2017-2018 Budget: Call for inter-island franchise support

Update: 4:09PM FIJI’S Shadow Minister for Economy Aseri Radrodro has called on Government to offer the same concessions given to the bus industry to be directed to other transport modes in the country.

Referring to the $20million budgetary allocation for the bus fare grant in the
2017-2018 financial year, Mr Radrodro said the bus industry had had continued
assistance from Government over the years.

He noted the adjustment to bus fare stages a few years ago that resulted in the
increase of fares.

“Madam Speaker, it is evident now on how much assistance bus companies
have been receiving when they have been able to re-fleet their companies with
new beautiful buses. But please, Madam Speaker, we have to direct the same
assistance to other transport modes, in particular to inter-island franchise
services serving uneconomical routes,” Mr Radrodro said in Parliament this
week.

“Already, shipping fares are controlled by the Commerce Commission, so it
would be only fair that the companies currently engaged in this service and are
struggling to do so, be assisted to have zero rating on VAT, and be given fuel
concessions, likewise.

“They should also have their franchise doubled or even tripled to assist
them meet their operational costs.”

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