Fuel Prices Up but Contained, New e-Data Centre, Fiji Today Misreports on Sugar
FUEL PRICES INCREASES BUT ... Fiji's fuel prices are to increase by between 13 and 21 cents a litre. The new price for standard petrol is $2.50, premium petrol $4.47, diesel $2.28 and kerosene $1.88. This will have an obvious effect on all users and a likely effect on prices and the economy. Thanks to an agreement between government and bus operators, however, bus fares will not increase until the world price per barrel exceeds US$140 (The average price in the March quarter was US$110).
In another agreement, between government and the oil companies, fuel prices are now reviewed quarterly, not monthly, which gives Fiji users a "review time lag." The quarterly restatements of prices are based on three months average of the international benchmark; Means of Platts Singapore (MOPS), the average exchange rate and international freight and handling charges.
The last review was in December and prices have not increased since. I wish I could say the same for New Zealand where prices are higher than in Fiji and where the oil companies' regular price increases anticipate future increases in the price of oil.
NEW GOVERNMENT DATA CENTRE. A $20 million Chinese concessionary loan has made possible a Government Data Centre that will handle all on-line Government services on a 24 hour basis. Statutory authorities and public companies will also be able to use the facility. The Centre will provide a secure and reliable hosting infrastructure platform for e-Government services such as applications for licences, investment registration and processing, applications for Government scholarships, e-tendering and on-line searches of Government records.
In opening the Centre last week, the PM said that e-Government will result in a leaner, more cost-effective government; it will also make government systems and processes more transparent, and reduce opportunities for corruption. -- Based on No: 0863 /MOI.
FIJI TODAY AND SUGAR FARMS. The Ministry of Agriculture announced that it is "encouraging sugarcane farmers to plant either rice or potatoes or enter into dairy farming alongside sugarcane if they want continued assistance from Government."
FijiToday reports this as "Government encouraging Sugarcane farmers to move away from sugar........ this contradicts the big push for more cane..."
Diversifying is not moving away; it's a sensible way of spreading risk, ensuring income throughout the year, and it is not the first time a Fiji government has urged cane farmers to diversify. Come on, Fiji Today. Your criticisms are usually better than this.