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Fiji Time: 4:08 AM on Friday 25 April

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No laws on provincial levies

Luke Rawalai
Monday, December 09, 2013

PROVINCIAL council offices do not have legal powers to collect levies from members of their provinces.

Speaking at a recent conservation workshop in Labasa last week, iTaukei Ministry permanent secretary Savenaca Kaunisela said there were no laws governing the submission of levies.

Mr Kaunisela said the provincial levy used to be a recommended levy during the past itaukei governments.

"However times have changed and the rights of individuals including iTaukei people have been enshrined in our laws recognising the rights of people to be free from such levies," he said.

"There are no laws that specifically demand iTaukei people to submit their provincial levies.

"However the important thing that the iTaukei people must realise is that they are landowners and with these come our responsibilities and duty to the province where we hail from."

Mr Kaunisela said in the past provincial levies used to be known as soli ni vakacavacava ni qele or land tax.

"Now since it has changed to provincial levies people have begun to take things lightly feeling that the welfare of the province had nothing to do with them.

"The submission of our provincial levies also re-establishes our connection to the lands that we have been allocated to the provinces where we hail from.

"It connects a iTaukei to his land, people and the province that he hails from."