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$300m lost

Geraldine Panapasa
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ABOUT $300million in government revenue was lost last year because of duty concessions, says Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority CEO Jitoko Tikolevu.

His comments followed the signing of a memorandum of agreement between FRCA and the Fiji Commerce Commission to monitor the price of goods, which had received government concessions.

He said the duty concessions had been given by the government in good faith.

"The same must be practised by those that received concessions.

"They must pass on the benefits to consumers," Mr Tikolevu said in a statement last week.

Fiji Commerce Commission CEO Bobby Maharaj said the idea behind the duty concessions was to ensure there was a trickle-down effect, which meant there was a reduction in the importation cost.

"That should result in a reduction in wholesale and retail prices. From the commission's perspective, it's important to monitor the prices of goods post-budget announcement," said Mr Maharaj.

Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca said the government would work with businesses to ensure consumers benefitted from duty concessions.

He said a taskforce, comprising the permanent secretaries of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and CEOs of the Fiji Commerce Commission and FRCA, would meet regularly.

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