Sayed-Khaiyum provides clarity on grocery scheme

A large crowd lines up in front of the FNPF Downtown Boulevard building in Suva for the COVID-19 assistance in May last year. Picture: RAMA/FT FILE

Households which have people receiving Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) COVID-19 relief payments are not eligible for Government’s $90 grocery benefit.

Economy Ministry acting permanent secretary Shri Goundar said this yesterday as he announced that people eligible for the benefit should apply by sending a text message to 161 – either on the Vodafone or Digicel platform.

He said the text message should include the applicant’s full name, FNPF number (if any), occupation, home address and number of people in the household.

At a news conference conference on Tuesday, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the $90 was only for households where no one was getting FNPF unemployment benefits, and also for those who could not actually go to work, either because the business or the occupation that they had was not operational.

The A-G said more than 50,000 households were expected to benefit from the scheme.

Using the Fiji Bureau of Statistics data, Government had ascertained 140,000 people living in the Nadi-Lautoka corridor made up 35,000 households.

Government expected 20,000 applicants from this area which would result in a cost of about $1.8 million.

The Suva-Nausori-Lami-Nakasi containment areas had about 270,000 people in about 67,500 households. He said they expected about 30,000 households to apply and this would cost Government about $2.6 million.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said benefit payments would be rolled out via Vodafone’s M-PAiSA and Digicel’s MyCash platforms.

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