Politics

Opposition delegation head to Sigatoka to show solidarity

OPPOSITION Whip Lynda Tabua and Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka are leading a delegation to Sigatoka this hour. Ms Tabuya said they were going to show solidarity to the people of Sigatoka. “We are going to...

Reforms to improve ranking

THERE are plans in motion for Fiji to achieve a ranking of 50 by the 2025 Ea se of Doing Business Report. Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Premila Kumar made the statement in her explanation on the Business Licence Reform that came into effect on January 1. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Ms Kumar said...

810 business licenses issued in January

WITH the business licence reforms in place the Nausori Town Council issued 810 business licences in January this year compared with 470 for the same period last year. Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Premila Kumar said this was an increase of 72 per cent. “In Suva, 193 new business licences were issued compared with...

A-G: They simply want to bulldoze their way

ATTORNEY-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s recommendation that the Opposition be punished for walking out of Parliament yesterday was rejected by Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. Opposition members walked out of Parliament in protest after Ratu Epeli ruled that a petition from tikina Nasigatoka about magnetite mining at the Sigatoka River mouth could not be brought to Parliament. Ratu...

Petitions with online signatures rejected

PETITIONS presented in Parliament must attach handwritten signatures, as online signatures will not be considered, says Speaker of the House Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. His ruling on online signatures followed a query from Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya. Ratu Epeli said the term “signature” was not specifically defined in the Standing Orders or Constitution and it was...

Opposition protest petition ruling

THE Opposition walked out of Parliament yesterday as an expression of disappointment against Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau’s decision to refuse a petition they brought to the House from the tikina Nasigatoka. At a press conference immediately after the walkout, Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said they would write to Ratu Epeli and await his response before...

Fijian Parliament: No Opposition in Parliament

THE Fijian Parliament sitting this morning continued on as normal without an Opposition. The Opposition walked out of Parliament yesterday as an expression of disappointment against Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau’s decision to refuse a petition they brought to the house from the tikina Nasigatoka. According to Ratu Epeli, the petition by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka...

Fiji film industry rakes in $702.9m from 2014-2018

FILM Fiji was responsible for $702.9 million worth of economic activity between 2014 and 2018, while having a government support of $6.9 million for the same period. This information is contained in a review report of the agency that was tabled in Parliament on Monday by the Standing Committee on Social Services. In their presentation...

Minister: Machines await facility upgrade, training

THE purchase of the 14 new dialysis machines announced in the 2017 budget is awaiting facility upgrade and training of health staff. Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said this while answering Opposition MP Lenora Qereqeretabua’s query as to “why the provision of four new dialysis machines at the Lautoka Hospital and 10 new dialysis machines...

‘20,427 applications processed under assistance payment scheme’

A total of 20,427 applications have been processed by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office’s Parenthood Assistance Payment (PAP) scheme as of January 31, 2020. This was highlighted in Parliament by the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who said funds to the tune of $20.427 million had been disbursed to these parents. However, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said what...

Adi Litia quizzes takeover

OPPOSITION MP Adi Litia Qionibaravi this week questioned why the Ministry of Public Enterprises took over the implementation or the execution of the master plan of Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd when the company was recording profit. She said company made a profit of $26,254,954 in 2016 and it also paid dividends totalling $5,070,605 for 2016....

Kepa calls for the removal of 18 derelict vessels

OPPOSITION MP Ro Teimumu Kepa has called for the removal of the 18 derelict vessels from waters off the Nadonumai and Navukavu coastline. Speaking on the Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL) 2016 annual report, she said the company needed to accelerate its actions with relevant stakeholders for the removal of the vessels. She said the...

Delays in submission

DELAYS in submission of draft accounts and information not provided in time are some of the reasons the majority of statutory authorities have not been audited. This was relayed to Parliament by Public Accounts Committee chairman Alvick Maharaj this week. He said the 2016-2017 Audit Report on Statutory Authorities covered audits for 15 entities. “The...

Anomalies sighted in financial reports

ANOMALIES were sighted in the financial reports of Government entities and statutories for the year 2016-2017, Public Accounts Committee chair, Alvick Maharaj told Parliament yesterday. He said it came to light while members of the committee were scrutinizing the 2016-2017 auditor general report. The committee, he said, had highlighted some audit issues that needed to...

18th February

Fijian Parliament: Petition did not meet requirements under Standing Order 37

THE petition by Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka on behalf of the people of the Tikina Nasigatoka against the plan to mine Magnetite at the mouth of the Sigatoka river did not meet requirements under Standing Order 37. This is according to the Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau while delivering his ruling on the petition...

