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$75m loss

Nasik Swami
Saturday, January 12, 2013

FIJI incurred a loss of $75million as a result of the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan late last year.

And the loss has forced government to source out additional funds for rehabilitation works from savings by various ministries and departments from last year's budget allocation.

In an interview, Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca said they had withdrawn $7million from last year's savings of ministries and departments.

He said the $75m was a provisional figure because some minor assessments were still being carried out.

"We will have the final figures by the end of January or early February," Mr Waqabaca said.

He said his ministry anticipated that if there were any changes, it would only have a minor impact on the total loss.

Mr Waqabaca said the agricultural sector suffered the biggest loss of $33.9million, followed by the housing sector with the damage bill estimated at $21.2million.

He said the education sector incurred $5.7million in damage; the Fiji Electricity Authority recorded up to $5million in damage; the local government (municipalities) suffered $2.1million in damage; and the Water Authority of Fiji $1.4million.

Mr Waqabaca said the country's infrastructure incurred $1.4million loss while the telecommunications sector recorded $1million.

He said the health sector sustained damage of $0.36million.

"The funds being diverted are focusing on priority areas such as health and education," Mr Waqabaca said.

He said the government had not touched the 2013 budget allocations but would do so if the need arose.

* Editorial Comment: PAGE 8





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