The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development Hon. Premila Kumar is currently touring the Western Division having consultations with various stakeholders, Special Administrators, ratepayers and market vendors including taxi owners on improving service delivery. 

Speaking to members of the Ba Chamber of Commerce, Minister Kumar stressed the need for collaboration between all parties. “Regular meetings with the Council are essential and I am pleased that this has recommenced,” Minister Kumar said. 

Minister Kumar stated that the various proposed development projects that would be highlighted during the meeting would have a positive impact on all Fijians and businesses in Ba. 

“The government has abolished business licenses. However that does not mean that there is no opportunity for you to contribute to the work of the Ba Town Council.

Today you will hear more on ways that you can contribute through sponsoring upcoming events and projects.” “Any upgrade cannot be carried out alone. The business communities need to work with the Council on these developments and I am pleased that with regular meetings, such as today, you will now be able to better understand how and when you can contribute in practical ways.” 

The Minister also assured those present of the Ministry’s commitment in reforming its Town and Country Planning Department. “We will ensure that delays in approvals are a thing of the past. For too long, unnecessary bureaucracy and slow processing times were affecting building developments, subdivisions and zoning approvals that are needed to facilitate economic development.  

“Furthermore, all major developments that are in excess of $1m will be expedited in Suva and once approval is given, immediate notification will be made from Suva to developers across the country. Last week, three major developments were expedited in this way, ensuring that developers continue with their projects.” 

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