Letters

Brain gain

Written By : Rina Kruger (nee Singh) Nadi . Maika Bolatiki’s article (FS 25/6) makes very encouraging reading. Unfortunately the reality has been very different for me as a Fiji
25 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : Rina Kruger (nee Singh) Nadi . Maika Bolatiki’s article (FS 25/6) makes very encouraging reading. Unfortunately the reality has been very different for me as a Fiji born former citizen wanting to retire from an international career and resettle in Fiji. Talking to others wanting to settle and work or retire here, my experience is not unique. As you go through the outdated step by step procedures for moving to Fiji, that are so rigidly bound in red tape, you become aware of the serious lack of clear policy and consistent guidelines for both the public servants involved and the applicants. There is an overpowering feeling that as an ‘outsider’ you are fair game to be misinformed, harassed with delays and fleeced to your very last dollar through draconian duty and taxes. This fleecing attitude would seem to have its origins at the very highest levels in the Ministry of Finance.
The often stated desirability of encouraging former Fiji citizens to return to settle here has clear advantages for Fiji, both in terms of ‘brain gain’ and foreign currency income. However while the short sighted zeal of the Department of Finance (and FIRCA), and the general lack of enabling policy and action by other areas of government is to prevail, the ideals expressed in Maika Bolatiki’s article will not be fulfilled. Dual citizenship has clear and obvious social and financial benefits for Fiji, but the returning citizens will need to be treated as returning long term assets, not an invading enemy that needs to be subjected to mindless bureaucracy and the short sighted mistreatment of providing instant cash for the government’s coffers.




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