2018/2019 Budget: Hopes for continued initiatives towards SMEs

Fijian Holdings Ltd group CEO Nouzab Fareed. Picture: FT FILE

A PROMINENT industry stakeholder hopes to see continued initiatives towards the small and medium-sized enterprises in the new 2018/2019 National Budget.
Fijian Holdings Ltd group CEO Nouzab Fareed raised this while responding to a question by The Fiji Times on what initiatives should be continued in the new budget.
Government in the 2017/2018 National Budget focused on the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), which is vital to create jobs, generate incomes, promote entrepreneurship and improve rural livelihoods.
This saw initiatives such as the $2.8m allocated to establish the MSME Central Coordinating Agency, which would provide support for MSME incubation, training and mentoring.
In the current budget, $2million was allocated for a new program to promote young entrepreneurs.
This is apart from Government’s continued micro-finance business grant scheme, which is expected to assist approximately 6400 small business initiatives.
Mr Fareed said initiatives such as increasing the income tax threshold for resident individuals from $15,000 to FJ$30,000 should also be continued.
Meanwhile, while FHL has not made any direct submissions on the new budget, which is expected to be announced in June, Mr Fareed said they had done so through industry associations.
Through the submissions, Mr Fareed said they wished for improved concessions and extension of a positive environment for investments, including making processors, simple and efficient.
He also raised the need for Government to install enablers, that could be processes or team that could solve issues efficiently and effectively.
“Time is money for investors,” Mr Fareed said.