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Government to address abuse of eTransport cards

Government to address abuse of eTransport cards
Isaia Nainoca (left) speaks to the Atotrney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the Budget Roadshow in Savusavu on August 13, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu
August 14
12:12 2018

Government has once again been asked to look into abuse of eTransport cards by Fijians.

During the 2018-2019 national budget roadshow in Savusavu, Attorney-General and Minsiter for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was informed that even school students abuse the cards.

Savusavu resident Isaia Nainoca requested the Government to do something to stop children from abusing bus card funds.

“Most of the school children finish the money in their bus card before the school term finishes because they use the card in the weekends,” Mr Nainoca said.

“Can Government do something to stop them from abusing it.”

While responding to this, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum acknowledged that Government had been made aware of other instances of eTransport card abuse and were looking into it.

“We have had parents taking their children’s bus card and using it and we are thinking of putting restriction on the hours they can use it and you will see some changes in that respect,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We have heard that pensioners allow their grandchildren to use their bus card. We have heard people with disabilities giving their card to able people to use it. This cost us money. We want to genuinely help people but lot of people abusing it.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the abuse was also noted during the Help for Homes initiative and urged Fijians to be honest.

Meanwhile, Mr Nainoca revealed there were more than 200 people in Savusavu town from Sunday night to yesterday waiting for a boat to take them across to Suva.

“Something needs to be done about these shipping companies,” Mr Nainoca said.

“They take money and sometimes refund but don’t provide the rightful shipping service.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum acknowledged that these were issues which needed to be looked into.

“The shipping industry from consumer perspective needs regulation. I know there are some more concerns raised with us about it. The ship owners are doing things that they probably would not do it in other countries and they are obviously doing it here.

“This is something that we need to address and be addressed by the way of regulation and by law and consumer protection in that case.

In particular where companies give a time to leave on time and they don’t, people incur costs and they don’t know where to stay.

“I can’t provide the immediate relief but definitely in the future we can address those issues.”

Edited by Jyoti Pratibha

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