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Fiji Time: 11:58 PM on Sunday 21 September

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$20m allocation for Fisheries Ministry

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Fisheries and Forest Ministry has been allocated $20million next year after the 2007 Budget was announced today by Finance Minister Ratu Jone Kubuabola in Parliament.

Minister responsible Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese said the allocation was less than what they had asked, but said his ministry would work smart while trying to satisfy all its objections earmarked for next year.

He said they would not cut capital projects but would map out a strategic plan to ensure all projections for next year are fully serviced.

Ratu Ilaitia said the ministry sought $26million from the Finance Ministry.

"However, we got $20million and I'm satisfied. We are collectively as a government trying to control deficit, our bad debt and we have to be realistic with how we plan our service and use our budget," he said.

"Export revenue is not doing very well, for me, since I'm part of the budget select committee I personally feel that each ministry must be realistic in their spending and be satisfied with their allocation.

"We export very little commodities but we spent more on imported items, our expenditure is more then our revenue. So all this we are trying to cut down and working to increase our productivity rate.

Ratu Ilaitia said his ministry still had $300,000 left from last year's budget.

"That amount alone ($300,000) is a substantial figure. How can I justify to ask more when I don't have the machinery to utilise that $300,000,

Last year his ministry was given $26million, $6million of which was directed towards the construction of the Wairiki Port in Bua, which is one of its major capital projects.


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