Politics

4th August

U.S. election will be November 3 as planned: Trump advisers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and Donald Trump’s campaign on Sunday sought to shut down the Republican president’s musings on delaying the 2020 vote, saying there will be an election on Nov. 3. White...

3rd August

Grant ‘not a freebie’

Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu said the $1000 business grant was not a freebie given by the Government. He said the $1000 grant had assisted individuals build their own businesses. “These $1000 grants have grown the threshold business,” he said. “And of course, if I remember correctly, so it’s very positive Mr Speaker sir. It’s not...

Containers used for detention centres

Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu admitted in Parliament last week that containers were used for detention centres. Mr Seruiratu said this was not the best, but that was what they had been using in Nadi. He made the comment after Opposition member of Parliament Pio Tikoduadua questioned him on whether social distancing was practised in detention...

Query on fuel tax increase

The question on why Government had increased fuel tax by 20 cents in its COVID-19 Response Budget was raised in Parliament last Friday. National Federation Party (NFP) leader Prof Biman Prasad said Government had increased the tax on fuel in a very “cryptically manner”. “In fact they increased it by 20 cents … and in...

Reddy: Fijians much more educated now

Ordinary Fijians are much more educated now and they can identify and separate lies from truth. Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy noted this in Parliament in response to Prof Biman Prasad’s claim that the Government would need $100 million a month to meet its debt repayment commitment. “Mr Speaker Sir, the honourable Biman Prasad is...

Road, electricity issues a setback for mine

The Tuvatu Gold Mine in Sabeto would begin extraction once road and electricity issues have been addressed, says Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Jone Usamate. While responding to a question by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka last Thursday, he said the company had been in full operations since it opened a few years ago. “Tuvatu,...

MP: Budget fails to address needs of primary industries

The 2020/2021 National Budget fails to address Fiji’s primary industries’ needs, focusing more on the rejuvenation of the tourism industry, claims Opposition member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula. Speaking in Parliament during the budget debate last week, Mr Nawaikula said while other countries such as Japan were putting a lot of its effort behind their primary...

Concern over council workers’ retirement age

National Federation Party (NFP) leader Prof Biman Prasad said it was “ludicrous” to retire municipal council workers at 55. He made the comment in Parliament on Friday while debating on the Local Government (Budget Amendment) Bill 2020. “We have had information already that almost 150 workers in the municipalities of the Central Division — Suva,...

NFP: State coerced to reduce, remove taxes

Government was coerced to reduce and remove taxes during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to initiate stimulus for the economy, claims National Federation Party (NFP) leader Prof Biman Prasad. Prof Prasad said the 13 Bills passed in Parliament last week were really targeted at revenue generation and stimulus for the economy. He said they had...

Narube: Right measure of success for rescue package is in tourist numbers

The right measure of success for the Tourism Recovery Package is the number of tourists that are attracted to Fiji and will get on a plane to come to the island nation, says former Reserve Bank of Fiji governor and Unity Fiji Party leader Savenaca Narube. Mr Narube made the comments in a statement issued...

31st July

Minister: People allowed to complete quarantine at home

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete says they are allowing people to complete their COVID-19 quarantine at home under supervision by military officers. He made the comment during the Committee of Supply sitting in Parliament on Wednesday after a question raised by Opposition Member of Parliament Lynda Tabuya. “I have noticed that there are several setups...

MP: No medical specialist in 2020

Do not expect an overseas medical specialist to come to Fiji this year, says Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete. He told the Committee of Supply in Parliament on Wednesday that the travel restrictions because of COVID-19 and the closure of borders would not allow any medical specialists to come to Fiji....

PRB, housing authority to come under one umbrella

The Public Rental Board (PRB) and the Housing Authority of Fiji (HAF) will come under one umbrella soon. This was highlighted by Minister for Housing Premila Kumar during the sitting of the Committee of Supply in Parliament yesterday. Responding to a question from National Federation Party leader Prof Biman Prasad, Mrs Kumar labelled the move...

‘Ministry does not have funds to give free lunch to students’

The Education Ministry does not have funds to give free lunch to students, says Education Minister Rosy Akbar. Ms Akbar told the Committee of Supply in Parliament on Wednesday that “without any actual study report,” the ministry would not spend money on feeding children. National Federation Party leader Prof Biman Prasad had raised the issue,...

White papers to be finalised

The defence white paper, the police white paper and the intelligence white paper will be finalised once the National Security Strategy is approved by Cabinet. Minister for Defence Inia Seruiratu told the Committee of Supply that the Solicitor-General was vetting the National Security Strategy. “The last meeting that we had with the Office of the...

ECAL to help relocate vulnerable villages

The Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy (ECAL) has not been removed because Government needs to relocate more than 40 villages that are vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by climate change. This was the word from Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during debate on the 2020-2021 Appropriation Bill in Parliament on Wednesday. He...

Fiji still hopeful of hosting world youth netball

Fiji is still hopeful that with the approval of the parent body, International Netball Federation (INF), it will still host next year’s 2021 Netball World Youth Cup. INF, in talks with Fiji, considered factors that would need to be in place for the international event to go ahead in June next year but with the...

Pay for district advisory councillors

District advisory councillors are paid more than the turaganikoro because they have bigger areas to serve. Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu confirmed this in Parliament during the sitting of the Committee of Supply on Wednesday. District advisory councillors are presently paid $170 in allowances, while the turaganikoro get $100....

Ro Filipe queries Qorvis allocation

Fiji and the Pacific region have a wealth of experienced journalists which the Fijian Government could use for its public relations services. Opposition member of Parliament Ro Filipe Tuisawau made the comment while moving a motion to reduce the allocation of $800,000 to Qorvis Communications — a global public relations company which carries out public...

Minister on State debt, borrowings

Government is investing in our infrastructure and that is linked to our borrowing and debts. This was told to Parliament by Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu during his response to the 2020-2021 National Budget on Tuesday. Mr Seruiratu said by spending more and building infrastructure to standards now, future administrations...

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