Budget Strategy to Cover 2012-14: Growth, Sustainability, Targeted Support
The strategy based on a submission by the Minister for Finance and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama covered the three-year period from 2012 to 2014 and is said to be consistent with the government's efforts to achieve its dual objectives of fostering sustainable growth and achieving fiscal sustainability over the medium term.
By Elenoa Baselala, Fiji Times
A SPECIAL sitting by the Cabinet yesterday [Tuesday] approved the 2012 Budget Strategy and also set the national budget announcement date as October—a month earlier than usual.
Commodore Bainimarama said the strategy was also aligned to Government's key macro-economic targets as articulated in the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress and the Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development.
He added that fiscal policy played a key role in achieving government's macroeconomic objectives.
"Accordingly, the 2012 Budget will be formulated with the aim of addressing the achievement of government's key macroeconomic targets over the medium term. In the process, major challenges affecting the economy; both in the immediate and medium to long-term will be addressed," Commodore Bainimarama said.
To achieve this, the Prime Minister said that the strategy was aimed at fostering sustainable growth and investments and achieving fiscal sustainability.
"Resources will, therefore, be targeted at critical sectors as well as programs and activities that will generate economic activity," he said. "To raise investments, focus will be directed at addressing impediments and bottlenecks.
"At the same time, consideration will be given to ensure that adequate resources are provided to sectors that will assist in the achievement of Government's growth targets such as law and order, investment approval agencies and human development in terms of education and training.
"Targeted support for the poor and vulnerable will also be provided to enhance inclusive development."
The Prime Minister said that fiscal sustainability was also a key consideration for the 2012 Budget.
This will ensure that the Government is able to cater for its present and future budgetary needs as well as provide the necessary fiscal space to counter future economic shocks.
He said the budget deficit of 3.5 per cent would be gradually reduced over the medium-term in order to reduce debt levels while at the same time enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of government spending.