NATION

Possible Naming, Shaming After Amnesty Period: Minister Kumar

Premila Kumar says action will be taken after the amnesty period for defaulters of city and town rates.
01 Nov 2019 16:21
Possible Naming, Shaming After Amnesty Period: Minister Kumar
The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar (third from left), during a meeting with the Ba Town Council on October 31, 2019. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development Premila Kumar say action will be taken after the amnesty period for defaulters of city and town rates.

Mrs Kumar said there would be communication with ratepayers in order to reach an amicable agreement during the amnesty period which ends on December 31.

“After December 31 there are two or three things we are going to do, of course we will name and shame them because they cannot piggyback on other ratepayers who have genuinely paid their rates and the others are enjoying the services without paying rates,” she said.

“Secondly, we can also under the legislation, sell their properties to recover rates so there are a couple of options we can take.”

She said there were various reasons why members of the public did not pay their city rates.

“We have found that the ratepayers have moved out of Fiji they’ve rented their properties and they’re not paying their rates the second group is where the property is under dispute and it’s under a public trustee and that needs to be sorted out ,” Minister kumar said.

“The third category is where the people are genuinely unemployed and need assistance and the fourth category is they are simply not bothered.”

She said there was also an issue with transferring of properties.

“Lawyers when transferring properties should make sure all debts are cleared, we have cases where properties have exchanged hands but the rates were still owed to the council. The new owners come in they say they have nothing to do with old rates, “she said.

Residential ratepayers will be given time to clear their arrears.

“If they pay the principal amount, all the interest charged in that account will be taken off so they don’t need to pay that,” she said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: salote.naibena@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper