Biman responds to Aiyaz

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Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad and former Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Picture: FIJI TIMES ONLINE

Those who ask why the coalition Government did not prepare a mini-budget have a very poor understanding of the situation the administration found itself in when it took over from the FijiFirst government.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad was responding to comments made by former Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum about the coalition Government not preparing and presenting a mini-budget after taking over government.

“Those who talk about it don’t understand that the election was held in December, that’s the worst time for any country, especially in Fiji to have an election,” Prof Biman said.

“And it did create a lot of uncertainty, people were holding back on investment plans, on consumption plans and then the holidays were after that.

“So you don’t expect a government coming in on the 24th of December to start to work in the first week of January to have a mini-budget at the end of January or February.”

The Deputy PM said the issue did not stop the coalition Government from ensuring priority issues were immediately addressed.

“It is very clear within the Financial Management Act, the Minister of Finance with the approval of Cabinet can redeploy funds and we have done that.”

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