Fiji Attorney General Presents $1.75 Billion Budget Proposal

Estimated $300 million revenue shortfall to be funded by domestic, overseas loans

By Elenoa Baselala

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 23, 2016) – The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has presented a $3.6 billion [US$1.75 billion] budget for the remainder of this year and up to June 30, 2017.

It's about $200m [US$96 million] more than last year largely attributed to the post TC Winston recovery works.

At least $2.1b [US$1 billion] has been budgeted for the running of the Government while $1.4b [US$673 million] will be spent on capital projects.

The Government's revenue will be sourced from taxes and other means is estimated to be $3.1b [US$1.5 billion].

The Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority will need to collect $2.9b [US$1.4 billion].

The shortfall in revenue or the gross deficit of $620m [US$298 million] is expected to be funded through domestic and overseas loans.

[PIR editor's note: On June 23, 2016 Fiji Times reported that 'Opposition spokesperson for Finance and National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad has labelled the 2016-2017 National Budget as "more politics, less economics". ... Prof Prasad said the budget had nothing much in terms of addressing the rising cost of living which Government brought upon the people of Fiji as a result of 9 per cent VAT on basic food items.']

The $290m [US$139 million] expected to be sourced locally will be through treasury bills, Mr Sayed Khaiyum said.

Our overseas borrowing of $329m [US$158 million] is expected to include loans from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank.

The World Bank and ADB are providing an emergency recovery loan totalling $US100m ($F212m) for post TC Winston efforts. We will also loan $69.5m [US$33.4 million] from the ADB and $30m [US$14.4 million] from the World Bank for the transport sector. The ADB will also lend $5m [US$2.4 million] for the water and sewerage projects. Government is expected to spend at least $152m [US$73 million] in servicing or repaying its debts.

Fiji Times Online.
Copyright © 2016 Fiji Times Online. All Rights Reserved

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