Why We Loan?: PM Tells Naitasiri Council

Mr Bainimarama was quizzed about whether the Government has used the money wisely or not.
17 Jun 2022 12:32
Why We Loan?: PM Tells Naitasiri Council
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the Naitasiri Provincial Council meeting at Kalabu Village on June 16, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fijian Government takes out loans to improve living standards and help those affected by unforeseen circumstances.

This was highlighted by the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama while outlining government’s utilisation of the loans it secured during the Naitasiri Provincial Council Meeting yesterday.

He said loans from organisations and government was one of the decisions the Government made to keep the country afloat.

Mr Bainimarama said it was wise not to listen to others who try to paint a controversial picture.

He chose to set the record straight.

“All countries borrow money to fund development. They borrow money to build, and Fiji does the same,” he said.

He said the Government funds infrastructural improvements through loans and does not go out to communities asking for money.

Representatives at the meeting were told that the Government paid for the cost through borrowed money.

He said it created opportunities for Fijians whether it be personal or business and these create a return on investment.

Revenues from these, he said, would be used to pay back the borrowed money.

“If there was a road to be constructed in Naitasiri, it would cost millions of dollars but we would not be coming to every village to collect money for it, we would ask for a loan,” he said.

The Minister for Itaukei Affairs said circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia – Ukraine war have created a new norm for the country.

If Fiji did not take out loans, Fijians would not be living in comfort.

Mr Bainimarama was quizzed about whether the Government has used the money wisely or not.

He said time has proved that the Government did.

Mr Bainimarama said that the Government has paid out half a billion dollars in direct and indirect unemployment benefits.

“Not only did we stop the Fijian economy from collapsing, we kept our macroeconomic fundamentals strong,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji’s economy was expected to grow by 11.3 per cent in 2022 compared to last year.

He also said the current Debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio of around 88.6 per cent was expected to drop steadily over the next three years.

Government’s confidence in the growth follows the trust of development partners on how it carefully used the borrowed money which, he said, benefited every Fijian.

“Our businesses are thriving, visitors are returning, and Fiji is one of the world’s best-defended countries against COVID-19,” he said.

He added it was the Government’s job to understand challenges and confront them without fear.




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