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A Post-Election Promise, Not Vote-Buying, Koya says of Grants

Faiyaz Koya says the Micro and Small Business Grant scheme is not a last minute exercise to buy votes. The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources told
22 Mar 2017 11:00
A Post-Election Promise, Not Vote-Buying, Koya says  of Grants
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (left) and Minister for Trade Faiyaz Koya outside Parliament yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Faiyaz Koya says the Micro and Small Business Grant scheme is not a last minute exercise to buy votes.

The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources told Parliament yesterday that it was a promise given after the 2014 General Election.

He was responding to SODELPA Opposition MP Semesa Karavaki who said it was not economic development but vote buying.

Another SODELPA Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula said 760 of his supporters also received the grant in Vanua Levu.

Mr Koya said the problem with the Opposition was that they did not want to be corrected.

He said the Indian government supported the initiative and donated $10 million.

SODELPA Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka had asked the original question: Could the minister explain if there are other options being considered by Government to handle the SME scheme, given that processing the grants creates a huge amount of unnecessary work for the Fiji Development Bank?

Mr Koya said through the partnership with FDB, the FDB was clearly delivering its mandate by facilitating the promotion and development of enterprises in Fiji and giving special consideration and priority to the economic development of the rural and agricultural sectors.

“In our analysis of the enterprises that we have assisted so far and which now totals 7171, 5041 enterprises are rural based, which is a little over 70 per cent and 4634 projects or 65 per cent of the total projects assisted are in the agricultural.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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