Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Professor Biman Prasad says the coalition Government is not daunted by the $10 billion debt because they have assured the nation to fix it.
In his maiden speech in Parliament today, Prof Prasad said he is discovering areas of how wastage was happening, some even bordering on financial negligence and abuse of authority.
“During the last 16 years, the regime and Fiji First Government borrowed a whopping $7 billion.”
“Over the next four years, the coalition government will- Secure one billion worth of investment into our tourism sector. Grow the sugar and agriculture industry into a billion-dollar industry. Both these industries can and should become the bedrock of our economy. Target one billion worth of investment into climate and into our blue economy.”
“Secure a billion dollars into manufacturing and food processing. Work with banks to reduce transaction costs and keep our remittance above one billion dollars annually. Cut government expenditure by one billion dollars. Reduce our debt by one billion dollars. We will grow our economy; we will share the prosperity and we will reduce the debt.
He also said the coalition government will reset the moral compass of Fiji and central to this task is the restoration of all freedoms and democratisation of institutions like municipal councils and the Sugar Cane Growers Council.
“There will also be a review and reform of legislation imposed upon the people through Decrees, which automatically became Acts under the 2013 Constitution, without any ratification on the floor of Parliament.”
“Economic growth and financial stability are dependent on accountability and transparency, the two vital features of good governance sorely lacking in the last 16 years.”
He added the coalition Government will soon hold a national economic summit and outline its plans for the future.
“We are consulting our citizens; our businesses and stakeholders. And they are with us in this journey to build an inclusive and prosperous economy.”