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November 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Fiji’s 2013 budget will be announced at 3pm today by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

There have been no indication on the mechanics of the budget from Bainimarama and his committee, but in an interview with FijiLive Tuesday, he hinted at a satisfactory budget.

He said members of the public will be satisfied when they see that their tax contributions are well-spent.

Panelists for the 2013 budget include the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare Govind Sami, Fiji Hotel Association president Dixon Seeto, Fiji Sports Council chair Peter Mazey, Permanent Secretary for finance Filimone Waqabaca, Governor Reserve Bank Barry Whiteside, Fiji Revenue and Customs chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu, Commerce Commission chair Dr Mahendra Reddy, Minister for health Dr Neil Sharma and Flour Mills of Fiji chief executive Ram Bajekal.

In the 2012 budget, the Govt forecasted a deficit of 1.9 per cent of GDP for the year with the most significant feature being the very large tax cuts provided to individuals and corporations aimed to stimulate economic activity and paid for by indirect taxes.

Reforms for the public sector, pensioners and the sugar industry were announced as well as changes to the personal income tax system.

The ministry of education was given the biggest slice of the 2012 budget with an allocation of $257m.

By Mereani Gonedua


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