29 Nov 2005

Fiji government to borrow US$236m next year

9:16 am on 29 November 2005

The Fiji government will seek parliamentary approval to borrow US$236 million in 2006 to cover expenses and meet loan repayments.

The Fiji Times reports that the government expects to borrow US$217 million locally and the balance of US$19 million from overseas.

The newspaper quotes the acting chief executive of the finance ministry, Paula Uluinaceva, as saying the Fiji National Provident Fund is one of the likely lenders.

The state is already the biggest borrower from the Fund, making up more than 75 per cent of all its loans.

The former opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says the amount is obviously necessary to fund the budget but he favours reducing costs to further increasing the high debt level.

Mr Beddoes says he is appalled at the colossal amount of wastage, corrupt practices and tolerance of inefficiency in government service.