PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says that taxes should not be a burden or seem like a punishment.
Speaking at the opening of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority's (FRCA) new Customer Services Centre in Rakiraki, Commodore Bainimarama said the paying of taxes should be a way for citizens to help improve the country.
He said paying of taxes should be a way to lift all Fijians and to raise the standard of living, promote public safety and provide the services that government was best placed to provide.
"By reducing the burden of taxes and raising the value of what you receive for your taxes, I believe people will see paying their taxes as one of the many privileges of being a Fijian and not just a civic duty," said Commodore Bainimarama.
"So we do not think that we are asking too much by asking Fijians to pay their taxes and asking our importers and exporters to comply with our laws.
"If we all do our honest share, we will all gain.
"Tax evasion and customs fraud not only rob the government of the money but also deny the opportunities for all other law-abiding Fijians who rely on the services government provides."
Commodore Bainimarama said the opening of the Rakiraki and Sigatoka centres yesterday was part of the initial commitment of assisting all Fijians.
"This government is a government for all people," he said.
"With this in mind, I instructed FRCA to make their services easily available to Fijians living outside the main urban centres. They have done this through the opening of the Rakiraki and Sigatoka FIRCA offices.
"Now you don't have to travel as far as Lautoka for FIRCA services, it's right here on your doorsteps."