23 Nov 2012

Interim PM says improving Fiji's roads critical to economic development

6:38 pm on 23 November 2012

Fiji's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says the massive investment in the county's roading network announced in yesterday's budget is long overdue.

The budget includes a 32 percent lift in capital expenditure at just under 400 million US dollars with a significant portion going to roading.

In his address to the nation yesterday the interim leader said while the budget will see the deficit increase from 1.9 percent to 2.8 percent, it's an investment in the country's future.

He says every Fijian knows how bad the country's roads are.

"The dreadful state of our roads is holding the country back, it is hampering our economic developments, it must be fixed. Successive governments have put this in the too hard basket, but my government has decided to act. We are going to start from scratch, roads that boost both the local economy and the national economy."

Mr Bainimarama says the budget also focusses on the country's poor with more money earmarked for families in need, the elderly, education, and on housing.