November 23, 2012

2013 budget well received

07:04 Today (November 23, 2012)
Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Elenoa Turagaiviu

The 2013 national budget has been well received.

The Consumer Council says low incomes earners will surely benefit from the budget.

Chief Executive Premila Kumar says wages increase for civil servants will certainly ease the burden on consumers who are facing difficulties with the high cost of living.

Kumar says the reduction of the electricity tariff by five per cent will also be a relief to consumers.

She says they are relieved though that the two cents more for diesel and motor spirit that consumers will pay as green tax will not affect the bus industry which is the main means of transport for the majority of consumers.

Kumar says they are also happy with the further reduction in duty for imported vegetables which will make these affordable to consumers who are health conscious.

Meanwhile – Commerce Commission Chair Dr Mahendra Reddy has labeled the budget as a smart one.

“What this budget has done is build on an amazing platform to support medium term growth. It has stricken a very good balance between growth verses re-distribution policies.”

The tourism sector – though it did not get the amount it wanted – is content with their allocation for next year -which remains at 23.5 million dollars.

Fiji Hotels Association President Dixon Seeto says they are happy with the announcement by government.

“I guess we’ll have to look at the details, the budget is quite comprehensive, but we’re happy with what’s in it for tourism and we’re very happy that there’s no increase in VAT or the service turnover tax because it’s important that we keep our tourism competitiveness intact and we thank government for that.”

And from the private sector – FMF group Chief Executive Office Ram Bajekal says the 2013 budget is indeed a real investment.

“It’s clearly an investment oriented budget after hearing what the Prime Minister is planning to do. The second we saw is a clear balance between economic growth and social development. The third was continuity of policy and this is what businesses have been asking for all along and resulting from that was the fourth feeling which was one of intense relief to see that these things have been met.”

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