Ratepay­ers in Nas­inu urged to pay up

Fiji Sun - - SUNCITY - SHALVEEN CHAND Edited by Caro­line Ratu­cadra Feed­back: shalveen.chand@fi­jisun.com.fj

Ratepay­ers in Nas­inu have been urged to come for­ward and pay what is owed to the town coun­cil.

Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Govern­ment Premila Ku­mar said at the be­gin­ning of this year, the Nas­inu Coun­cil was owed $11.3 mil­lion in rates. Ms Ku­mar made the state­ment at the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Laqere Mar­ket yes­ter­day.

With­out this rev­enue, the coun­cil strug­gled to pro­vide ba­sic ser­vices to the Nas­inu mu­nic­i­pal­ity, she ad­mit­ted.

“Nas­inu Town Coun­cil has 11,819 of­fi­cial ratepay­ers with an an­nual pop­u­la­tion growth rate of two per cent. This is based on the last val­u­a­tion taken in the year 2012,” she said.

“Mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils rely on rates and other levy col­lec­tions to de­liver ser­vices to its ratepay­ers. At the be­gin­ning of 2020, $11.3 mil­lion were owed in rates to Nas­inu Town Coun­cil. This ar­rears in­cludes $8mil­lion prior to 2019, and cur­rent rates of $3mil­lion.

“With­out rev­enue the coun­cil strug­gles to pro­vide ba­sic ser­vices,” Ms Ku­mar said.

“As you know we have re­duced ven­dor stall fees at mar­kets to pro­tect ven­dor in­comes at this time of COVID-19, we en­cour­age those who can pay their rates to please pay up the rates.”

New Laqere Mar­ket

Ms Ku­mar said the Govern­ment saw the need to pro­vide a proper mar­ket to ap­prox­i­mately 92,043 res­i­dents and 20 squat­ter set­tle­ments in Nas­inu.

She said the new Laqere Mar­ket was a one stop ex­pe­ri­ence for many. A to­tal of 26 CCTV cam­eras were in­stalled to cre­ate a safe en­vi­ron­ment for all.

“Laqere mar­ket pro­vides quite a con­trast to old and un­planned mar­kets, with their waste and ram­shackle ap­pear­ance,” she said. In other de­vel­op­ment projects, Ms Ku­mar said pre­lim­i­nary works for the Narere swim­ming pool and the Valelevu Sta­dium had started.

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