Council to waive stall fees

MORE than 340 vendors at the Ba Municipal Market are worried about what the future will hold for them and the farmers who supply them with crops.

Ba Market Vendors Association president Nitesh Prasad said two floods in the space of one week and Tropical Depression 13F threatening to intensify into a cyclone would spell disaster for all market stakeholders.

“Vendors are in a very difficult situation because we cannot go to a bank and get a loan,” he said.

“Very few of us are FNPF (Fiji National Provident Fund) members and the ones that are members do not have much. So we hope the Government looks at our plight and also the plight of the farmers who supply us.

“They will need assistance to get their farms back up.

“If Government can give us interest-free loans then we will be able to hold out while the produce and root crops regenerate and farmers will be able to quickly replant so we can all return to business as usual.”

Yesterday, about 100 vendors set up temporary stalls outside Rajendra Prasad Foodtown supermarket in Ba after flooding resulted in the Ba Municipal Market being closed for the second time in one week.

Local Government Minister Parveen Kumar said stall fees for flood-affected markets had been waived until the end of this month.

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