Re­set and Re­cover: 2020-2021 Na­tional Bud­get To­day

Fiji Sun - - EXPLAINER - Jy­oti Prat­i­bha Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

The 2020-2021 Na­tional Bud­get is ex­pected to set the stage for our eco­nomic recovery.

When the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Econ­omy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum takes the floor in Par­lia­ment at 7.30pm, his state­ment will out­line how Fiji will at­tempt its recovery af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact of COVID-19 and TC Harold in the last fi­nan­cial year. A num­ber of pol­icy changes are ex­pected. This will be to ease the bur­den on busi­nesses and on in­di­vid­u­als in these try­ing times. But, the con­fi­dence in Fiji is still high in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. The Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank has ap­proved $430mil­lion pol­icy-based loan to boost in­vest­ment in Fiji’s pri­vate sec­tor to help the coun­try’s econ­omy cope with, and re­bound from the im­pact of the COVID-19 pan­demic.

The di­rect bud­get sup­port from the Aus­tralians is also a clear sign of their con­fi­dence in Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and his team.

While the fo­cus no doubt will be on how the econ­omy will re­cover post the pan­demic, we need to also keep our fo­cus on cli­mate change and its con­tin­u­ing dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects on Fiji.

Fiji does not have the lux­ury to put cli­mate change re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and adap­ta­tion mea­sures on hold while we fight the COVID-19 pan­demic’s blow to the econ­omy.

The sea-lev­els will not stop rais­ing to give us time to end our fight with COVID-19.

Vil­lages will con­tinue to face the im­pacts of cli­mate change and the need to put re­sources on that front is also a con­tin­u­ing fac­tor.

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