5 Mar 2007

Labasa Chamber of Commerce in Fiji welcomes budget

4:45 pm on 5 March 2007

There is strong support by some members of Fiji's business community for the interim administration's budget which cuts costs and the pay of public servants.

The president of the Labasa chamber of commerce, Shivlal Nagindas, says everybody should be willing to make a sacrifice given the state of the economy.

He says close to 50 percent of the government's total budget is taken up by pay for the civil service which leaves little for capital development or infrastructure.

"The cost cutting measures by the government is justified and the chamber welcomes the 5% salary cut for the civil servants across the board which would be deployed into other areas which need urgent attention. After all, the civil servants enjoy a lot of benefits as they have a fixed income compared with private sector which has to struggle to derive income for the families."

Mr Nagindas also says reducing the retirement age of civil servants will help because school leavers and graduates will have opportunities to pick up jobs.