Letters

Letters To The Editor, October 2, 2015

Congratulations Fiji Sun Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori Congratulation Fiji Sun for your 16th birthday. I know that some in our midst regard your newspaper as pro-Government and biased, but so is
02 Oct 2015 10:10
Letters To The Editor, October 2, 2015
fijisun.com.fj

Congratulations Fiji Sun
Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori
Congratulation Fiji Sun for your 16th birthday.
I know that some in our midst regard your newspaper as pro-Government and biased, but so is the other daily. Please stand strong and never be swayed.
If you are extremely biased towards an ideology that is extremely moderate then you are moderate. If you are extremely moderate towards an ideology that is extremely biased then you are biased.
Thank God you are not the latter.

Rental car permits
Dr Sushil Sharma, Lautoka
The degraded standards, lack of efficiency or timely service, service over-supply at certain times only with almost no after-hours service, certain restrictive and unethical conduct by owners, operators and/or bus drivers, taxis and mini-vans— has meant that the issuing of rental car permits should not be frozen as requested by the Fiji Taxi Association.
Fijians have no moral duty to save the taxi or any other industry for that matter, which deprives us to quality, efficiency, timely service or impacts on our personal preference in that sector.
Thus the Fiji Taxi Association calls on the authorities to freeze the issuing of new rental car permits, by the association general secretary Rishi Ram claiming the ‘over supply’ of rental permits had killed the taxi industry, is not something that Fijians should support.
It will be synonymous of consumers chopping their own feet with an axe. Why should we be the saviour of the industry? This type of intervention has been done for years, and in the absence of much earlier deregulation of the transport sector—has meant that we as consumers have had to suffer for so many years.
Only now consumers are slowly but belatedly being given some choices but still in a drip feed basis. However after hour services is almost absent after five PM in Fiji, when our rural towns just come to a dead stop at the same time with the lack of service.
Even in developed areas like Lautoka or even Suva the majority of buses come to a sudden halt around 6 PM to 8PM and the streets become empty.
Mr Ram said taxi operators could not get any ‘long run’ jobs because people preferred to get rental cars, which were being given at a cheap rate. I ask you readers and the entire Fijian population this question: What is wrong with this?
Fijians have a right to freedom of choice. We do not owe the transport industry or anyone for that matter an existence from our hard earned funds! I say bring it on—saturate Fiji with rental cars by giving as many permits as possible.
Lack of a timely intervention decades ago with a much-needed deregulation of the entire sector continues to deprive our people today of choices and affordability and we cannot have any further government interference in this sector to artificially buoy the taxi industry anymore.
The rental car industry is a boon to locals and visitors alike, providing quite affordable rates for long runs travels, and has given the public of Fiji a choice to ditch degraded types of transports, and instead use their hard earned money to pay for rental cars—which at least attempts to address some of the setbacks that we have in Fiji.
Visitor arrivals to Fiji have gone through the roof, and is set to further boom, with a burgeoning economy and supportive government of the tourism industry, the local airline, huge infrastructure developments, international airport expansions, highway and bridge improvements, parliamentary democracy and hotel and tourism developments—all at a phenomenal rate.
If anything, now is not the time for the type of intervention that the Fiji Taxi Association is seeking in its requests for a rental car permit freeze in Fiji.
If anything we have to remove all barriers in the entire transport sector with the issue of as many rental car permits, as demanded by the nation, especially in view of the present development, reform and deregulation trend in Fiji.

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