January 31, 2023

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External factors play role in the budget

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A number of external factors will come into play when Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announces the 2022/2223 National Budget tonight.

Sayed-Khaiyum says inflation is obviously one of these factors.

He says while there will be a continuation of support on standard matters like infrastructure, the government has looked into measures to mitigate inflation.

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“What measures we can take to ensure people don’t fall through the cracks as a result of inflation. As you know, obviously, this is not something of our own doing. We’ve seen, for example, in the past couple of days, the price of fuel or oil fall by about $10 a barrel. It is highly sort of subject to the general discourse globally. “

Sayed-Khaiyum says the budget is vulnerable to mechanisms that take place at a global level, particularly the commodity market.

He says most of it depends on what is happening in the Russia-Ukraine war.

“As we’ve seen in Ukraine, Ukraine feeds about 400 million people around the world.” About 30 percent of the wheat and cereal come from that part of the world, so a lack of supply means the price will go up. If the supply is released, the price will come down. We are merely price takers in that regard. “

Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji will ensure that certain mitigation policies are in place and the government is looking into this to protect the vulnerable.

He adds that a number of capital projects are also expected to buffer Fiji from external shocks.

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He says one of them is the exploration of renewable energy.

Sayed-Khaiyum says while the sources of it are free, the capital investment is often high at this time and the government will work with its investment partners.

The Minister for the Economy will announce the 2022-2023 budget at 8pm and this will be aired live on FBC TV and GOLD FM.