The 2020-2021 Budget has definitely put a smile on many faces.
This was the feedback by the Consumer Council of Fiji which says the Budget is aimed at building a more productive, sustainable and inclusive economy in the face of challenges.
The “feel good” element of this budget is that no Fijian is left out, says the Consumer Council of Fiji.
Everyone has been provided with the much-needed support to recuperate and reconstruct their lives, says Consumer Council of Fiji CEO Sheema Shadil.
The reduction in fiscal and import excise duties on over 1600 consumer goods/items such as food and household products is good news for Fijian consumers.
Shadil says this will decrease the cost of living as these items will become more affordable to Fijian consumers.
This will further ease the financial burden on consumers, hence putting money back in their pockets.
The Budget also provides consumers some relief in terms of utility bill payment.
Fijians who have difficulty in paying their water bills will now have the option to defer their payments until 31 March 2021.
The EFL subsidized customers earning less than $30,000 will continue to enjoy the discounted payments for the usage of first 100 units of power through to 31 March 2021.
However, the Council is urging consumers who have the means to pay their bills should continue to do so.
The Council also welcomes various other initiatives announced in the budget to assist all Fijians to sustain themselves during this unprecedented time and also notes that many incentives have been given to the existing businesses.
Enabling ease of doing business by scraping the business license requirements will promote more micro, small and medium enterprises to start businesses more conveniently.
Shadil says this will create more job opportunities for Fijians enabling them to sustain their livelihoods and build resilience.