Business

1st April

flydubai to reduce staff pay for three months due to coronavirus

DUBAI (Reuters) – United Arab Emirates carrier flydubai will reduce pay for its employees for three months from April due to the impact of the global coronavirus crisis on its business, a spokeswoman said on...

31st March

COVID-19: Telecom customers to receive double data

TELECOM Fiji residential and business customers will receive double data from tomorrow as part of the telecommunication service provider’s COVID-19 relief package. All remote customers will instead receive free calls to all Telecom numbers and designated helpline numbers (including Vodafone and Digicel helpline numbers) from all maritime and remote communities, schools and government stations using...

COVID-19: Fijians urged to exhaust other options first

THE COVID-19 assistance will only be focused on companies, individuals and areas that have been identified by Government, says Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi. At this stage, assistance to Fijians who have also lost their employment outside of the identified areas is unclear. Mr Koroi said the fund had emailed...

COVID-19: Bank to announce enhanced relief package soon

THE Westpac Bank is in the process of finalising its enhanced assistance package, adjusting it to incorporate the measures announced by Government. A spokesperson from the bank yesterday said the bank would share the information with customers shortly. In response to questions on whether customers will have access to Westpac’s hardship assistance packages, the bank...

COVID-19: Town feels impact

THE Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry says Nadi is already feeling the brunt of COVID-19 pandemic, adding that some businesses may not survive for long. Chamber president Dr Ram Raju welcomed the tax incentives for businesses which would allow them to continue to employ their staff members and the economy rolling. “Tax breaks, deferment...

Fiji’s central bank forecasts recession in domestic economy

After almost a decade of economic growth, Fiji’s central bank has forecast the domestic economy to fall into a recession. The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) released its economic review for March, which stated that the magnitude of the contraction would depend on how long the pandemic would last and the extent of local contagion....

COVID-19: Fiji Airways operate recovery flight

Fiji Airways today flew a recovery flight between Nadi and Brisbane. Australians who were stuck in Fiji left the country on the morning flight and Fijians who were in Australia are coming back home on the return flight. A video released by Fiji Airways showed airline staff bidding the departing passengers farewell. All the incoming...

Farmers introduced to ‘Cigar Box’ investment tool

Some 50 participants who were part of a week-long workshop earlier this month were introduced to an innovative investment appraisal tool called ‘Cigar Box’. Facilitated by the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) and supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) Netherlands, and the Fiji Government through the Ministry of Agriculture...

COVID-19: Market operating hours reviewed

Fiji’s Ministry of Local Government has advised of the new market operating hours in light of the nationwide curfew in place as the country continues to take precautionary measures amid COVID-19. In a Government statement released today, Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar said all market opening and closing hours had been reviewed and markets...

30th March

Commission responds to COVID-19 budget

THE Fijian government’s COVID-19 response budget does contain some measures aimed at stimulating economic activity with a number of investment subsidies and measures aimed at stemming this loss. In response to questions on the COVID-19 response budget, the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission stated that the balance had shifted dramatically towards the pandemic given the...

$1million investment in rice production

FIJI Rice Ltd will invest $1 million of its own funds in massive rice production and is looking at providing loans to rice farmers and those companies who intend to go into commercial rice farming. Chairman of Fiji Rice Ltd, Copra Millers Fiji Ltd and Food Processors Fiji Ltd, Raj Sharma said details of this...

COVID-19: Only identified companies will be assisted, says Koroi

ONLY employees of companies identified in a list at the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) will be assisted for now, says chief executive Jaoji Koroi. He said the Fund was aware that the relief assistance that was announced in the Budget provided other assistance for members. “We hope that they will consider those options before...

COVID-19: 1813 employers identified as priority areas

THIS morning, the Fiji National Provident Fund emailed a total of 1813 employers identified as priority areas. FNPF chief executive Jaoji Koroi  highlighted this today and said the COVID-19 assistance would be focused on those who were employed in the tourism sector and also those in Lautoka, the lock down zone area. He said 43,000...

FNPF unemployment assistance reduced by $1k

AS of today, the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) unemployment assistance has been reduced from $2,000 to $1,000. FNPF chief executive Jaoji Koroi made the announcement this afternoon during a press conference and said this was a temporary measure that has been implemented to minimise the impact on the Fund and member’s savings, especially due...

27th March

COVID-19 Budget: FTUC – Government telling workers to fend for themselves

The Fiji Trades Union Congress has said: “Government is telling workers to fend for themselves”. FTUC general secretary Felix Anthony made the comments in reaction to the COVID-19 Supplementary Budget. The Government announced workers who had either lost their jobs or had their hours reduced could withdraw from their Fiji National Provident Fund retirement. “This...

