COVID-19 pandemic. He says Government has made $100 million available to make sure every unemployed Fijian is able to access their full relief payments. $0.7 million is allocated to complete the feasibility study and detailed design of Labasa bypass road - Stage 1 and 2. $1.5 million was allocated for construction of new facilities in the 2019/2020 National Budget. Minister for Agriculture and Waterways, Dr. Mahendra Reddy says he has been fully briefed by the Minister for Economy on the status of Fiji’s economy and they know how the 2020/2021 National Budget will pen out. He says if payments are on a fortnightly basis, it is essentially like getting a pay. 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. 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. [image: Fijian Govt], Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Fiji 2020 Agriculture Sector Policy Agenda FOREWORD The agricultural sector plays an important role in Fiji’s economy. Customs duties have been reduced for over 1,600 items. For those families earning above $50,000 annually, they can be granted $20,000 to build their first home or $5,000 to buy their first home. Kumar says the ministries’ budget is expected to decrease depending on what the focus of the budget would be. He also says support to micro, small and medium businesses will continue through the highly concessionary loan packages. 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. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had announced in the budget that they were halving excise taxes on alcohol to allow hotels, resorts, bars, and restaurants to pass on those savings directly to consumers. The government is currently spending more than $105 million a year to assist Fijians through various programs. 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. BUDGET 2020-2021 Budget Speech 2020-2021: Budget Speech 2020-2021: Annex to Budget Speech 2020-2021 ESTIMATES 2020-2021 & Indicative Estimates 2021-2022 AND 2022-2023 This means, the prices of a number of items that people purchase every day have been reduced and a number of taxes have all been reduced. He adds given the extremely difficult circumstances, it is commendable that the Minister for Economy and his team have been able to secure the financial resources including from external sources to deliver a stimulus budget. He says we have come this far and we can’t be too far to see the end of the current situation. $7 million has been allocated for the construction of the new Prime Minister’s Office. 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. ... (Source: Reserve Bank of Fiji and Ministry of Economy) million respectively, while UWSWP was funded by ... Table 1: Cost and Risk Indicators as of 31 July 2020 Source: Ministry of Economy Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will deliver the 2020/2021 National Budget address at 7.30 tonight. With private sector activity severely hampered by the crisis, revenue policy must provide the necessary impetus for growth. The Minister for Economy says there are no plans to do that. Budget Speech. Ali says when the forecasts were reviewed in May 2019, the Macroeconomic Committee lowered the 2019 growth forecast to 2.7% and then downgraded further to 1.0% in November 2019. 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. In a statement, Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry claims this is unacceptable considering FBC has not tabled its annual report and audited accounts since 2017. Chaudhry further says it is ironical that the Minister for Economy is prepared to pay $60 million to entice tourists to Fiji at the rate of $400 per visitor for the first 150,000, but deprives our own farmers of what they were promised. 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 adds tourism operators should consider making these changes to their cost structure permanent. Sayed-Khaiyum says this step will not be taken by RBF. Sayed-Khaiyum says the Department of Social Welfare administers Fiji’s basket of social welfare programmes, which include the Poverty Benefit Scheme, the Child Protection Allowance, the Food Voucher Program, the Social Pension Scheme and the Bus Fare Subsidy for the elderly and people living with disabilities. He says if the duty for syrup is reduced and this is used for fizzy drinks, they will assess how the reduction is factored in. 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. They will get $15,000 if they buy their first home. She says it will help government in terms of long term servicing of debt. He adds the budget has also not increased allocations to grow the primary sectors of the economy like agriculture, as many expected. For the reduced ECAL, the turnover threshold is now $ 3 million annually. FNPF will also allow withdrawals for those who have been unemployed for more than 6 months and who could not withdraw before. People living on or below the poverty line in the country will be eagerly awaiting the 2020/2021 National Budget announcement tonight on how they will be assisted during this pandemic which has affected everyone. 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