Caption: Private sector representatives during the budget submission discussions at FRCA.
Members of various community organizations and business groups today presented their submissions to Government as part of the lead-up to the 2014 budget in November.
A talanoa session for the various stakeholders in the economy was conducted at Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) headquarters in Suva hosted by the Finance Ministry and chaired by the Attorney General, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
It also included the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr Barry Whiteside, the CEO of FRCA, Mr Jitoko Tikolevu, and Permanent Secretaries from Finance and National Planning.
As well as airing their views on the direction the next budget should take, the gathering also provided the opportunity for the various organizations to hear each other’s views.
They ranged from civil society groups such as the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum, Mareqeti Viti (Nature Fiji), the People’s Community Network and the Fiji Council of Social Services to the Fiji Sports Council and mainstream employer organizations such as the Fiji Chamber of Commerce, the Fiji Manufacturers Association and the Fiji Employers Federation.
Representatives of the tourism, clothing, livestock and fishing industries were also present, along with a range of public enterprises such as Investment Fiji and the Fiji Roads Authority. Academics also took part.
A dominant theme was a call from business for the Government to continue with its efforts to improve efficiency in the Civil Service and cut red tape.
In his comments to the gathering, the Attorney General said the Bainimarama Government had made significant reforms over the past few years that were badly overdue.
“We need to treat the development of the economy in a holistic manner, balancing the different interests and ensuring that the much needed fundamental structural changes provide benefits for all Fijians”, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.