Summit to examine budget

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Biman Prasad at his office in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

A national economic summit to closely scrutinize and discuss how public funds will be allocated and spent for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is being planned for the second week of April this year, says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad.

He said in the lead up to the formulation the 2023-2024 national budget scheduled to be delivered in June or July this year, Government would hold a wide range of consultations with all sectors of the economy.

Prof Prasad said the discussions would require the formulation of two distinct platforms.

“As part of that process we will be appointing a fiscal review committee very soon – maybe a 10 or 11-member committee and that committee obviously will look at expenditure, revenue and tax policies,” Prof Prasad said.

“They will be discussing with different stakeholders and that process will feed into a National Economic Summit that we want to hold in the second week of April.

“That would be led by the honourable PM and I.

“We will ensure there is thorough discussion from all stakeholders in different areas and all that will feed into a budget that we will deliver in June or July.”

The deputy PM said the 2023-2024 budget would not be filled with unwelcome surprises, which used to be the hallmark of the FijiFirst government.

“Their policies were not well thought out. “There was no consistency in policy, you do one thing today and next year you try and change that. We don’t want to do that.

“We want to take a very clear approach. “We want to have that discussion so that when we have those policies, there is certainty, there is expectation that those policies will stay on,” Prof Prasad said.

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