NEWS

‘No Entertainment Leads To Urban Drift’

Limited nightlife and entertainment at Savusavu Town has led to the loss of employees to other municipalities, according to a local businesswoman. Satma Chandra said: “We place the advertisement for
30 Apr 2017 10:52
‘No Entertainment Leads To Urban Drift’
Satma Chandra (right), during the Budget Consultation at Hot Springs Hotel in Savusavu on April 29, 2017. Photo: Josaia Ralago

Limited nightlife and entertainment at Savusavu Town has led to the loss of employees to other municipalities, according to a local businesswoman.

Satma Chandra said: “We place the advertisement for work but they are not interested to come here because of this and most of the employees move to Viti Levu because they have so much to offer.”

Ms Chandra was speaking during the 2017-2018 National Budget Consultation at the Hot Springs Hotel in Savusavu yesterday presided by the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“And this is why business here is really slow and our economy small,” Ms Chandra said.

“Whenever we ask potential workers to come to Savusavu from Suva they would they would say “What is there for our children, how can they enjoy life there, what do you have in Savusavu for them?”, so we really need to something about this.

“We would really build our Savusavu to another level but without people we would not be able to do this.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government had tried to encourage and boost economic activity by providing tax breaks and providing rural development.

“One of the things that we have tried to do is provide various incentives like new businesses moving to Vanua Levu get a 13 year tax-free,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He added that they had done the same for economically depressed areas in Viti Levu to get people to live there.

“We have also started on projects like the rural streetlights which has already started in Viti Levu,” he said.

“The reality is all about demand and supply. There is a huge demand for people working in different sectors.

“And people do move around, we have to roll with the punches but something that we have to ensure is that the proper standards are being met.”

 

Tax exemption bid refused

A request by a social private club in the North for tax exemption was questioned by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum during the National Budget Consultation yesterday.

Making his submission in Savusavu, the president of the Planters Club in Savusavu, Mod Singh, said their club was struggling because of the tax costs that they had to bear annually.

“This in regards to Service Turnover Tax and Environment Tax, and our submission is to request Government to consider giving relief for these two taxes to local private social clubs as we are struggling to survive under these taxes,” Mr Singh said.

“This is a local club, is 60 years old and membership of about 200 people. We should revert to 2016 when local private clubs were not required to collect STT.”

Mr Singh said Savusavu was a small town and because of the high cost of liquor in their clubs, even members preferred to buy drinks from liquor stores.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said policies set by Government were national and applied for all municipalities.

“We make these policies. It could not only be about one particular town or city, it should rule across the borders of these municipalities,” he said.

“So what you’re saying is that Savusavu has a private club please exempt us. Now what can actually happen is that you will have these little clubs developing all over the place to get around that.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

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