Fijian Parliament: Comply with standards before submitting petitions, says Speaker

MEMBERS of Parliament have been urged to comply with standards in order for petitions to be tabled before Parliament. While delivering his ruling in relation to petitions received from the Opposition, Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau outlined the standards that need to be followed: The petition must be in English and must attach hand-written...

Fijian Parliament: Walk out labelled ‘disrespectful’

OPPOSITION MPs have been labelled  as ‘disrespectful for walking out of Parliament this morning. This according to Government MP Viam Pillay, while speaking in Parliament today. Opposition MPs walked out of Parliament after Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka’s petition was struck out. Mr Pillay said “Such actions is unacceptable and shouldn’t be condoned.” He said Opposition...

Fijian Parliament: Opposition not going back in until Speaker receives grievances

OPPOSITION MPs will return to Parliament, once they submit their grievances to Speaker of Parliament, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. This has been confirmed by Opposition leader, Sitiveni Rabuka, during a press conference at the Opposition chambers this morning. He said it was unfortunate that Parliament had struck out petitions brought into Parliament by the Opposition. “We...

Fijian Parliament: Petition struck out, MPs walk out

OPPOSITION MPs walked out of Parliament after Speaker of Parliament struck out a petition from Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka this morning. Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka said the petitions were brought into Parliament as a matter of concern from members of the public. “The situation in Sigatoka is quite grave and they believe they’ve elected their...

FNPF owns 20pc of EFL, A-G reveals

THE Fiji National Provident Fund has bought a 20 per cent stake in Energy Fiji Ltd for $80 million. This was revealed by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament last night. He made the comment in response to a question from the Opposition Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka. Mr Rabuka had asked the A-G...

‘Opposition wants more allowances’

THE real reason the Opposition wants to form a special committee to review maritime and outer islands development programs is because they want to collect more allowances. This was the view expressed by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during a debate in Parliament yesterday. “I was trying to think about the rationale as to why they are...

‘State has run out of money’

GOVERNMENT ministers have told members of the Opposition that “Government is running out of money”. National Federation Party leader Dr Biman Prasad yesterday made the comment in Parliament while speaking on a debate on the review of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations 2014, 2015 and 2016 annual reports. “They all know that...

Saukuru: Why I put forward the motion

ALL I am suggesting is for Government to take a holistic approach in looking at the needs of the maritime zone and outer islands. This was the explanation offered by Opposition parliamentarian Jese Saukuru when he put forward a motion for a bipartisan special committee to be formed to review maritime and outer island development...

$360k used for wages, claims MP

Opposition member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula yesterday questioned the use of $360,000 from the Occupational and Health Safety trust funds for the payment of salaries in 2015. Speaking in Parliament during a debate on the ‘2014, 2015 and 2016 Annual Review of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Reports’, Mr Nawaikula said the...

Policy queried

OPPOSITION Whip Lynda Tabuya yesterday questioned whether every Government ministry had a sexual harassment policy. Speaking in Parliament yesterday, she said under the Employment Relations Act an employer must develop and maintain a policy to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. “In the first sexual harassment incident that happened at Fijian Holdings Ltd there was...

Poor management blamed for delay in reports

THE delay and inconsistency in submitting annual reports clearly showed poor management by ministerial heads and even the responsible minister. Opposition parliamentarian Mitieli Bulanauca said this while speaking on the review of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations 2014, 2015 and 2016 annual reports in Parliament yesterday. He asked where the reports of...

‘$4m in wages per day’

THE wages for civil servants and the disciplined forces amount to $4 million per day, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told Parliament yesterday. He made the comments while speaking on a debate on the 2014, 2015, 2016 review of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations report. He said civil servants have had enormous...

Kuridrani refutes allowance comment

I NEVER said the prime minister’s travelling allowance was $3000 a day, Dr Reddy did. This was the word from Opposition spokesman on agriculture Inosi Kuridrani to Speaker of the House Ratu Epeli Nailatikau during Parliament proceedings yesterday. He said during the November 2019 sitting, Dr Reddy said he (Mr Kuridrani) had told the House...

A-G, Tabuya clash

DON’T bring my father into it, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum shouted at Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya in Parliament yesterday. Ms Tabuya had accused the A-G of using words against the Opposition that were “not gracious”. “Perhaps he should practise some graciousness in Parliament when he is addressing members.” Ms Tabuya said the A-G used words such...

State accused of ‘wrecking union movement’

NATIONAL Federation Party leader Prof Biman Prasad yesterday accused Government of “wrecking the trade union movement, the workers and the trade union harmony”‘ in the country. He made the comment while debating the review of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations 2014, 2015 and 2016 annual reports. Prof Prasad said it was easy...

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