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We borrowed for capital expenditure: AG

 

Jul 27, 2022 02:31:13 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in his right of reply on the 2022-23 National Budget in Parliament today, said the Government only borrowed money for Capital expenditure.
 
"The fact is that the FijiFirst Government has always been borrowing for capital expenditure investments, which will generate future returns to repay these debts."
 
"When the critics claim that the future generations will pay the debt, they don't tell you that the future generations will also benefit from the roads we're building today."
 
"The communities that we are connecting to electricity today. The schools, the new hospital we’re building today. The infrastructure that we're investing in and indeed planning for the future."
 
Sayed-Khaiyum said the cost of debt has significantly come down and Fiji's economy has never been defaulted.
 
"The cost of debt and the cost of building something today, it's far cheaper than building it 10 years down the track."
 
"So we have borrowed over $900 million. We borrow more than 10%. Our debt portfolio is highly concessional terms equated to over 60% grant element."
 
"The amount of borrowed money that we borrowed, we will only pay back 40%."
 
"The World Bank and JICA led to Fiji at 40 year terms 10 year grace period and almost zero interest rates. We do not have to make the principal repayments for the first 10 years. Again this done in million dollars cannot be compared to $900 million in the past borrowed over 7 to 10% in 10 or 15 year terms."
 
"In 2006, the SDL government then borrowed over $320 million through the issuance of global bond with a coupon of 6.875% $320 million 6.875% with the entire $320 to be paid a lump sum after five years."
 
"Imagine that paying interest rate of 6.857% and you have to pay the entire sum at the end of five years."
 
"There is this risk profile of the five year bond is far riskier compared to the JICA debt we borrowed with payments per 40 years and interest costs of 0.01%."
 
He added that Fiji's ability to service debt has increased significantly and the Government has enough time to repay their debt.  
 
"We have over 10 times more revenue than what is needed to service the debt every year."
 
"Don’t have to pay the entire debt in one year. Its repayment is spread over many years, and we have more than enough revenues and over $3 billion in foreign exchange to meet the debt servicing costs."
 
"Fiji has never defaulted on debt. We also never default under the current scenario. Anybody that may say Fiji may default on the debt of course is lying, please don't fall for these liars."
 
"They said China will take over Kadavu because of the debt if we don't pay the debt. Kadavu is still with Fiji and China is still where it is. Please, we want people to rely on the facts."
 
By Romeka Romena 

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