NATION

13 Municipal Councils Owed $33 Million In Rates: Kumar

She highlighted that the system needed to be changed so people become more responsible and pay their rates on time.
02 Nov 2019 14:56
13 Municipal Councils Owed $33 Million In Rates: Kumar
Premila Kumar – Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development. Photo: Ronald Kumar

For the whole of Fiji and all the 13 municipal councils, I am very disappointed to say that $33 million are owed in town rates.

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar added that the $33 million rates owed had accumulated over many years.

Ms Kumar said she could assure that the Government has worked out a system to recover these rates.

“We had offered an amnesty period this year which ended in August,” she said.

“And then again, because the ratepayers were coming forward and they said if we could extend it because some of them will be getting back pay, etc., in December, so we considered that and have extended the amnesty period until December 31, 2019.

“After that, there will be no amnesty period. This is when we will be doing the recovery.

“So we are trying to understand each ratepayer. But we have generally seen when it comes to making the right decision; we do not see that happening.

She highlighted that the system needed to be changed so people become more responsible and pay their rates on time.

“We will give an opportunity to the ratepayer to clear the rates, if they don’t; it is going to be name and shame, which we will put it in the papers.

“We will be using small claims tribunal and there are other provisions in the Act.

“We also want to do the data cleansing. We want to know whether the ratepayers are still alive, or dead or migrated or just because the property has changed hands, we have to tidy up that area,” Ms Kumar added.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper