Bua Developments, Pacer Stalled, Bahrain, Crime Free, Tax Evasion, Mahogany Basics

WEEKEND READING. Allen Lockington's regular column,International Reports Not True: US Resident,  Fiji a Volatile Paradise, PACER Plus website links, Fiji, India and the World,  State Intervenes to Save Infant.

. Major infrastructure projects in the coming months will include upgrading of roads, water infrastructure and other facilities, and a new Fiji Development Bank at Nabouwalu to allow farmers access to small loans. Further, talks  are underway between the government and Vodafone Fiji for total mobile phone coverage in Bua; the Native land Trust Board has given the green light for bauxite mining that will commence by the end of this year; and an unspecified $12 million project is also expected to get underway soon.

These developments were announced by the PM and Commissioner Northern, Col.Inia Seruiratu, during their visit earlier in the week. They stressed that the people needed to play their part in the development of the provide and farmers had to use their land to plant dalo, yaqona and pine.  If they did this, government would provide the necessary assistance. See also Weekend Reading.  Fiji Live link  Radio Fiji link.

PACER STALLED. Concern that the free trade and economic integration treaty, PACER Plus negotiations seems to have stalled points to the exclusion of Fiji as a probable reason. Hear Australian, ni Vanuatu, Fijian and other views on  this Radio Australia link. See links to PACER-related material in Weekend Reading posted tomorrow. Vinaka, Charles

DIPLOMATS AGREED. Bahrain and Fiji will soon formalize diplomatic relations. This is the latest development initiated by Fiji Ambassador to the UN Peter Thomson which reflects a major shift in Fiji's foreign jolicy to join the Non- Align Movement. Foreign Minister Rt Inoke Kubuabola said the shift was in Fiji's long term interests due to changes and shifts in the balance of power from a bi-polar a multi polar world. "As a Small Island Developing States, Fiji needs to cultivate an atmosphere where we are trusted and respected not because of our size but by the firmness and decisiveness of our foreign policies”. Based on 2010 No:1268/MFA.

CRIME FREE. The goal is to make Fiji free of serious crime by 2012. The strategy is for police to work with communites towards crime-free communities, towns and cities.

This is what  Local Government, Urban Development and Housing Minister Col. Samuela Saumatua told the Crime Free Symposium at the Nasova Police Academy today. The Minister said the goal was "neither utopian not impossible" but all stakeholders would need pragmatic and pro-active to achieve the stable and peaceful Fiji envisaged in the People's Charter. The key was crime prevention.  "It is all very well to come up with strategies that look very impressive but it is the implementation or making it a reality is very important,” he said. -- Based on 2010 No:1263/ and 1264/MOI.

MASSIVE TAX EVASION. Revenue and Customs Authority chief executive Jitoko Tikolevu, confirmed that a recent survey of 3,159 households revealed that nearly one-third had undeclared undeclared income from rents, unregistered businesses, land sales and other tax breaches.FIRCA is calling on all landlords to voluntarily declare their rental income and be honest to avoid unnecessarily penalties. He did not know how much money was involved but the Authority is expecting to raise $1.5m from current assessments.

MAHOGANY LANDOWNERS have welcomed government’s decision to survey all land in the country.Nukurua Mahogany Landowners chairman Ratu Netava Tagi said they had raised their concern about unclear boundaries in the past but they were not heard. He said previous government had leased their land but it was never surveyed.

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1 for you, 19 for me said…
One third of 3,159 people is about 1,000 who've been caught evading tax. If FIRCA thinks it's going to raise $1.5m from those assessments then that means an average of $1,500 is owed by each person (probably including the draconian penalties).

FIRCA might cover the cost of their recent operation, but 'massive' tax evasion it isn't.
. said…
@ 1 for you ... This was based on a survey, that is, a sample. It gives the FIRCA an indication of likely overall tax evasion. My guess is that is was a targeted and not a random sample. The one-third evasion would therefore only be indicative of the type of sample they used. And, of course, your $1,500 is an average. It would be interesting to know the range or distribution around the average for with this, the FIRCA could refine their targets to collect the bigger debts.
fiji economy booming said…
It seems from your reports and reading the very objective news in FBC that Fiji is booming under the dictatorship. Perhaps there is no need for an election - we should just leave it as it is?
Global Citizen said…
Croz: stop being an idiot. Bahrain and Fiji recognising each other means absolutely nothing. Zip. Zero. Theyt "recognise" each other. Well, I recognise you. Doesnt mean I agree with you. I just recognise you exist.Lord man, if you are going to flaunt academic qualifications, at least demonstrate some intellectual notion of what it means. And Bahrain as a force in the non-aligned movement! Well, name the largest US airbase in the Gulf - and name the host country. I'll make it easy for you - the second answer is Bahrain. Lord man. It is tiresome some time having to educate you.
1 for you, 19 for me said…

Perhaps you missed my point, which was to indicate FIRCA’s misuse of the word ‘massive’.

You have gone on, at length, about media misrepresentation in the past and I think it’s fair to point out that where ‘massive’ corruption doesn’t seem to exist (using FIRCA’s own sampled figures) then it shouldn’t be reported as such.

Of course – if you’ve now stopped riding that particular horse, then I won’t bother continuing to bring to your readers’ attention the embellishment and hyperbole which occurs when reports subliminally try to justify this coup

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