NEWS

Bill Passed To Exempt Some From Paying FNPF Levies

A Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday to exempt international organisations from paying Fiji National Provident Fund contributions. Instead, they would pay their own superannuation to their employees. The Diplomatic
27 Apr 2017 11:00
Bill Passed To Exempt Some From Paying FNPF Levies
Opposition MPs from left: Jiosefa Dulakivereta, Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki, and leader Ro Teimumu Kepa during a press conference at Parliament on April 26, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar

A Bill was passed in Parliament yesterday to exempt international organisations from paying Fiji National Provident Fund contributions.

Instead, they would pay their own superannuation to their employees.

The Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations Amendment Bill 2017 was enacted through Standing Order 51.

The Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while speaking on the Bill, said we have international organisations in Fiji such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and a few others that were very large.

He said that these international organisations had their own superannuation schemes.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added there was an urgent need to pass the Bill in order to facilitate at least one international organisation that wanted to set up a branch in Fiji.

The Bill, he said, related to the provision of superannuation and exemptions required from the Fiji National Provident Fund Act.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said at the moment the law in Fiji stipulated that any Fijian working in any international organisations must follow the superannuation scheme followed through FNPF.

He said these international organisations were higher than Fiji and they needed to subscribe to their own superannuation scheme.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said in some countries the latitudes given to these international organisations fell under the diplomatic missions and international organisation definition, they were exempted and subjected to various criteria met by them.

The World Bank, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, would be relocating part of its regional office in March from Sydney to Suva at the new FNFPF Plaza where more than 10 employees would be local.

He said they had an agreement with the international organisations where various rights of the organisation was stipulated and various laws would apply for to those who work for the organisation.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was important to pass the Bill so that the agreement would be finalised to provide for the superannuation scheme which had been proposed.

National Federation Party Opposition MP, Biman Prasad said there was no need to pass the Bill urgently and that it needed to go through the various relevant authorities before it was tabled before Parliament.

In response, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the fact was there is the partnership agreement pending.

He said the sooner the matter was resolved, the sooner World Bank would start moving and it would have an economic spill over to Fiji when they set up their regional offices here.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the reality most of the schemes from these international organisations were generous.

But, he said the Bill showed it must be an international organisation so it doesn’t imply to any multinational organisation that was outside the definition of a diplomatic missions or international organisation.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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