THE directors of Sunbeam Transport Limited have been acknowledged by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for growing the company over the past six decades and becoming an industry leader in the public transportation business.
At a ceremony to mark 60 years of the Lautoka firm in the bus business held last Friday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the continuing commitment by Sunbeam in recent years was reflected by the purchase of brand new air-conditioned coaches from Malaysia.
"The Bainimarama government a few years ago reduced the duty on fully imported buses," he said.
"That has led to the importation of fully-made buses. The duty regime on imported buses used to be about 32 per cent plus excise duties on top of that, which in fact, made it completely exorbitant for most bus operators."
The A-G said the government took into account that most bus companies were family-run businesses, thus the reason for reducing import taxes was to enable these businesses to afford good quality and modern buses.
"Most bus companies in Fiji are family-run businesses and most of them started post-World War II.
"Some started by converting trucks into buses and that is how they got into the bus business."