Letter: 9th May, 2019

Ungutted fish Wise Muavono, Lautoka Why is fish sold at the Lautoka fisheries wharf not gutted? Any comment from the Fisheries Minister or Permanent Secretary? LTA responses Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu
09 May 2019 15:12
Letter: 9th May, 2019

Ungutted fish

Wise Muavono, Lautoka

Why is fish sold at the Lautoka fisheries wharf not gutted?

Any comment from the Fisheries Minister or Permanent Secretary?

LTA responses

Tomasi Boginiso, Nasinu

Very surprisingly the LTA responded to the newspaper article regarding an American couple who were breakdown victims of bus traveling to Suva from Nadi.

Are the tourists the only people using the bus service?

Through my letters I have expressed how pathetic the bus services in this country are and have had no response from LTA. In Na­kelo, Tailevu two bus companies that operate the area are both unreliable.

Buses are not road worthy and breakdowns are faced by the public on a regular basis and yet LTA says that buses should be regularly inspected.

Whoever is doing the inspection is not doing a great job.

The LTA should suspend services of the two bus operators in the Nakelo area and allow a bus operator that is more reliable and con­sistent.

We the people of Nakelo are fed up with the current service.

This has been ongoing for years and keeps hitting deaf ears.

Yeshnil Karan

Sukha Singh, Labasa

Could somebody tell us why this Golden boy from Tavua is not in the Fijian team? Even if he won 2 gold medals by fluke he should have been selected for the team, over to you Joe Rodan.

FNPF service

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori

In most financial institutions, the sector that receives payments from clients is usu­ally very user friendly because it is where the institution receives its money.

Take banks for example, you fill the deposit slip; join the queue to the teller, present your deposits and the teller does the rest. If you are doing your payment at Courts, you just present your payment card to the cashier with your cash and he or she does the rest. At FRCS, you present your joint FNPF/ FRCS card and they tell you how much pro­visional tax you need to pay and they accept your payment at the same time. They are all done within two to three minutes. TLTB, WAF, EFL all do the same.

But this is not the case with the Fiji Nation­al Provident Fund (FNPF).

First you take a number and join the queue. When your number is called you take your deposit to them and they will tell you that they will send you a user name and password to your e-mail.

Then you take a trip back to your office or to an internet café to access your e-mail and retrieve the user name and password.

You go back to FNPF take a number and join a second queue. Once you are served, they tell you to wait for the particular officer who looks after such payment who is at that time busy with another customer.

After a few minutes the officer then will come and take you to their allocated com­puter and will try to teach you how to use the FNPF portal.

This is almost like taking you again to a computer class. There are different pages where you have to make different entries and so on.

If your employees are paid every Fridays on a weekly basis, then you will need to do adjustments almost every month because some months have four Fridays and some have five. Learning the portal is never user friendly.

After entering a few entries, the officer ex­pects you to master the system and leaves you to do the rest.

If you get stuck, you may need to wait for him or her for about an hour or so or join another queue to see the person again.

Another case scenario for example is if you and your wife have two separate businesses and to save time, your wife has delegated the task of FNPF payment for both businesses to you. You have an e-mail account which they must send user names and passwords to.

They will demand that you open another e-mail account because a single account for two separate businesses will result in the deletion of one of the business’s user name and password.

After the officer guides you through this complicated process then you have to note the invoice numbers shown on their portal for each of the entries you have entered and then join another queue to the teller.

The teller will then receive your cash and print out receipts.

What FNPF have actually done, they have turned employers to do all the data entry work for them.

A few times my staff in charge of wages spent half a day to one whole day at FNPF.

When she told me what she encountered every time, I thought that she was lying so I went there myself.

I spent more than half a day just trying to make FNPF payments for just three employ­ees for the last three months.

We small business owners pay our staff to do work for us.

