Thursday, May 06, 2010

$10m owed to Lands ministry

Fiji Live News - May 06, 2010 

The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources has revealed it is owed $8 to $10 million in arrears which has accumulated over the years.

Permanent Secretary for Lands, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni said the ministry urgently needs to address the issue of revenue collection.

“There was not any consistency in collection over the years and the ministry is not working very hard to find ways to address the issue,” he stated.

Leweni said the ministry will use available resources to address immediate issues while working towards strengthening processes and reorganization within the ministry to maximize productivity.

He said contrary to public perception, government is adamant on retaining all Crown Land.

“However, government owns only six percent of Crown Land while Native Land Trust Board owns more than eighty percent,” he said.

“Government needs to maintain ownership of these entities for its future use and the idea of returning ownership is unlikely.”

Leweni added the two key issues before the Ministry of Lands now are the Namosi Mine and revenue collection.

Comments posted on Matavuvale.com (http://www.matavuvale.com)
  • What group will they be focussing on to collect these arrears? I doubt it that it will be from minning companies or other businesses, this is another cunning effort by this unelected official to cut off the leases that is currently being paid to the landowners. It is just another smokescreen and of course they will blame the previous govt for it.
  • It's hardly a surprise though as they are running out of revenue and will be doing anything to squeeze the last drop from any source that they can exploit. Try doing something productive for a change Leweni.
  • Past governments have tried implementing initiatives to draw income from our resources, keeping in mind that the land belongs to its owners and must have a good communication based relationship that will allow the govt. to bring out the best in bi-partisan agreements.
  • We are a developing country and with good business plans, professional consultations, we should be able to draw the maximum income from our resources. We have mineral, we have fisheries, we have forests, we have tourism, we have farm produce we have people, we have water, we have suqar and more, why can't this government use these to their advantage to up export figures?
  • Here they are, reducing wages, cutting down the workforce, landgrabbing, wrecking tourism, suqar and the whole lot including our own Air Pacific, asking for loans, and employing people to go out and collect debts while their Illegal PM is out doing his "Vesumona" in rural areas.
  • Then there is the overpaid military whose job is to harass and intimidate people and every six months send some to get extra cash from peacekeeping.

    No wonder our economy is finding it hard to recover.


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