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Govt sets new financial year dates

 

Mar 28, 2016 11:54:17 PM

Govt sets new financial year dates The Fijian Government today announced that it will set its financial year from August 01-July 31 from now onwards.

Making the announcement, Attorney-General and Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said work on this project begun in December last year and there were three main reasons for the change.

He said the first reason was that our current financial year which also a calendar year affects tax collection as most tax payers pay their taxes right on December 31and just before close of business day.

This he says affects the budget deficit as the amount collected on the final day of the year and in the final office hours will not be accounted in the current year but will transferred to the Government books for the new year.

“Last year, the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) received revenue of about $67 million on the 31st of December. Now what that meant was that if FRCA receives $67 million on the 31st of December at 4pm or 4.30pm, it does not get transferred to the government books on that day itself. So that $67 million using that as an example if it hits the government books after the 31st of December – it means the revenue is received by government in 2016 and not 2015,” he said.

He said the second reason for changing the financial year is that most people go on a holiday mode in December and early January and this affects the planning process as the current financial year begins on January 01- a time when people are still holidaying.

“If your budget is being approved by Parliament in November or early December and then you need all the ministries to stay and plan how the budget will be spent and how to utilise it, most of the people go on holiday in December and early January. In fact many other countries suffer from this too."

Minister Sayed-Khaiyum said the third reason for the change is to take into account natural disasters as we are smacked in the middle of the cyclone season in our current financial year and if a cyclone hits then the unexpected expenditure would affect the budget.

The new budget will be presented to Parliament in July for debate and endorsement.

Projects in the current budget that are yet to be completed will be transferred to the August 01 financial year.

By Reginald Chandar

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