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Budget empowers Fijians, businesses


Jul 27, 2021 12:34:14 AM

Budget empowers Fijians, businesses Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism and Transport Faiyaz Koya says the 2021-22 National Budget is designed to empower Fijians and businesses.

While contributing to the Budget Debate, Koya said the Government through the unemployment support scheme is trying to reach out to people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2021-22 National Budget is designed to empower Fijians and businesses so that there is some normalcy and we are able to enhance and create economic activities weather unemployment benefits, fees and fines are providing comfort on getting businesses off the ground or not having to worry about the loan repayments for at least two years.”

He said there is $200 million for unemployment support, over $50 million in other relief like free electricity, like food distribution etc, over $120 million in social welfare, free education and support to tertiary students and there is support for businesses which include $200 million worth of financing support for business.

Koya said the Government is guaranteeing loans between 80-90 per cent for MSMEs and paying interest for 2 years or freeing up the minds to think bigger and better.

“$1.2 million for monthly and upfront cost to get MSMEs onto VITIKart platform. The Ministry, RBF and Vodafone will have as many as MSMEs  especially those licenced under the Fijian made initiative.”

“When I stood before this August house in the last budget, I shared the struggles about the tourism industry as they fought for survival. I shared new pathways for International travel, re-establishing confidence, protecting businesses and jobs and ensuring that the benefits of revival are felt beyond the industry itself,” he said.

He also added that vaccines remain the top hope to fight the pandemic for a better future while some countries are yet to receive the vaccine.

"With the global crisis far from over and survival still at the top of the mind, we now find hope with vaccines. We have seen the pandemic's uneven impact on the global economies and its people despite living through the same pandemic with almost the same restrictions-our recovery remains uneven.

"Close to $4 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally but for many vaccines remain out of reach despite efforts to enhance access. There are still countries who may have not achieved substantial levels of vaccination at least until 2023,” Koya mentioned.  

By Romeka Romena  

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