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New initiatives a key feature for Defence Ministry

July 11, 2017 1:10 am

Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has come out in support of the budget 2017-2018 saying it speaks to progressive development and articulates the pivotal role his ministry plays.

Responding to the budget last night in Parliament, the Minister elaborated on new initiatives for Police which is expected to strengthen the institution.

“$150 000 is allocated to the Crime Investigation Division to strengthen internal investigations into any alleged crime by police officers in the performance of their duties. $1 million for the completion of the design, scoping and the tender process for to start construction of a new Nadi Police Station. Madam Speaker, also with $580 000 to begin the design and scoping and tender process for the Community Post in Natewa and land acquisition for the Police Post at Natovi.”

Police have been allocated $148.8 million, an increase of $17 million in primarily to cater for increased salaries.

An additional $1.6 million has been set aside for operations during the general elections if it falls within the new financial year.

Ratu Inoke says while the budget increase for the Republic of Military Forces has been minimal, capital expenditure is another priority area for them.

“In order to train military personnel earmarked for international peacekeeping duties, the Blackrock Integrated Peacekeeping centre in Nadi has been undergoing Phase two construction. A sum of $2 million, Madam Speaker has been allocated in the budget to cater for the construction of the peacekeeping centre, new mess hall and phase two of the earthworks construction.”

The RFMF has been allocated $96.7 million, an increase of $300 000 from last year’s budget.