Prasad prioritizes reducing our $9.1 billion debt

January 17, 2023 5:05 pm

Aerial shot of Suva City.

Reducing our $9.1 billion debt will require a review of expenditure policies across the government.

Minister of Finance. Professor Biman Prasad says these are important considerations for the government as it formulates the 2023–2024 national budget.

Professor Prasad confirms discussions from a 10-member fiscal review committee and an economic summit, which will be held in April, will assist the ministry as it prepares for its annual budget formulation.

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“You understand that our debt level is already high and so we have to ensure that going forward our fiscal strategy is efficient, our fiscal strategy is one that puts our country on a trajectory of reducing debt and ensuring that there is a balance that is always maintained in terms of the expenditure and priority areas.”

This is part of a broader strategy where all government ministries will be re-examining their various policies and programs.

Professor Prasad says this strategy will mean changes to budget allocations.

“As a government, we want to make sure that we avoid wastage, and avoid expenditure that may not be a priority at the current point in time for the people and for the country.”

According to the annual debt report, the government’s total outstanding debt stood at 91.1 percent of our GDP at the end of the fiscal year 2021-2022.

Total domestic debt accounted for 57.6% ($5.8 billion), while total external debt accounted for 33.6% ($3.4 billion).