8 Oct 2004

Fiji government seeks extra US$45m to keep operating

8:22 am on 8 October 2004

The Fiji government is seeking parliamentary approval for another US$45 million to keep operating until the end of the year.

The Fiji Sun reports that the money will be used to fund extra expenditure of US$9 million in the military, US$6.5 million in health and almost the same amount in education as well as other ministries.

Much of this extra is needed because the military is still employing 300 soldiers whose salary and expenses were not included in the budget.

The other two ministries also have staff who were not covered in the present budget as well as a variety of other expenses.

The need for extra money comes as scams and unauthorised expenditure continue to be highlighted in parliament.

Labour MP Poseci Bune has told the Lower House the state's Major Tenders Board cancelled an already awarded tender for gang nails worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and bought the same items from another company at a price which was more than 50 per cent higher.

In an editorial, the Sun says private sector managers who behaved in this manner would lose their jobs.