TC Harold

$276m withdrawn from FNPF post TC Winston: Sayed-Khaiyum

May 27, 2020 12:45 pm

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The Economy Minister has revealed that about $276m was withdrawn from Fiji National Provident Fund post Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

While responding to the question posed by Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua on the Government’s plan to replenish the funds already withdrawn by 180,000 FNPF members post TC Winston, Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum clarifies that the members themselves can rebuild the fund.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the damages sustained in most sectors from the cyclone made them embark on various projects to try and get things back to normal.

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“We embarked on what we call the Health for Homes program in which we essentially funded $127.8m in rebuilding of homes and spent $234.5m in rehabilitating schools, social welfare top-up of $20.2m, other rehabilitation from the economic and social sectors $97.6m which was totaled government funding of $480m plus the FNPF payout of $275m. Then of course the insurance companies also paid out about $189.4m. That was the level of injection that took place into the economy”.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the change in contribution from both employers and employees towards the fund is focused on the welfare of members.

“For the first time, we actually have where the employers are actually paying more than the employees. It always use to be 6 percent employee and 6 percent employer. Eight percent employer and eight percent employees. For the first time we say 10 percent employer and 8 percent employee”.

The devastation of Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016 wiped out one third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product within 36 hours.

The widespread destruction affected 62 percent of Fiji’s population, impacted 540, 000 Fijians and over 30, 000 household and resulted in 44 fatalities.

It also damaged almost 500 schools and 88 health clinics and medical facilities across the country.