COVID-19 Budget: Pandemic to depress domestic activity – Fiscal Supplement

The impact of COVID-19 will further depress domestic business activity. The uncertainty surrounding it poses further risks to foreign direct investment flows. And the spill-over effects on the tourism sector and imposition of movement restrictions will affect businesses in general. These are noted in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary...

COVID-19 Budget: Increased deficit level gives sharp rise to debt – Fiscal Supplement

The Fijian Government’s debt is projected to be $6,988.9million, equivalent to 60.9 per cent of GDP by the end of July, 2020. This is stated in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 that was presented in Parliament last night. “The sharp increase in the debt to GDP...

COVID-19 Budget: Fiji’s economy to contract by 4.3 per cent – Fiscal update supplement

The Fijian economy is expected to contract by 4.3 per cent this year after a 0.5 per cent growth in 2019. This is stated in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 that was delivered in Parliament last night. “The economic decline will be much sharper depending on...

26th March

COVID-19 Budget: 20 per cent pay cut for ministers and their assistants

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced a 20 per cent pay-cut for Ministers and Assistant Ministers. He said there would be no salary cut for civil servants. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the pay cut for Ministers and Assistant Ministers would be for six months. He said this would amount to $400,000.

COVID-19 Budget: FSC to receive $50m

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced the Fiji Sugar Corporation will get $50million in the COVID-19 supplementary budget. He said the money would be used for cane delivery payments. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government was looking at balancing the balance of FSC.  

COVID-19 Budget: $5m boost for SMEs

The Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme will get a $5million boost. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 in Response to COVID-19. “An additional $5million will be added to the small and medium enterprises credit guarantee scheme,” he said. “Under this scheme, if any of these businesses with...

COVID-19 Budget: Health Ministry to get $40m supplementary budget

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said announced the Ministry of Health will get $40million in the COVID-19 supplementary appropriation bill 2020. The Ministry’s current budget is $347million. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stated the additional money would be used to purchase new ventilators, face-masks and protective gear.

COVID-19 Budget: Fijians who tested positive will be paid 21 days sick leave

Fijians who tested positive to COVID-19 will not have to worry about sick leave. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID-19 Response Budget. “To shift the burden of sick leave off of businesses and ensure employees do not have to use their leave, the Government will pay 21 days...

COVID-19 Budget: Informal sector affected by lockdown will be assisted

The informal sector affected by the Government-sanctioned lockdowns will also get assistance. Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID-19 Response Budget. “Furthermore, for those affected in the informal sector in the lockdown areas, Government will also be providing a one-off relief payment of $150 dollars for all those who...

COVID-19 Budget: Affected Lautoka residents can access $500 from FNPF

Lautoka residents affected by the quarantine or Government lockdown can access $500 from their FNPF. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID19 Response Budget. “All those employees affected by our nationwide physical distancing requirements, along with employees in the Lautoka confined area who have been placed on leave without...

COVID-19 Budget: Several incentives announced

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced several incentives in the COVID-19 supplementary appropriation bill 2020 in Parliament. Workers in the tourism sector who lost their jobs from February 1, 2020, can access $1000 after the bill is passed. Workers who were working in gyms can withdraw $500. If any person has less the amount authorised,...

COVID-19 Budget: Government to offer $1bn stimulus package

The Government will partner with FNPF to offer members a $1Billion COVID19 Stimulus Package. Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID19 Response tonight. “Together with the Fiji National Provident Fund and our financial sector partners, this evening we are announcing a $1bn COVID-19 Stimulus Package,” he said. “This budget...

COVID-19 Budget: Virus can wipe out Fiji’s tourism industry – A-G

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji’s tourism industry can be wiped out by COVID-19. He made the comments while presenting the COVID-19 response supplementary appropriation bill 2020 in Parliament. “Over the next few months, the tourism sector will be gone,” he said. “Thirty-eight per cent of our GDP will be wiped out.” Mr...

COVID-19 Budget: A-G – 25,000-plus workers lost jobs

MORE than 25,000 people have lost their jobs in the tourism industry directly due to COVID-19. This was the word from Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament this evening. He said it was important to expedite the COVID-19 response budget process because workers needed to access their Fiji National Provident Fund immediately. This was supported...

COVID-19 Budget: NFP leader notes party had proposed bipartisanship

National Federation Party leader Dr Biman Prasad has stated in Parliament that they had proposed bipartisanship in preparation and passage of the coronavirus response supplementary budget. He said in Parliament this evening that the NFP wanted this as a “genuine spirit of bipartisanship”. The Government has proposed a fast-track passing of the COVID-19 response supplementary appropriation...

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