23 Jul 2008

Fiji university economist says interim Government efforts to revive economy have failed

6:29 pm on 23 July 2008

A university economist in Fiji, Dr Biman Prasad, says the interim Fiji Government's has failed in its attempts to revive the faltering economy.

The University of the South Pacific economist, speaking at the Fiji Update 2008 lectures, says while interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry emphasised reforms to revive the economy, the results have not been achieved.

The Fiji Times website reports Dr Prasad saying in the lecture that the distressing fact is Fiji seems to be swimming deeper in the wrong direction.

He says the regime has not been able to reform and contain public expenditure and any savings from cutting wages has been offset by spending on the People's Charter and the military.

Dr Prasad says cuts in government spending on social infrastructure has impacted on the rural poor and urban workers.

Dr Prasad also raised questions about the Peoples Charter, which he says is an exercise with a very uncertain future.

He says the Charter's brief to look at every aspect of the country's problems is too ambitious and lacks clarity in its aims and objectives.