Growing Our Economy Is Govt’s Priority, Says A-G

I am not here to get votes, I am here to do budget consultations.
09 Mar 2022 11:54
Growing Our Economy Is Govt’s Priority, Says A-G
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (standing right) at the budget consultation in Lautoka on March 8, 2022. Photo: DEPTFO News

Government places great emphasis on growing the economy in its bid to provide better opportunities for the people, especially the younger population.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, shared this view when he was asked about the benefits of the 2021-2022 National Budget for youths.

“The easiest way to give employment is to grow the economy. That’s why we emphasise a lot on growing the economy and when you grow the economy there are a lot of job opportunities so that’s why we as a nation must focus more on growing the economy,” the A-G said.

The question was raised by the founder and president of the One Nation Our People Youth Club, Abdul Zorhab.

“This is why it is important for us to understand that for the economy to grow we need to have stability and we need to have consistency and policies, if we chop and change the people won’t feel confident,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added.

Mr Zorhab said the club members appreciate the Government’s ongoing help over the years, especially in farming and providing boats


Disability assistance

Mr Zorhab also spoke about how the disability allowance given to some individuals was not enough.

“As we visit the rural areas surveying families that are affected, can there be an increase in the disability assistance?,” he asked.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said eligible individuals were currently receiving $90 a month.

“Whether it will increase that is something we have to look at, whether we have the means to do that or not,” he said.


I’m not here to get votes: A-G

I am not here to get votes, I am here to do budget consultations.

That was the message by the A-G while responding to an issue raised by a  former Lautoka Market vendor, Farasiko Dreunavudi, who said he did not receive his $360, despite being fully vaccinated.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum then made the comment after Mr Dreunavudi said the A-G would be guaranteed a vote in the next General Election, if he would be given his share of the $360.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said: “The $360 is closed. People who did complain to us about the $360, we had a team of people who looked at the $360 queries; I don’t know what specific reason it was.”

Mr Dreunavudi, 62, also said he had complained to the highest level of authority when he did not receive the $360 pay-out, and still there was no response.

“Any $360 message received was sent to his team to assess the situation,” the A-G said.


Minimum wage rate

Mr Dreunavudi also requested if the minimum wage rate could be increased to $5.

“Minimum wage is all about getting the right balance, where people don’t lose their jobs and at the same time people have enough money to meet their expenses,” the A-G said.

“We got a professor from Australia who comes and does the assessment, so at the moment, its $2.68 the minimum wage. But remember, there are lots of people, their minimum wage is a lot higher. That’s what you call the unskilled workers.

“If that $2.68 goes up then the people whose minimum wage rate is maybe $4.50 theirs will also go up too.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said the assessment of the minimum wage rate was done independently.



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