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Acting PM Thanks All MPs For Participating In The Debate

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last night thanked all MPs after the 2016 Budget was passed. He was glad Opposition MPs participated after they boycotted the
19 Nov 2015 22:48
Acting PM Thanks All MPs For Participating In The Debate
Acting Prime Minister and the Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a press conference in Suva yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last night thanked all MPs after the 2016 Budget was passed.
He was glad Opposition MPs participated after they boycotted the Budget debate last year.
Twenty five MPs voted for the Budget, 17 opposed it and six did not vote.
The vote was taken after Parliament in committee debated and passed 52 Budget heads (sections).
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was a good and interesting exercise and they were glad the Opposition was there as opposed to last year.
“I think everybody in Parliament was able to gain a lot of knowledge through the very rigorous questioning of the various allocations that has been made in various heads and I think it was a learning exercise obviously and we shared some very long days and now the budget is passed,” he said.
Today, he said, they would look forward to approving the consequential bills, consequential to the budget, to ensure that the budget’s policy framework did get into monetary law.

Estimates
He said the passing of the estimates was not the only thing with the Budget because for example there were various other amendments required to give effect to the budget announcements.
“Things like the reduction in VAT so we have announced that it would be reduced by nine per cent by January so we have to make an amendment to the VAT decree.”
He said these were the kinds of amendments that would take place in the consequential bill and they also had the Income Tax Bill that was before Parliament which needed to come into effect in January next year.
“We obviously would like to thank all the Members of Parliament for their contribution and of course patience and perseverance. As you know we finished past midnight Wednesday night and we would to thank everybody for that.”
Commenting on the level of debate from the Opposition he said there were very interesting times as far as the quality of the input.
However, he said it was a learning exercise and he looked forward to improved discussions and debates in the year to come.
Government Whip Mr Ashneel Sudhakar said they had planned to pass the Budget yesterday and moved on to debate the consequential bills today.

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