Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says they believe in participatory governance, where our citizens, are part of the governance and decision-making process.
While officiating at the Multistakeholder Dialogue on Fiji’s Economy in Suva, Prof Prasad said they want to get diverse views from different stakeholders and bring together the intellectual power we have in the country to think about our challenges and develop solutions together.
“Everyone has some ideas to contribute and once we bring together our people and deliberate on issues, we come up with solutions that we can own and this is a critical piece in the nation building process.”
“This opportunity to express different views is critical in the functioning of any democracy.”
He said they are ready as a Government to take criticisms.
“We are ready to admit that we in government don’t always know everything and we shouldn’t pretend that we do, we should be ready to accept mistakes, learn from the mistakes and take corrective actions.”
“This openness is also important to keep Government accountable and provide the much-needed framework of checks and balances that should keep any Government in check.”
“From day one in office, the coalition Government has been working hard to reestablish the machinery to support open dialogue which was destroyed by the previous Government.”
“We are trying again to bring people together, whether it is the private sector, trade unions, academia, civil society organizations, women’s groups, youth organisations, development partners or the general public.”
He added it is critical that we move away from the dictatorial ‘business as usual’ approach to economic policy making we saw in the last 16 years.
“The old philosophy of one or two man knew it all is very dangerous as we see from the state of affairs in our country.”