Landowners query royalties

WHILE Government has reassured resource owners that they will continue to receive 80 per cent of royalties from the use of their resources, landowners of Nawailevu, Bua, are still querying about funds promised to them for the mining of bauxite on their land.

Nawailevu landowning unit spokesman Waisale Kaidawa said they were still waiting for the royalties promised to them.

Mr Kaidawa said as owners of the land from which bauxite ores were being mined, they were still not clear on when they would receive these royalties.

“It is still not clear with us where these funds are and when it will be released to us,” he said.

“Government, in this year’s budget, needs to hold awareness to us on where this money has gone because we have projects awaiting funding from these royalties.

“It is only fair that resource owners like us get clarification on where this money is being used and how.

“To this day, we are still waiting for word on the Future Generation Funds that we were promised — no word has come to us.”

In his budget announcement last night, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said 80 per cent of any royalties for any minerals mined from land and the seabed goes back to resource owners.

“Of course as introduced this year, 80 per cent of any royalties for any mineral resources mined on land and any seabed in Fiji goes straight back to resource owners,” he said.

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