2 Jul 2010

ADB says Fiji challenged to keep within budget

5:06 pm on 2 July 2010

The Asian Development Bank's Regional Director in Suva says Fiji's budget announcements indicate the interim regime continues to be challenged to keep its deficit within projected limits.

The ADB's Keith Leonard says the government is having to make some adjustments to both its revenue and expenditure to try and maintain losses within the 3.5 per cent of GDP forecast.

Mr Leonard says few detailed figures were announced.

"The mini budget this morning was a fairly cautious statement. There wasn't a lot there in terms of new revenue. The biggest item was probably, and we haven't seen the details to really know the quantum of the various measures, but was to extend the coverage of VAT to general insurance. There's also an increase in the departure tax from 75 dollars to 100 dollars."

Keith Leonard says Commodore Frank Bainimamara referred to expectations made of his regime by the International Monetary Fund which is likely to return to Fiji and review economic progress within the next two months.