Another highlight of the 2018-2019 National Budget Address is that Family Insurance will be provided for all Civil Servants in Fiji for the first time.

These include Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Police Force, Fiji Corrections Services and other civil servants.

This historic package of insurance for our civil servants and our social welfare recipients we are bringing the security of life, home and injury insurance to hundreds and thousands of Fijians at no cost to them.

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says this shows the Government cares about Fijian families.

An allocation of $4.6 million will go towards increasing the allowances of all community health workers.

This budget also makes a bold recognition of the critical work undertaken by community health workers in rural communities around the country. A new allocation of $4.6m will go towards increasing the allowances for the around eighteen hundred community health workers in Fiji from $50 a month to $200 a month.

The Health and Medical Services Ministry has been allocated $335 million dollars in the 2018/2019 national budget.

An additional $47.6 million has been allocated that will go towards doctors’ salary and for the recruitment of new medical personnel.

The Ba and Lautoka hospitals is being upgraded to a world class facility through a public private partnership.

The public private partnership project will also provide a wide offering of new training opportunities for Fijian medical staff.

Sayed-Khaiyum says they are also in the process of selecting the right partner for Fiji on this project and a request for tender has been issued.

Private pharmacies will now provide medicines to recipients directly and then bill the government as opposed to the government providing them with the stock.

Under the free medicine scheme, families earning $20,000 and below can access 142 medicines free at pharmacies throughout the country.

Duty on imported food and vegetables will be reduced from 5% to zero percent effective from tonight.

These include plum, carrots, baked beans, mixed vegetables and broccoli to name a few.

Excise duty on imported carbonated drinks and sweets will be increased to thirty-two percent.

The Agriculture Ministry has been allocated $97million in the 2018/2019 budget.

This is an increase of $10.7million from the previous budget.

A new Ministry will be formed where the Ministry of Waterways and the Department of Environment will come under one banner.

70 million dollars will be allocated to the new Ministry.

$43.6 million has been allocated to improve the drainage, rolling out projects in the towns and cities and constructing seawall for villages.

Eleven development plans have received the green light to embark on the transforming journey.

Government will continue to provide assistance on i-Taukei land development giving Fiji’s landowning community the opportunity to better tap on the nation’s prosperity.

Two projects are in Tailevu, one is already completed out of the two, two in Nadroga, one in Tavua and six in Ba with one having being completed and another three nearly completion.

 

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