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Budget Needed Delicate Balance, Says A-G

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the setting up of the National Budget was not an easy matter but needed balance to achieve the varied goals Government
02 Aug 2016 11:18
Budget Needed Delicate Balance, Says A-G
Panelists at the third Speakers Debate from left: Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association president Dixon Seeto, Speaker to Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni, and Oppostion Member of Parliament Viliame Gavoka at the Grand Pacific Hotel last night. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the setting up of the National Budget was not an easy matter but needed balance to achieve the varied goals Government wanted to achieve.

“I think in terms of measuring the Sustainable Development Goals which of course we have to accomplish by 2030, we must take a holistic approach to it,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was responding a question raised by Government MP, Netani Rika who asked how the Government would prioritise the 17 sustainable development goals.

“I think in terms of measuring the SDGs which of course we have to accomplish by 2030, we must take a holistic approach to it,” he said.

“So if we for example were to talk about the health sector, we cannot produce a cardiologist overnight.

“We do not have one in Fiji at the moment.

“So point is producing a cardiologist to conduct an open heart surgery takes time.

“For example, if you want to train locals, you have to send them away they specialise and they come back or we could hire people direct or for example encourage the private sector to invest In the health sector.”

Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni, said the debate provided a platform on the SDG and the key areas of development issues which brought together diverse opinions leading to vigorous discussions on important issues.

Shadow Minister for Aviation and Tourism, Viliame Gavoka said during the debate the economy was largely dependent on service industries predominantly tourism which made up around 34 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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