17 May 2004

Fiji government defends tax holiday deal

3:22 pm on 17 May 2004

Fiji's attorney general, Qoroniasi Bale, says a new tax exemption bill is honouring a previous cabinet decision between Fiji TV and the Rabuka government.

Under the bill, Fiji TV will be given a tax exemption on all income earned between January 1994 and January 2009.

This means Fiji TV will not be required to pay more than 1-point-5-million US dollars in tax arrears.

He says the government now believes the original grounds for the tax exemption of the commercial TV company was already approved.

"The problem was that the previous government had agreed on that, it was a decision of their cabinet, but they did not follow it right through with the appropriate bill to change or to give effect to it through legislation of the kind that we're now putting through. So we're really implementing and honouring a promise given by a previous administration."

Mr Bale says any individual or company can apply for tax exemptions, but whether it is granted or not is up to the government of the day.

He says he is confident Fiji TV's new tax exemption bill will go through when it is tabled next month.