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Capital Expenditure And Investment Policies Continuation Encouraged In Next Budget

As the 2016 National Budget announcement draws nearer, there is a broad indication that Government should continue with its capital expenditure and investment policies. We interviewed the Fiji Commerce Commission
24 Oct 2015 09:30
Capital Expenditure And Investment Policies Continuation Encouraged In Next Budget
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya (seated right) with Fiji Commerce Commission newly-appointed chairperson, Joann Young (seated left). Standing back from left: Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali with Commerce Commission board members: Vimlesh Sagar, Lyanne Vaurasi, Romil Patel, Isikeli Tikoduadua and Bobby Maharaj (CEO).. Photo: RACHNA LAL

As the 2016 National Budget announcement draws nearer, there is a broad indication that Government should continue with its capital expenditure and investment policies.

We interviewed the Fiji Commerce Commission on their expectations from the budget.

Commission chief executive, Bobby Maharaj, said generally the budget should build on the good capital expenditure policies that the Government has been prioritising over the years.

“Capital expenditure in the form of investments in the necessary infrastructure is essential not only for the current generation of Fijians, but for the future Fijians as well,” he said.

“The Government should also continue with its private sector investment policies so that we continue to enjoy the benefits of the private sector led growth and development of Fiji.”

Mr Maharaj believes the budget should intensify efforts to address economic constraints, expand our growth performance, create work opportunities and broaden economic participation.

“Consistency of policies, as the government has shown in the past years, is critical for all this,” he stressed.

 

Submission

In terms of the Commerce Commission’s budget submission, Mr Maharaj said they have based this on three key pillars of the Commission’s future strategies.

These are on staff retention and capacity building, building and strengthening relationships as well as legislative and regulatory reforms.

Mr Maharaj said staff retention and capacity building has been one of the major challenges facing the Commission over the years.

“Anti-trust enforcement is a professional activity and the quality of the staff of the regulator is an asset on which every government can rely for the development of a more market oriented regulatory environment,” he said.

“The major part of the Commission’s budget submission for 2016 relates to appropriately remunerating the staff, staff capacity building and also professional development.

“These are in areas such as investigations, obtaining evidence, dealing with potential defendants and witnesses investigatory methods.

“Also in advanced economic theories required for conducting review of complex anti-competitive conduct and strengthening FCC’s investigatory, enforcement and  legislative capacities.”

Mr Maharaj said there is also a need to build and strengthen relationships with all stakeholders based on trust, respect and confidence.

“This includes greater efforts to publicise the laws and to enforce them and greater public awareness about the competition (restrictive trade practices) provisions of the Decree,” he said.

“This is to ensure that we move towards self-regulation of the markets.”

The Commerce Commission’s submission has also proposed for the review of the economic, administrative and competition regulation of the Fijian markets.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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