FIJI FOOD PRICES TO GO DOWN JANUARY 1

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (Dec. 29, 1999 – Fiji Broadcasting Corporation)---The price of flour, sharps, tea, tinned fish, powered milk, edible oil, and rice will be reduced starting January 1 due to the removal of the value added tax (VAT).

Prices and Incomes Board (PIB) Secretary Vishnu Baldeo said there are no set reduced prices for tinned fish, powered milk, edible oil and rice because these prices are calculated under the percentage price control system.

However, the PIB has clearly spelled out new prices of other items. For example, flour and sharps -- which currently cost 76 cents a kilogram -- will cost 69 cents.

(NOTE: F$ 1.9802 = US$ 1.00 on December 29, 1999)

Tea, which now costs more than a dollar depending on size, will experience the following price changes: Punjas Ceylon Tea will cost 90 cents for a 100 gram pack; $1.72 for 200 grams; and $4.15 for a 500 gram pack.

Similar price changes will occur for Bushells: 190 gram packs will be $1.00; 200 gram packs will be $1.87; and 500 gram packs will cost $4.53.

The new prices come with warnings to retailers. PIB inspectors will be monitoring the price reductions. No leniency will be given to those who do not follow the law.

FIJI BROADCASTING CORPORATION

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