18 Jun 2010

Fiji Labour Party paints gloomy picture of economy

1:27 pm on 18 June 2010

The Fiji Labour Party says galloping inflation, as a consequence of last year's devaluation and the further weakening of the Fiji dollar since, has added hundreds more to the poverty queue.

On its website, the party says it is foolish talk for the Reserve Bank to call for investment levels to rise to 25 percent from the current 13 percent of GDP.

The party, whose leader Mahendra Chaudhry was the interim regime's finance minister for 18 months after the military coup, wonders about the confidence to invest in an environment where intimidation, raids, threats and harassment have become the order of the day.

The Fiji Labour Party says the looming inability of the state to repay its loans on time, as alluded in a recent IMF Report, poses fresh threats of further devaluation.

It says there is no denying the fact that the economy was in trouble before the coup, has been contracting ever since 2007 and is likely to show further contraction this year.