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October 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama in his capacity as chairman of the i-Taukei Land Trust Board(TLTB) and Minister of i-Taukei Affairs today announced that the administrative fees charged by the TLTB will be reduced by 2.5 per cent effective from 1 January 2013.

This would be further reduced by another 2.5 per cent later the same year.

He made the announcements while opening the Annual TLTB Strategic Corporate Planning Workshop at the Warwick Fiji Resort today.

“This will mean more lease money in the hands of all landowners,” Bainimarama added.

He added that everyone has a responsibility to make sure that the system works.

“We cannot allow a vicious cycle to continue in which- landowners are reluctant to renew leases because they cannot extract their rents. And tenants are reluctant to pay rent because there is uncertainty,” Bainimarama added.

He acknowledged that TLTB itself must improve its services and standards.

“We hear cases of abuse of office by TLTB staff out in the field, cases of extortion, of making promises to lessees that the TLTB staff know they cannot or will not fulfill, of giving encouragement to landowners that they know is false, of depriving the very people they serve, the landowners, of their just dues,” PM said.

“In fact, staff members have recently been fired because they breached their fiduciary duty to the landowners.”

He also reiterated that the Govt will not tolerate laziness or incompetence and anyone who is corrupt will be found out and dealt with.

By Indrani Krishna

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