A-G says Government does not want to depend on aid
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday said the Government did not want to depend on aid.
He made the comment in Suva while speaking at the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s post budget discussion on Fiji’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Our position is this - we want rather to get the economic shackle off, and not depend on aid.
“Aid is psychologically demoralising.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the 2020-2021 national budget was designed to spur confidence and domestic investment.
He said the national budget was recalibrated.
A national brand
“What is our brand as a country?” Mr SayedKhaiyum said.
“How can we take advantage of that? “Understanding also that we can not sit around twiddling our thumbs waiting to react to certain positive changes.
“What can we do to spur the business sector and in the informal sector, and also to be able to spur domestic investment, which is not necessarily directly dependent at this point on the tourism numbers escalating?” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy (ECAL) needed to stay.
“Just because we’ve got COVID-19, does not mean the cyclones will stop, does not mean the sea waters aren’t rising,” he said, adding 40 villages needed to be relocated.
In the middle of this, the Government continued the distribution of relief supplies under the COVID-19 situation, which was costly, with concerns over contamination, he said.
ECAL was reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s post budget discussion in Suva, which was based on the theme Fiji’s Economic Recovery Plan.