(o) Snippets: Pensions, Debt, NLTB, Prices, Brij Lal, ECREA "Widespread Dialogue" , HIV/AIDS, PSYCHIATRIC CARE
A UNIVERSAL PENSION SCHEME for people who are not civil servants or member of the Fiji National Provident Fund is being called for by Fiji Council of Social Services (FCOSS) Director Hassan Khan (photo Fiji Village). Full story.
GOVERNMENT DEBT was $3.066bn or 51.3% of GDP at the end of June, compared with $2.769Bn and 47% of GDP at the same time last year. Cash flow data, however, showed a net surplus of $39.6m for the first five months of this year, and revenue collection increased 6.5%. Full story.
FORMER NATIVE LANDS AND TRUST BOARD General and Legal Managers have pleaded not guilty of conspiracy to defraud the Vanua Development Scheme, the business arm of NLTB,of trust funds totalling $3.7m. Full story.
A PROPOSAL BY THE PRICES AND INCOMES BOARD to control prices of 24 items has been rejected by Government. The Board claimed widespread inconsistencies in retail prices for these items. Government said the move would have created distortions in the economy, is anti-business and is not an effective means to cushion those on low incomes from inflation.Business is reported to have breathed a sigh of relief. Full report.
BRIJ LAL says "academic duty and a sense of outrage" drove him to speak out against the expulsion of the Australian and NZ High Commissioners. Speaking of his part on work leading to the 1997 Constitution, he said the constitution "that resulted was not reframed exactly as he and his colleagues recommended." Full report.
ECREA's CHANTELLE KHAN is urging Government "to encourage widespread involvement in an upcoming forum on the nation's future." The National Dialogue for Fiji's Future will build on the issues raised by the People's Charter and will probably not include former political leaders. Khan says she understands it can be very difficult to make progress in discussions when sectors stick to their individual agendas, but ECREA experience has shown the importance of hearing diverse opinions. -- RNZI.
THE PRESIDENT SAYS HIV/AIDS is a "profound threat in Fiji and the region,"and has called for joint efforts to fight against the disease. Senior Medical Officer Dr Ilisipeci Vereti, also speakng on the proposed HIV Prevention Treatment Decree, said the CWM Hospital is urging expectant mothers to be tested for HIV. This follows the death of several babies. Full report.
ST GILES PSYCHIATRTIC HOSPITAL has won an award from the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Association (AFPA) for its improved services. Full report.