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Fiji Time: 11:58 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Budget on track

Timoci Vula
Friday, November 16, 2012

PREPARATIONS for the announcement of the 2013 National Budget are on schedule, says Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca.

At this stage, he said they were putting in the final touches to the budget, both on the expenditure and revenue policies.

"So we are on track. In terms of documentation, we are preparing the documents, which is the supplement and the big budget book. That should be ready before the budget on Thursday (November 22)," Mr Waqabaca said.

In an interview at Novotel in Lami yesterday, he said they would, as usual, present the measures that had been decided for the 2013 fiscal year to Cabinet. Mr Waqabaca said they were satisfied with the submissions they received from all government ministries and departments, as well as from the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

"The Ministry of Finance was working closely with departments and ministries to ensure we continue to align ourselves to the major targets of government," he said.

"And we saw those coming through in these submissions," he added.

Mr Waqabaca said there were certain ministries and departments that wanted a bigger chunk of the budget.

"We have to operate within what we can afford so that we maintain fiscal prudence, so there is an element of prioritising and also ensuring that we align to the major objectives of government in terms of development," he said.

Mr Waqabaca said submissions were also received from small medium enterprises (SMEs), and some came through the Ministry of Primary Industries.

He said those submissions were received and assessed by their team to "see whether we have the capacity to fulfil them or otherwise but those submissions were received and were assessed by our team".

Asked on the type of budget Fijians should expect, Mr Waqabaca said: "I think we'll have to wait for Thursday next week to see what kind of budget it will be when the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance announces the National Budget."