Saturday, November 24, 2007

Budget 2008 for Fiji

2008 Budget won't deliver: Qarase
Friday November 23, 2007

Fiji's former ruling party remains doubtful that the 2008 National Budget announced by the interim Government today will deliver a quick recovery of the economy.

SDL party leader and ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase said that the economic recovery promised in the 2008 Budget will remain an unfulfilled dream.

"In my honest opinion, this budget will not deliver a quick recovery as promised by the interim Minister of Finance," he said.

Qarase said that economic growth for 2007 has been revised from a negative growth of -2.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product initially, to -3.1 per cent and now -3.9 per cent.

"With a positive growth of 3.6 per cent of GDP in 2006 by the SDL Government, the decline in the economy is in effect 7.5 percent of GDP," he said.

He alleges that the decline is the direct result of the December 5 coup and mismanagement by the interim regime.

"A small budget surplus of 0.4 per cent of GDP is forecasted for 2007 and this is a direct result of project under-expenditure of around $200 million in 2007," Qarase said.

He claims interim Finance minister Mahendra Chaudhry has deliberately withheld expenditure, particularly in rural areas and other key sectors, in order to achieve a budget surplus.

Qarase added that the net budget deficit for 2008 is projected to be 2 per cent of GDP.

The ups and downs of State expenditure

Saturday, November 24, 2007

THE State has announced a $1.52billion Budget with $1.2billion to be spent mostly on wages. Capital expenditure will take up $269million.

Allocations by department were:

-Office of the President, $1.56million (compared to $1.6million this year); Prime Minister's Office and People's Charter for Change, $5.14m ($5.64m for 2007);

-Public Service Commission and Public Enterprise, $13.7m ($13.9m);

-Ministry of Finance, National Planning and Sugar Industry, $90.24m ($104.3m);

-Ministry (Department) of Provincial Development, Indigenous and Multi-Ethnic Affairs, $45.9m ($47.2m);

-Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration, $5.3m ($5.4m);

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Co-operation and Civil Aviation, $20.94m ($21.13m);

-Office of the Auditor General, $3.17m ($2.81m);

-Elections Office, $4.24m ($707,000);

-Judiciary, $12.38m ($12.11m);

-Legislature, $1.01m ($1.48m);

-Office of the Ombudsman, $1.47m ($1.42m);

-Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, $4.6m ($3.89m);

-Ministry of Justice, $2.01m ($2.12m);

-Fiji Prisons Service, $13.7m ($13.5m);

-Department of Information, $4.42m ($6.5m);

-Fiji Military Forces, $81.5m ($80.7m);

-Fiji Police Force, $70.53m ($69m);

-Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture and Arts, $25.5m ($26.1m);

-Ministry of Health, $139.5m ($150.8m);

-Department of Local Government and Urban Development, $3.52m ($3.96m);

-Ministry of Housing Women and Social Welfare, $32.2m ($29.2m);

-Ministry of Industrial Relations, Employment Youth and Sport, $12.43m ($13.32m);

-Ministry of Primary Industries, $58.7m ($62m);

-Ministry of Lands, Mineral Resources and Environment, $40.75m ($47.9m);

-Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Trade and Communications, $31.27m ($30.6m);

-Ministry of Transport, Works and Energy, $251.1m ($235.6m).

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