Fiji’s revised 2021-2022 budget projects $2.25bn in revenue, $3.72bn expenditure

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    Fiji’s 2021-2022 Revised National Budget is projecting a total revenue of $2.25 billion (US$1.07 billion) and a total expenditure of $3.72 billion (US$1.78 billion), says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while delivering the budget in Parliament last night.

    He said this would result in a net deficit of $1.46bn (US$699 million), equivalent to 14.2 per cent of GDP.

    Debt is projected to reach 88.6 per cent by the end of this fiscal year and based on the projected economic recovery and planned deficit reduction, the Debt to GDP ratio is expected to come down to below 80 per cent in the next three years, he said.

    Meanwhile, liquidity levels in the financial system stand at around $2.0 billion (US$1 billion).

    Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while delivering the 2021-22 Revised National Budget said foreign reserves currently stand at around $3.2 billion (US$1.53 billion), sufficient to cover 8.8 months of imports, well above the International Monetary Fund benchmark of three months.

    Sayed-Khaiyum said the proactive and robust policies by Government and the Reserve Bank of Fiji helped avoid a devaluation of the Fijian dollar.

    “Had we been forced to devalue, Fijians would be paying much higher prices today for everything,” he said while speaking in Parliament.

    “With improved confidence levels and reduced uncertainty surrounding the virus, investment prospects are trending upward.

    “We’re expecting the economy to grow by 11.3 percent in 2022 driven by the vaccination of our population and the reopening of our borders.

    “Other independent economic analysts put the figure even higher. It’s estimated to take three years until our economy is restored to pre-pandemic level but we have started that journey back on sure footing because our overall macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong,” he said

    He said for this Revised Budget, total revenue is estimated at $2.25 billion (US$1.07 billion) while total expenditure is $3.72 billion (US$1.78 billion).

    Sayed-Khaiyum said this results in a net deficit of $1.46 billion (US$699 million), equivalent to 14.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.

    He said debt is projected to reach 88.6 percent by the end of this fiscal year and based on the projected economic recovery and planned deficit reduction, the Debt to GDP ratio is expected to come down to below 80 percent in the next three years.

    SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/ FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS