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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

PM Bainimarama Announces 2013 Budget Figures For Fiji

Road authority sees biggest allocation, declining inflation expected

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Nov. 22, 2012) – Fiji's Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama announced his 2013 budget with estimated total revenue of FJ$2.1 billion [US$1.2 billion] and a total expenditure of FJ$2.3 billion [US$1.3 billion] which sees an increase of 12 percent from the total budget of 2012 with an estimated net deficit of FJ$218 million [US$121.7 million] - or 2.8 percent of GDP.

This is an increase from 1.9 percent of the GDP for 2012 which is attributed largely to road works around the country. Fiji Roads Authority got the biggest slice of the 2013 budget with FJ$422 million [US$235.7 million] – of FJ$395,115 in capital expenditure and FJ$27,326.3 for operating expenditure - for roads and bridges, an increase of FJ$182 million [US$101.6 million].

The forecast growth for 2013 has been set at 2.7 percent, which is an increase from 1.9 percent in 2011 and projected growth of 2.5 percent in 2012.

The provision for operating expenditure is FJ$1.55 billion [US$865.4 million].

FJ$722 million [US$403.2 million] is budgeted for capital expenditure. Capital expenditure will hit the FJ$700 million mark for the first time.

This represents a budget increase to 32 percent spent on capital works. That means more money for development projects and initiatives.

Inflation is expected to continue to decline during the remaining months of 2012 to around 3.5 percent.

Fiji’s reserves are at comfortable levels at FJ$1.58 billion [US$882.4 million], sufficient to cover five months of imports of goods and services.

Bainimarama also announced an increase in income tax threshold from FJ$15,600 [US$8,712] to FJ$16,000 [US$8,935] and the removal of all personal taxable allowances to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Final Tax system from 2013.

The new system is expected to promote simplification and efficiency in the administration of PAYE tax in Fiji.

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