News and Comments Friday 26 July 2013
'THE ETHNIC COMPOSITON OF THE RFMF.' Please read, and add to the comments, on this earlier posting shown under the RFMF crest.
FLYING THE MSG FLAG. Fiji will soon fly rhe Melanesian Spearhead Group flag alongside the Fiji flag at its overseas missions. It is understood other MSG countries will follow Fiji's lead. The move is expected to strengthen the group’s presence worldwide.
FIJI WILL ACT IN ITS OWN INTERESTS. Fiji will act on its own interest and not of those who impose their will on us, says PM Bainimarama. Addressing Head of Missions, the head of the Fijian Government said “the days of us being dictated to by outsiders are over.” He said the expansion of the country’s diplomacy in the past five years is testament to the growing influence and diverse interests in a dynamic and evolving global landscape. “Fiji is becoming a cohesive, unified force that is truly independent. We are taking charge of our own destiny and carving out our own niche in the world. We don’t see ourselves as beholden to anyone,” Bainimarama said. He said Fiji demonstrated its leadership credentials in the region and to the world. “We have shown that the strength of our leadership is in our ability to form solidarity and unity among fellow nations. As a result, our international standing has never been higher. “Fiji has emerged as one of the world’s most dynamic countries in delivering ICT services and infrastructure to our people, presenting our reforms in a number of international conferences.” Within the region, he says Fiji is restructuring the landscape of the Pacific together with its neighbours to better suit the needs, demands and aspirations of the people.
SUGAR STRIKE ON OR OFF? With the announcement that over 2,000 sugar workers are to receive a 5.3% pay rise, equal access to health insurance, access to a special welfare fund,and the resumption of overtime rates, one might think the strike called by union secretary Felix Anthony would be called off. But this may not be the case.
FSC CEO Abdul Khan said, “When I took this post, FSC was in bad shap. People were saying the sugar industry was dead and our workers were demoralized. Now, two and a half years later, FSC is in financial good health, the staff is motivated and full of confidence, and everyone is sharing the benefits of our success [thanks to] the financial reforms instituted by the Bainimarama Government and the hard work being done by everyone to make FSC a more efficient and financially healthy. Everyone is pulling in the same direction.” The future of the mills and mill workers, however, depend on a good and constructive industrial relationship between the Fiji Sugar Corporation and mill workers.
While the FSC will not comment on the proposed strike action planned by the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union, Khan says their priority is to always look after their employees, and that FSC can only award a wage increase after looking at its budget and ensuring that it’s financially viable to do so.
FIJI HAS LOWEST ELECTRICITY TARIFFS IN PACIFIC. In the 2013 budget, the PM announced a 5% reduction in electricity tariffs which resulted in Fiji having the lowest tariff rate in the entire Pacific region.
Now, the FEA has announced a $75.3 profit after tax for 2012 which profit equates to a Return on Shareholder Funds (ROSF) of positive 13.6%. This excellent result is attributed to the performance of the Monasavu Hydo Scheme, the commissioning of the Nadarivatu Hydro Project, stringent measures implemented to control operational expenditure. but most of all to an income tax benefit of $13.5m as a result of the 40% fuel allowance for the Nadarivatu Hydro Scheme. Had this allowance not been approved, FEA would have recorded an income tax expense of $12.4m in 2012 and this would have resulted in a profit after tax of $49.4m.
Fuel cost the Authority $105.1m in 2012, equating to 35% of its total revenue. The FEA also incurred an estimated cost of around $25m in non-commercial obligation costs by reaching out to interior areas of Vanua Levu and Ovalau. FEA has a target to be 90% reliant on renewable energy by 2015 and the Authority’s current renewable energy consumption ranges between 60-70%.
HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS. Some 69 new hotel developments were
recorded between 2010 and 2012