Bulitavu Supports Bill 17, New Budget

“I agree with the amendment given the need to move that way. We shouldn’t think that this is only for Indo-Fijian tenants, it’s also for itaukei tenants,” Mr Bulitavu said.
27 Jul 2021 09:12
Bulitavu Supports Bill 17, New Budget
SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu

SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu has supported the proposed amendments to the iTaukei Land Trust Act commonly known as Bill No. 17 of 2021.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr Bulitavu said this was not the time to play politics and use land issues to manipulate people.

He spoke in support of Bill 17 from the perspective of a landowner that is moving into entrepreneurship and said that tight controls are vested on the TLTB board which has the duty to consult landowners of any changes.

He said it was time for landowners to be business minded and use available resources for the betterment of their future generations.

“I agree with the amendment given the need to move that way. We shouldn’t think that this is only for Indo-Fijian tenants, it’s also for itaukei tenants,” Mr Bulitavu said.

In regard to consent, he said it is a non-issue as banks in liaison with iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) have assessment criteria in place to handle any possible breaches.

“We are encouraging all landowners to use your resources and the policies in place. The view of native land from a protectionist view should be removed,” he said.

“We should think of native land as an innovation and empowerment tool to use with policies by government to develop ourselves.”

Supporting 2021-2022 National Budget

Furthermore, Mr Bulitavu supported the 2021-2022 National Budget and labelled it as a bold and decisive budget that will rebuild the nation.

He said he saw a budget with a decisive plan on three fronts in that it has sustainable measures for those financially affected by COVID-19, vital policies to revive the economy and a concerted effort to achieve herd immunity through vaccination.

Mr Bulitavu applauded the additional $9 million allocated to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to assist the battle against COVID-19.

“There could be many interpretations but again I remind you that we are in a war against COVID-19 and we need these measures in place to win that war. As national leaders we should never lose sight of the way forward for the country.”

Draunidalo’s comment

Meanwhile, prominent Suva lawyer Roko Tupou Draunidalo has been vocal about her support for Bill 17 on her Facebook page.

Itaukei’s in general, she said should not be held back from progress by those in the minority who want Fijians to go backwards by following bad advice, leaders and politics in perpetuity.

“The TLTB should seriously keep a record of objectors and deny them the benefits,” Roko Tupou said.

“It’s only fair and just, no to freebies and freeloaders.

“P.S. if Government was to consult on every legislation, it wouldn’t be able to do much. Four years is a short time for government but more than enough time for voters to research the contenders and their policies etc.”

She further advised landowning units not to engage lawyers who cannot articulate the benefits, opportunities and responsibilities open to them in Bill 17.

“It means that they can’t read and comprehend the totality of what the bill presents.

“They are holding you back and in a hundred years’ time, your descendants will be still complaining with no solutions like you do today but much poorer.”

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

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