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Attorney-General: Do Not Personalise Matters

Mr Prasad while referring to Mr Ali as the RBF governor and also the chair of the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji (ACCF), he said it was a ‘conflict of interest’.
14 May 2019 14:15
Attorney-General: Do Not Personalise Matters

As an elected Member of Parliament, it is important to be responsive and not to personalise matters.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made this statement while responding to Opposition member Biman Prasad commenting on the roles of the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) governor Arif Ali.

Mr Prasad while referring to Mr Ali as the RBF governor and also the chair of the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji (ACCF), he said it was a ‘conflict of interest’.

He added that it would be very difficult for Mr Ali to make decisions in the board as the RBF governor if he was part of the same board.

“How is he managing the current appointment and the role he has to play as the Governor?” Mr Prasad questioned.

Meanwhile, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the reality was about whether there was someone regulating or not, whether there was a declaration of conflict and whether “we ensure that we have the right people at the right places in particular, the key economic sectors”.

He said unlike Fiji, in the United States, the members of the house would never go out undermining their US economy because it’s an enormous interest of everyone that there was confidence in the economy.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum referred to the former RBF governor before Barry Whiteside, Savenaca Narube who sat in the FINTEL board, Fiji Sugar Co-operation board, Fiji National Provident Fund board on which he was the regulator, and in 2000, he was the permanent secretary for Finance and the Governor simultaneously at the same time, “that is the direct conflict”.

He added that the sugarcane growers fund was there to lend money to farmers not to the Government. Also RBF does not regulate sugarcane growers fund, it does not regulate FSC nor does it regulate ACCF.

He urged the Members of Parliament to stick to fundamentals, to look at the bigger picture and have new economic ways of thinking not the traditional economic aspects.

Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy said if one has to judge the performance of the RBF governor then they first needed to look at how the bank has done in respect to the delivery of these three key objectives:

1. Ensuring that there was stability in the country;

2. There’s adequate amount of foreign currency reserves;

3. Ensuring that the financial system was stable.

He added that they should leave it to the experts in economic to comment on the financial aspects.

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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