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Spotlight On The National Budget

It is that time of the year again where all business communities look forward to the National Budget announcement. The 2016 National Budget will be announced by the Minister for
17 Oct 2015 10:12
Spotlight On The National Budget
Div Damador

It is that time of the year again where all business communities look forward to the National Budget announcement.
The 2016 National Budget will be announced by the Minister for Finance on November 6.
Many key revenue and expenditure measures are expected to be announced for next year and have targeted initiatives to ensure that the people get assistance and government services.
Looking back at the budget announcements in the past year, major focus was placed on education, water, health, roads, infrastructure, social welfare, agriculture and rural development.
We also witnessed changes in taxes and duties. To fight Non-Communicable Diseases, Excise Duty on tobacco and alcohol rose by 10 per cent while there was 5 cents per litre excise duty imposed on sweetened drinks.
Duty for items like perfume, cosmetics, pre-shave, shaving gear, after shave, cameras, camcorders, sunglasses, binoculars, video and electronic games, watches, ipods, MP3 and MP4 players and jewellery rose increased from 0% to 32%.
The VAT Decree was also amended to zero-rate repeats of prescribed medicine.
As most of our business communities have made their submissions to the annual National Budget, this week we ask our leaders what they feel should be addressed during the upcoming announcements.

Div Damodar:
Basically we want to make a general statement, stating that we would like to see the budget fall positive towards economic growth, which will encourage more investment, more business activities which will generate more business for everyone. So generally we are for a budget system that is for economic growth.

Abhay Nand
Firstly I think the cost of traffic. The government could spend more on public transport and encouraging people to use public transport. Like in overseas I think more money should be spent on public transport so that it can be more efficient so people are encourage to use it instead of their private vehicles.
Secondly, since I am in a medical profession, we feel that more money should be spent on medical facilities. Government can’t make it on its own so they should have a lot of private sector participation in neglected areas.
Another thing is more tax incentives for development in towns like Nausori, Rakiraki, Tavua etc. The government should look at this so that people are more encouraged to develop these areas.
My last major one is FNPF. Since I use to work in the bank, I feel FNPF is your retirement fund, a super annuation. I think government should put a policy where FNPF money is meant for yourself when you can’t work and retired because no one else will look after you.
Shaenaz Voss:
I would like to see the budget that we’ve proposed for Film Fiji has submitted its budget for 2016 and we are hoping that what we proposed is allocated to us to ensure that we continue developing the industry here in Fiji and also attract the right time of film production. One of my other things I would really like to see in the budget is to focus on health in general.

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