The Prime Minister’s forecasted 8 percent economic growth in 2004 is preposterous because experts are predicting otherwise.
Mr. Sukhdev Shah, a former International Monetary Fund economist and currently a lecturer of Economics at University of the South Pacific, has predicted an economic doom for Fiji over the next two years unless the Government cuts its spending and renews private sector confidence.
The Fiji Labour Party has been voicing the same concern and yet the Government has failed to take any rectifying measures
The Party, spokesperson, Ganesh Chand, said renewing private sector confidence is the key to long-term economic growth. An area the Government has failed miserably in, according to Mr. Chand.
Ganesh Chand, further pointed out that over the last four years Government finances have deteriorated due to enormous public debt, declining revenue and widening budget deficits.
According to Mr. Chand, Government’s pronouncements of five percent and now eight percent GDP growth targets are unrealistic when realities on ground point that the economy would return to 2-3 percent or lower rate of long-term growth.
It is obvious that the government has failed to boost the economy as a matter of priority. The government is failing to respond to the need for increase in investments and savings. Its obsession with affirmative action programmes to impress the rural voters is failing as the people can see how ineffective the government is in investing in social infrastructure to sustain long-term economic growth. The government needs to put its priority right and act with urgency in restoring investor confidence and cutting on its expenses.