Friday, May 24, 2024
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We need to control spending: Prof Prasad

Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad has indicated that without significant changes to Government coffers, the country’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio could reach 100 per cent in 10 years.

While announcing the Fiscal Review Committee in Suva yesterday, Prof Prasad said according to Fiji’s Treasury, this would leave the Government no room to borrow for urgently needed capital expenditure.

Prof Prasad explained that when the new Government came into power, the World Bank shared its Public Expenditure Review, which is nearly finalized, and the advice was damning.

He stated that the Government will need to better measure and control spending, improve the environment for private sector investment and economic growth and ensure that vulnerable and economically disadvantaged people are protected.

“We have to find billions of dollars to invest in health, water and sewerage, energy, roads, housing and climate adaptation. We have to be ready to respond to cyclones, floods and other natural disasters when they happen. In Government’s current economic state, we cannot do this effectively.”

“In the last decade, the Government spent more than it earned on its daily operations, this is before it began to borrow for capital investments.”

“Public debt in 2015 stood at 46 per cent of the GDP, and it is now about 85 per cent and still not under control.”

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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