9 Nov 2004

Expert says big Fiji Government borrowing from the provident fund is a calculated risk

3:53 pm on 9 November 2004

The Fiji government's move to borrow further money from the state pension funds is being described as a calculated risk by an economics expert.

The Qarase government set out plans in last week's budget to borrow almost 2-hundred million U.S. dollars from the National Provident Fund.

This is on top of the more than 950-million dollars already owed to the NPF by the government.

The head of the economic development school at the University of the South Pacific, Doctor Ropate Qalo, says he needs more details to judge whether the government's move makes economic sense.

"I think it is a calculated risk: Whether it's economically good sense will depend on the kind of details that people are working on. People who have commented on this are pretty precarious in the view they take because we don't have the details."

Doctor Qalo was commenting after concerns were voiced that interest paid on NPF members' funds has been slashed by a third over the last decade and pensions have been falling.