Robin Hood Casino, Adding Up the Roadmap, Namosi Supports Govt, IMF Thanked, Internet Prices, School Theft

SEE NEW QUOTE FOR THE WEEK in the right sidebar.
SEE the many thoughtful and helpful COMMENTS in the WEEKEND READINGS. 

CASINO FUNDS FOR POVERTY ALLEVIATION. All funds government will earn from the operation of Fiji’s first casino that will only be used by tourists will go towards poverty alleviation,  says PM Bainimarama. It is expected the casino will boost tourism, especiallt from China. The Methodist church has told FBC News they will comment once they have studied the proposal.

A Tenders Board  will be appointed soon to scrutinise tenders for the proposed casino. Government has invited expressions of  interest for the development and operation of its first Casino from internationally successful and reputable full-casino developers/operators. The EOI submissions close on 30th November.

THE PIECES ADD UP. The opening of the new Tukavesi dental clinic in Vanua Levu is not exactly earth-shattering news. It will only serve 15 villages, 55 settlements and five estates located some way between Labasa and Savusavu, and it only cost government $30,000.

But it's part of a bigger scheme to improve primary health care and deliver better health services, and a bigger scheme to develop rural areas in Fiji.  Look at the list below of other recent and ongoing developments.

They are part of the overall scheme laid out in the Roadmap: concentration on infrastructural developments to 2012, and constitutional and electoral reform processes from then until the 2014 Elections.  Hopefully, by that time Fijians will have a clearer idea of what to expect from a government and will cast their votes accordingly.
  • $150m invested into Nadarivatu Hydro project greatly reducing the dependency of fossil fuel. Estimated decrease of 20%. The project is expected to open in August 2011. 
  • Opening of 9kms of  new road on Taveuni $900,000. The road is due to open mid November and will greatly improve the lives of dalo farmers in Vuna and Waimaqera
  • The Lagi to Nakusere road which opens soon,  at a cost of $850,000 giving access  to villages in Cakaudrove and Macuata. The road also gives access to 12 other coastal villages.  The road has huge benefits in reduction of travel costs, and the ease access to transport.
  • Road upgrading from Korovou Town to Waito is valued at $19m. 
  • $3m invested in additional water pumps in Labasa, allowing greater access to clean drinking water. 
  • Nuknuk settlement at Tabia outside Labasa gets electricity. The cost of the project was approximately $250,000 
  • More that $6m currently being spent on electrification projects in 52 rural communities. $29.3m has currently being spent this year on these projects. 
  • Naikawaqa village get electricity at a cost of more than $170,000.  In all 48 households and 259 residence get light for the first time. 
  • Villages in Deladamanu and Natoaika in Naitasiri celebrate the commissioning of power to villages and schools.
  • New sewerage treatment plant to be constructed at a cost of $23m this will greatly enhance investment in Savusavu
  • $3m to build 200 homes approved in the first phase of rehabilitation works in the North after cyclone Thomas
  • Launch of chicken farm at Drue on Kadavu.
And these are just the developments mentioned in last Saturday's Fiji papers!

NAMOSI SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT. Namosi, one of Viti Levu's less accessible provinces, will "continue to support the Government and whatever initiatives it will bring about to steer them forward in terms of development. This will benefit the people for better living standards,” said the Tui Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, at the opening of the Namosi Provincial Council meeting last week. He also thanked the Roko Tui Namosi and his officers for their work assisting the people of Namosi in line with government’s intention in terms of development in the province.

The Tui Namosi said that if Namosi wants to prosper then parents and vanua elders need to make  education a top priority. He urged his people to consume kava wisely and utilise resources like idle land for better returns to be able to send children to school.-- Based on 2010 No:1799/MOI

FRB GOVERNOR THANKS IMF. Sada Reddy has thanked the International Monetary Fund for its advice and assistance in improving the country's macroeconomic situation.The IMF gave Fiji US$93 million in the second half of 2009 and Reddy says without the assistance the pressure on Fiji’s balance of payments would have been far more serious.He says the injection boosted foreign reserves and greatly helped restore confidence to Fiji’s economy and financial system. Current foreign reserve levels are now at US$630 million, equivalent to over 3.8 months of imports.

Reddy said Fiji is making progress on the IMF recommendations following on-going consultations for a possible Stand-By Arrangement funding support by the Fund. These include the removal of interest rate caps on commercial banks interest rates, relaxation of capital controls, consolidation of government finances and the review of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Act to enhance the autonomy and independence of the Central Bank.

INTERNET PRICES COULD PLUMMET 50%. This is the prediction of Commerce commission Chairman, Dr Mahendra Reddy speaking at the launch of TFL's (Telecommunication Fiji Ltd) direct line access to the Southern Cross Cable Network. He said Internet Service Providers will now have to compete with each other by offering more reasonable internet charges to its customers. Communications Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Government recognized that Fiji has very low internet penetration and expects the direct connection and lower prices will bring the rate up.

ALLEGED THEFT BY FORMER MARIST PRINCIPAL. Police are investigating this alleged theft of over $100,000. Many Old Boys raised questions about the alleged theft at their recent Reunion, including the Prime Minister who wanted to ensure proper action was taken to recover the missing money.


Pro Gov said…
Great list of achievements. Thanks Croz
More please said…

So much basic stuff done yet this government continues to let itself and us down by failing to publish any clear plan (roadmap or otherwise) on the return to democracy. While they want everyone to just trust them on this the international community needs a lot more. They could do many more of these pet projects listed if the economy was firing and the only way to make that happen is to restore international confidence. That is never going to happen with the please "wait till to 2012 and just trust us" attitude.
Casino said…
On the Casino - I was at the PM's economic forum in 2008 when this was first suggested. Yes casino's have social issues surrounding them but if you want Chinese or Aisan tourism this is a must. Vanuatu has had to casino's for some time.
inside RBF said…
So the RBF governor thanks the IMF for pointing out the stupidity of some of his earlier decisons. He may yet turn out to be a decent RBF governor yet...or is it he really really needs that money.
Balance ? said…

Are we going to here anything more on the ongoing PER from you soon or have you accepted it should stay in place unitl 2014 now ?

What about the roadmap to democracy you put a link to then removed...and then assured us existed only in draft form. Are we going to here about that. That's the room where they need the lights turned on right now.
PER with us till 2014 said…
I note the link to C4.5 has gone and the bagging the site has recieved. Mostly related to the articles about all not being well at the barricks. Fair enough - everything is calm and normal in Fiji. The journo's just need to come and see it themeslves. So why on earth have we need a PER and why do we still have a PER.

What is the PUBLIC EMERGENCY if everything is fine and good in Fiji.

If the PM is so certian there is no public emergency why have a PUBLIC EMERGENCY regulation.
snoopy said…
Yes it is a great list of achievements and at the grassroot level which benefits the common man. There are many more of these achievements. However the Fijian economy is struggling due to the sugar industry and a lack of foreign aid. Hopefully the EU commences it aid as it is only hurting the common person.

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