NATION

Students Have Brilliant Ideas That Contribute To National Budget: A-G

The energy and ideas of students were not tapped into by previous governments when National Budget consultations were held as some could have brilliant ideas with them. In saying this,
16 Mar 2017 11:00
Students Have Brilliant Ideas That Contribute To National Budget: A-G
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in discussion with the President of the Western People's Association Jay Prasad during the 2017-2018 National Budget public consultations which was held at the Returned Service League Hall in Lautoka. PHOTO:ARISHMA DEVI NARAYAN

The energy and ideas of students were not tapped into by previous governments when National Budget consultations were held as some could have brilliant ideas with them.

In saying this, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said last year’s consultations with some secondary school students showed how enthusiastic students were in wanting to make contributions.

SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka had questioned of how Government had involved students in budget consultations and claimed it was brainwashing students.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this was a silly suggestion by Mr Rabuka and an insult to the students as many wanted to contribute to the National Budget.

“It is important to consult school students. We had heard some politicians saying that we should not be talking to students. Obviously, we need to involve students, they are very much part and parcel of the Fijian citizenry,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“It is quite a silly suggestion to say otherwise and if you talk to all these students, they all want to contribute and that’s their right,” he said.

And this year, the Ministry of Economy will do more in regards to getting secondary school students views on the national budget.

“Nearly 70 per cent of the population is below the age of 40 and these people are the citizens of our country. They need to be able to have an input into the budgets.”

He strongly stated that young minds needed to be tapped into because they had brilliant ideas.

“They can also have some very valid issues which they might want to bring to the floor that can be in the interest of the budget.

“So I think it’s an insult to these young people. The young people, like the former President of India said, are the energy of any country and we need to tap into that energy,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

While such extensive consultation was unheard of under previous Governments, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said this Government was keen to engage the young minds.

We must empower the young people, he said.

National public consultations for the 2017-2018 budget began in Lautoka yesterday. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the consultations would be expanding into districts for schools.

This was being done to make it easier so that high school students couldattend the consultations and make their contribution.

The next round of Budget consultation in Lautoka will take place on Saturday at the Lautoka Sugar City Mall.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: arishma.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

 



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