August 20, 2013

Chaudhry slams comments by IMF team

Publish date/time: 20/08/2013 [17:16]

The Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has slammed the comments made by the International Monetary Fund Consultant Mission to Fiji that the Fijian economy is doing well.

Mahendra Chaudhry is now saying that the assessments made by the IMF were seriously flawed and factually incorrect in some key aspects.

Chaudhry said it is difficult to accept a growth of 2.25% in the Fijian economy when he said all key exports were down compared to 2011.

He said tourist arrivals declined by 2.1%, sugar and gold production by 9% and 39% respectively while fisheries and forestry sectors also posted negatives.

Chaudhry is now questioning if the IMF team submitted an independent assessment. 

He also believes the unemployment rate of 9% the IMF recorded is low. 

He claimed that the rate is much higher and is around 17%.

IMF Mission Chief Chikahisa Sumi said last week that the Fijian economy increased by 2.25% last year which was supported by income tax cuts, low interest rates and the one time payouts under FNPF reform, which offset the negative impact of the severe floods and Cyclone Evan.

But Sumi said Fiji needs to boost business confidence by relaxation of price controls, increased and stable access to customary land use and continued focus on infrastructure upgrades along with reduced political uncertainty.

Story by: Filipe Naikaso

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