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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 14) – Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase says Energy Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi should resign for not supporting the 2007 National Budget.

"It will be the right thing for him to do," he said.

Qarase said he would wait and see if Vayeshnoi maintains his stance on the budget after the debate in the Lower House before making a decision regarding his future in the multi-party cabinet.

Vayeshnoi had informed Qarase of his opposition to the budget during their one-on-one meeting this morning.

He later relayed his stance during his contribution to the budget debate in Parliament.

"Not a single member in my constituency was in favor of the budget due to the VAT increase during my consultations with them," he said. "Therefore I have no choice but to go with them and oppose the budget."

[PIR editor’s note: Value Added Tax, or VAT, which is charged on almost all goods and services, has gone up from 12.5 percent to 15 percent.]


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