Four key areas for specialist review: Fiji PM Rabuka

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The People’s Alliance, National Federation Party and Social Democratic Liberal Party coalition Government will establish specialist reviews in four key areas which are constitution and legal reform, the economy, defence and national security and a forensic examination of the spending of the FijiFirst government.

In his national address Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said each review team will include people with expert knowledge.

“The teams will report to the appropriate Cabinet member,” he said.

“Of course a looming issue is the state of Fiji’s public finances.

“The government debt may now be above $10 billion(US$5 billion). That is a huge burden for a small economy like ours.

“The Minister of Finance will soon be sharing with me and Cabinet, the exact nature of the problem.

“He will examine cash flow issues and structure of debt payment. This will be done in a way that does not impede our development.”

Rabuka said other specific tasks include a review of investments in land.

“Especially the large areas administered by the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB).

“There is wealth locked in the land that can be generated for the benefit of the owners and the country;

“A study of various contentious laws to determine whether they should be repealed or amended;

“An enquiry into the overall financial strength of the Fiji National Provident Fund and the impact of some of its decisions on individual members and pensioners;

“A study of the new financial arrangement for the operations of the Lautoka and Ba hospitals;

“Disbursement of foreign aid money;

“And concerns about certain media outlets receiving substantial amounts of public money, apparently in return for favourable, slanted coverage, of the last government.

“I stress however, we have a total commitment to media freedom and the part it plays in our democracy.”

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS