17 Jan 2007

New Fiji administration to table new budget in March

9:41 am on 17 January 2007

Fiji's military appointed interim administration will present a new budget for 2007 to replace the one tabled in parliament by the deposed Qarase government.

The decision follows the day-long first meeting of the interim cabinet in Suva yesterday.

The finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, says the new budget will be tabled on March the 2nd to ensure government finances are protected taking into account recent policy changes and developments.

Mr Chaudhry says resources need to be redirected to bring about quick recovery and sustainability of state finances through lower deficit and debt levels.

As well, he says the new budget will reinvigorate Fiji's exports and focus more attention on the needs of the poor to lift them out of poverty.

Stakeholders have been invited to make submissions for the budget.

Meanwhile the interim minister for trade and commerce, Taito Waradi, says had it not been for the military intervention last month, the economy would have slipped into further decline leading to inevitable bankruptcy.

Mr Waradi says this could have forced an approach to the International Monetary Fund which would have imposed tighter monetary restrictions on Fiji.