Analysis

A Chance To Have A Say, Participate In Budget Consultations In Person, Online

Get involved in the your national budget discussions. Very few countries give its citizens such an opportunity to participate fully in this regard. Now is your chance.
05 Mar 2019 16:52
A Chance To Have A Say, Participate In Budget Consultations In Person, Online
The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

The 2019-2020 National Budget consultations have started. This time around, people will be given the opportunity to make their submissions during online consultations.

Fiji has come a long way. Previously, people were merely informed of what was going to be in their budget.

Very few, if any consultations were held. Now it is different. Peo- ple have the chance to make these consultations their own.

This is their chance to go out and play an active role in forming the policies which will have an im- pact on everyone from students to housewives, to farmers and to employers and business houses.

This Budget consultation which is undertaken by the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum himself is the chance for Fijians to put forward what they want.

Some examples of how people helped shape the 2018-2019 National Budget was:
Changes in Tertiary Education Loans Scheme:

A number of students had openly talked about what were some teeth- ing issues with the scheme and how it could be made better.

They also talked at length about repayments and what could be done to ease it.
This was taken on board and new provisions were announced in the budget where early payments meant part of the loans would be written off.

Education budget and need for computer and science labs in some schools:

This financial year, the largest part of the budget was given to the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, a whooping $1billion!
This was the largest allocation to this ministry in Fiji’s history and part of this came from the consultations.

The Ministry of Economy through its Asset Management Unit also started the process where the stocktake of all Government schools were undertaken.
Once this is complete, Government will be in a better position to know which schools are not up to par with what is expected.

Changes in Health Ministry:

The health system and complaints about it have always been part of the submissions made. Follow- ing on from that, the Government asked that the General Practitioners be encouraged to set up their own clinics in suburbs and other residential areas.
These are a few examples of what people have actively got implemented in Fiji through their participation in the National Budget consultations.

This is your chance to make it happen.

Want the minimum wage rate reviewed? Get the update on it from the Minister for Economy during the consultations.
Want to know where the Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy has been used?

Ask for it and you will get updated information on it from the ministry.
Need street lights? Update on the rural electrification projects? All is at your disposal. Update on the rural electrification projects? All is at your disposal.
Fijians need to get out and participate actively in the National Budget consultations.

Very few countries give its citizens such an opportunity to participate fully in this regard. Now is your chance.

Edited by Percy Kean

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