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Call to lower costs

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, November 15, 2012

THERE is a need to improve hospitals, health centres and education from both a capital and operating perspective, says Fiji Institute of Accountants (FIA) president Camacakau Raimuria.

In the association's budget submission to the Ministry of Finance, he said the level of service and the standard of practices at those centres needed to be improved as well.

"Commitment to education should be continued. Focus should be given for improving school facilities, improving academic resources and introduce strategies and measures to develop a pool of qualified, skilled and competent teachers," Mr Raimuria said.

He also said there was a need to improve the teacher to student ratio to enhance education standards.

"Introduction of caps on number of students per class may also be appropriately considered as part of improving this overall ratio," Mr Raimuria said.

He said government's 2013 Budget strategy framework contained commendable initiatives in the areas of government debt and expenditure policies.

"FIA supports government's expenditure policy, which is aimed at offering efficient government services, developing infrastructure, and support and assistance to the needy."

Mr Raimuria said the emphasis however, needed to be placed on proper management and control of expenditure and improving efficiencies within government, thereby maximising returns for each dollar spent and importantly getting it right the first time.

"We also commend government's plans to reduce operating expenditure reducing the escalating costs of public service wages and salary, which makes up approximately 50 per cent of government's operating budget," he said.

He added the government therefore, needed to freeze or reduce its level of operating expenditure and increase the level of capital expenditure.

"Increase in revenue must be diverted towards capital projects instead of operating expenditure," Mr Raimuria said.


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