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Economy Minister addresses concerns raised by Nadi Chamber of Commerce

August 9, 2020 7:53 am
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has admitted that there a number of issues within bureaucracies that have been fairly archaic and need to be addressed. [Source: Fijian Government]

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has admitted that there are a number of issues within bureaucracies that have been fairly archaic and need to be addressed.

Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted this while addressing concerns raised by the Nadi Chamber of Commerce regarding the cost of transformers installed by Energy Fiji Limited.

A New Zealand investor and member of the Nadi Chamber of Commerce Jerry Goundar raised concerns regarding a bill of $33,000 from Energy Fiji Limited after beginning construction of an apartment complex in Nadi.

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“And as soon as the apartments are built, they say $33,000 next they came to about $22,000 and they have settled with about eleven and a half thousand dollars to pay for the transformer. Where do they get these figures from?”

Sayed-Khaiyum then clarified that there is an allocation for this in the 2020-2021 national budget.

“That’s one of the things, we have announced. For example, we have people who have started small chicken farms and they build upon it and they get quite big and they get three-phase power and if EFL says upfront with $80,000 then they cannot afford it. So we have provided an incentive in the budget of $1.5m. So you can make those applications to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and Trade and we will pay that to EFL.”

He adds that the government is working to iron out these issues so as to continue assisting Fijians and businesses in a more efficient manner.

“We have also had discussions with EFL because generally, EFL wants the money upfront, obviously they don’t require the money upfront. We are also saying to them like any building when you have a contractor you don’t pay them the entire sum of say $500,000 for the apartments, you do progressive payments. So similarly we are going to do that with EFL ourselves.”

The Economy Minister also highlighted that they prepared this budget in close consultation with Fijians from all levels of society, and they will continue to work with everyone to see its policies achieve the greater good.

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