THE cost of providing basic services for municipal councils has risen significantly over the years but fees charged for services rendered have stagnated.
This, said Suva special administrator Chandu Umaria, justified municipal councils raising fees for services being provided to ratepayers in the country.
"The cost of everything has gone up," he said while addressing municipal leaders at the Second Quarter Local Government Consultative Forum in Ba.
"This includes the cost of providing services borne by the councils and administration costs and wages have also risen substantially but it is very unfortunate that fees have not risen accordingly."
Local Government director Josese Rakuita, however, said before any submissions for increases could be entertained by the ministry, public consultations had to be held.
"Your ratepayers have to be informed and consulted on the new fees or fee increases you are trying to implement. Unless this is done, the Local Government Ministry will not take submissions seriously," he said.
Mr Rakuita said it was important that municipal councils understood that ratepayers had to be informed and their views sought before issues such as fee increases could be raised with the ministry.