We did not pay them to waste their time at FNPF queues or doing data entries for them. Why can’t they follow simple procedures like what all banks and FRCA, TLTB, WAF, EFL, Courts, Home and Living and etc. do in making deposits or payments to multiple ac­counts?

Can the authority concerned please look into this?

Mothers Day

Dewan Chand, Suva

Mothers day will be celebrated on Sunday May 14, 2019 and the mothers who are living will be adored by their children. However, those moms who have passed away and are in heavenly abode must also be remembered.

My mom Budhia aka Jasoda passed away some twenty years ago. I have been thinking about my mom who was born in the colonial era. Her parents were illiterate farmers at Kilikoso in Labasa. As per practice prevail­ing at the time she was married to my father Mithu Lal at a very young age (wild family guess suggests that she was fourteen and dad was seventeen years old). Between them they reared thirteen children (eight sons & five daughters). This is some sort of a record-breaking family rearing story. It is simply unthinkable in this day and age.

My parents eked out a living in a small rice farming village named Vitandra, Labasa. My mom seemed to be perpetually preg­nant and the house was always full of the cacophony created by the fights, shouting, crying and laughter of children. The poverty never seemed to leave our home and our par­ents were constantly working hard to feed the growing number of mouths in the fam­ily. Lucky for us that they were able to grow enough rice for the family and other vegeta­bles and legumes to sustain their brood. The cows provided enough milk and chicken and ducks provided ample protein. Nakai and fish from the adjacent Qava River was always a welcome addition to our diet.

Mom did not wear much jewelry or new clothes. She had to make do with a string of mohars (gold coins) and some bangles. Dur­ing the village Ram Lila Festival she occa­sionally got a new sari.

I can still see her face blooming with a smile. Children also got new clothes during Diwali or Ram Lila.

There was no electricity and no piped water in the village. Households carried hurricane lamps or Tilly lamps or Coleman lamps.

The traditional chulha (stove) was used for cooking and our mom had to endure belch­ing smoke. Because of this she constantly coughed and her health continued to deterio­rate.

We had to fetch water from the well and mom was always there to give us bath. So bath time in the evenings was always filled with fun.

During the dry season the village women had to trudge long distance to the dam locat­ed at the base of the Three Sisters Mountain. This dam provided fresh water to the FSC Mill located on the lower reaches of Qava River. Weekly expeditions to wash clothes at the dam was a chore the women had to en­dure. Our mom would tie bundles of washing clothes to be carried on her head. It was a day long journey as clothes had to be washed, dried and re-bundled to be brought back home in the afternoon.

Rice planting and harvesting seasons were particularly hectic for the family. All family members had to work and hired labourers had to be fed. So there was additional work for mom and our elder sister.

Apart from this mom also helped in collec­tion of dry coconuts for cutting copra, chop­ping firewood, milking cows, boiling milk and making ghee at home. If children fell sick she had to nurse them back to health.

While my mom was totally illiterate, she had a great sense of humour. She had inher­ited dancing from her father and an expert dholak (muscical drum) player. During vil­lage weddings she was in great demand to entertain visitors.

She was a leader of sorts and demanded at­tention in any crowd.

Our mother died at the age of 78. In my view she led a very successful and produc­tive life. Her sacrifices will always be remem­bered with love and affection. May her soul rest in peace.


Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Fiji is a salad bowl of people of varying pro­ductivity. There is really just a minority of people that are highly productive with a good majority being highly unproductive. The bal­ance float somewhere in between.

It was enough having alcohol, cigarettes, yaqona and unhealthy foods and beverages being the major causes of our ineffective, arid behaviour then lo and behold, in came the age of the internet and we’ve gone from being low in productivity, to going out with productivity, with everything heading down the doldrums!

We have become an inattentive, less de­tailed, unproductive nation, impregnated with nothing but excuse to cover up our very bad habits!

In fact, we have become so bad that we have even run out of unproductive things to do.

I have nothing more productive to say!

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj


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