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A.S.K Concerned Consumers Are Not Benefitting From Duty Concessions

The Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has raised concerns about benefits from Government duty concessions not being passed onto consumers. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made these comments yesterday during his Special Budget
05 Oct 2014 15:59
A.S.K Concerned Consumers Are Not Benefitting From Duty Concessions

The Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has raised concerns about benefits from Government duty concessions not being passed onto consumers.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made these comments yesterday during his Special Budget Forum held at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
He said there are a number of things which the Government had taken a hit on for the sake of ensuring that consumers got a better pricing on that.
“This was that that we get a high volume consumption and growth, but that benefit is not being passed on,” he said.
A good example he used was that of duty being reduced from 32 per cent to 15 per cent on cars imported below 2500cc.
“A lot of people will tell that the price of motor vehicles have not come down,” he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was obviously somebody else taking the cream and the important issue was how this could be managed.
“Short of doing price control, we must ensure that the hit that Government has taken upon itself, should be passed onto the consumers,” he said.

The committee
A Committee, comprising of the Minister for Finance, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Commerce Commission, was set up to find out what was happening on the ground.
Permanent Secretary for Finance, Filimone Waqabaca, confirmed a technical team led by the Commerce Commission have gone out and done a survey.
He said there should be a report coming to the committee on Tuesday and they would then see what the reports are.
Mr Waqabaca hoped there would be more actions/ideas from the special forum as to how they should manage this issue.

The possible cause
Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority chief executive, Jitoko Tikolevu, stressed it was important for the private sector to come on board to curb this issue.
“Government has done its part so there has to be some goodwill from the dealers. But I think it is the dealers/importers who not passing it on in order to make extra margins,” he said.
“These things are based on the fundamental that concessions must be passed down.
“In 2012, I was asked to call all the dealers and I challenged them to make sure the concessions were passed down. So we will soon see some of the things that was found.”

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