Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Fiji performing well, despite predictions: Prasad

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says Fiji’s economy is doing extremely well despite predictions that there would be a dip in February.

Speaking to FijiLive, Prof Prasad said there will be some headwinds and challenges ahead  adding that this is why the Government has already placed some mid-term fiscal strategy for the rest of the year.

He said that despite this, Fiji’s economy is likely to grow above three percent and fully recover from the aftershocks of the pandemic.

Prof Prasad said in 2023, Fiji’s economy had fully recovered and beyond the growth rate that Fiji had in 2019 before the pandemic.

“In 2019, Fiji had a negative growth and we had the fourth largest contraction of all the economies in the world during COVID. Then we had a situation where our debt to GDP ratio shot up during the pandemic, partly because of the trend that was there before the pandemic.”

“In the 2023-2024 budget, we approached it through fiscal consolidation and some tax reforms, but then we made sure, we continued to spend on the social sector and increased social welfare, we increased the health budget, additional funding for education, wrote off TELS debt, provided over $100 million in the last two years for the ‘Back To School Assistance Program’ for over 200,000 students for the two years.”

“A lot was spent, which made the revenue collected last year was used in dealing with this issues, particularly maintenance.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that over $200 million was used in the last budget for maintenance.

He said this was done to stabilise Fiji’s finances but the policy and foundation were to grow the economy.

Prof Prasad said the 2024-2025 Budget will focus on infrastructure, drainage, water, and roads.

“This is a problem that we have inherited, which has been neglected and it is not going to be fixed overnight but we started last year and we will continue in the next budget.”

“That is how the budget is looking at for the preparation of the 2024-2025 National Budget Announcement. Of course, consultations will be carried out,” he said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist |


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