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No distinction between chief and commoner: PM

May 29, 2018 1:04 am

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says never before have all the iTaukei people been treated equally, even amongst themselves.

Speaking in Australia over the weekend Bainimarama said when providing services and assistance, the Government doesn’t make a distinction between chief and commoner.

Bainimarama says that is why they enacted the equal distribution of lease monies among all members of a landowning unit, giving women, and even young people, their fair share.

And eighty percent of the royalties for any mineral resources mined on any land or seabed, goes straight back to the owner.

He says the Constitution, has done more to protect iTaukei land and improve the wellbeing of the iTaukei’s.

Bainimarama says ridiculous claims are often made by Opposition members that the iTaukei and their land are insecure in Fiji, but despite their efforts to sow fear, he says the fact remains that not one millimeter of iTaukei land has been lost under his leadership.

He also says the iTaukei have long faced the issue of being asset-rich but cash poor.

Bainimarama says the government is assisting landowning units and individuals who want to develop iTaukei land by making roads and providing connectivity to water and electricity.

He says the government bears the infrastructure cost so iTaukei landowners under this scheme can lease out the lands directly themselves and get the benefits.

The Prime Minister says it also makes for productive use of idle iTaukei land and thereby contributing to and growing the economy.