Narube calls for stringent budget cuts

June 10, 2024 4:44 pm

Savenaca Narube

Unity Fiji Party Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube has called for a decisive focus on creating fiscal space.

He emphasizes that the government should prioritize expense management over revenue generation to address immediate financial needs effectively.

Narube’s comments come ahead of the 2024-2025 national budget announcement by Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad, scheduled for June 28th.

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In a detailed critique, Narube outlined several measures to eliminate wasteful spending and redirect funds to critical areas.

He highlights the need for travel policies, making travel permissible only when absolutely necessary for ministers and officials.

The Unity Fiji Party Leader also recommends reconsidering the current practice of leasing vehicles, advocating for a return to government-owned vehicles to reduce costs.

“When you look at budget, it’s good to separate but the immediate needs and what could be solved in the medium to long term so let’s look at the immediate needs of this budget. I think we need money. Obviously, the government needs money. There’s so many expenses that it needs to undertake in a budget. So what we call it fiscal space. We need to create that fiscal space.”

Narube points out inefficiencies in project management, particularly within the Fiji Roads Authority and other statutory bodies.

He calls for the introduction of performance-based resource allocation, emphasizing the importance of setting clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure funds are utilized effectively.

Narube also suggests a thorough review of ongoing projects that have been part of the budget for extended periods.

He argues that some long-term projects might conceal inefficiencies and reassessing them could uncover significant savings.

With the anticipated fiscal space, Narube stresses the importance of redirecting funds to priority areas.

He identified the fight against drug abuse as a critical issue, citing the severe implications for the country’s youth and overall societal health.

Narube also reiterates the need for increased investment in health, education and social welfare to address the pressing needs of the population.

The former RBF Governor states that a well-constructed budget is instrumental in fostering economic growth, creating jobs and improving incomes.