Landowners have been told that they should be the ones receiving maximum benefits from the use of their lands.
The comment came from Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while officiating during the Nadroga Netball Association’s annual competition at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.
“We want landowners to be asset rich and cash rich as well,” he said.
This was stated in relation to the fact whereby previous landowners were not able to maximise their returns because of the inclusion of a third party in the development phase of a land.
As per the 2018-2019 National Budget, the Government will provide grants to landowners in terms of developing roads, electricity, and water in order to have land prepared for leasing.
In this way, landowners are able to maximise returns.
Also responding to the effective dates for the budget implementation, the Attorney-General said some measures would be effective from January 1, 2019, while others such as tariff increases become effective on midnight of the day it was announced.
“The price of cigarettes should have gone up by now,” he added.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also addressed other measures contained in the Budget.
For one, claiming worker’s compensation seemed to be a long drawn out process previously.
However, under the new Budget, every worker will now be covered for compensation under the Accident Compensation Commission of Fiji (ACCF).
“If you get injured at work, you will get paid,” he stated.
Responding to a question posed to him regarding those who had not been able to secure a grant for themselves, the Attorney-General said people had a right to know and can question the respective ministries in regards to their application and the basis of their rejection.
In terms of the education sector, the Government will provide scholarships to locals in pursuing studies which are not available locally such as architecture or a degree in counselling.
“We need more counsellors in Fiji,” he added.
The Attorney-General also said that effective from January 1, 2019, people will no longer have to pay a fee for electronic transactions as of January 1, 2019.