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Parliament

Dr Reddy hits out at Professor Prasad

March 23, 2021 6:29 am
Dr. Mahendra Reddy [left] and Professor Biman Prasad

The Minister for Agriculture yesterday took a swipe at National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad for blaming the government and making claims that the interventions to alleviate poverty are not working.

Dr. Mahendra Reddy asked Prasad to produce his research results on the government programs, to demonstrate if it was a success or failure.

The exchange was made in parliament yesterday, during the debate on the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation’s Annual Reports

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Dr Reddy says without interventions, the poverty rate could have been higher.

“Any intervention through any ministry will have an effect. If the poverty rate increases that doesn’t mean that the intervention failed.”

Professor Prasad blamed Dr Reddy for misleading the parliament by misquoting him.

“I think the minister is misleading the parliament as to what I said. I said two things, the poverty rate has increased compared to the previous survey. I said that shows that the government’s poverty alleviation policies have not worked to reduced poverty.”

Minister for Defense Inia Seruiratu says poverty reduction is a whole of government approach and is not limited to one ministry.

Seruiratu says the incidence of poverty in 2002 and 2003 was around 35 percent, however, it dropped to 31 percent in 2008.

He adds that Opposition Members should not be selective when talking about poverty.

The Minister says in Vanua Levu the poverty rate has dropped from 53 to 42 percent.

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