Opposition Leader slams Qarase’s ‘blind’ comment

  • 29th April 2005
  • 2005
  • // Display comment count + link

Opposition Leader Mahendra Chaudhry reiterates his claim that the SDL government has little to show for the $1 billion it has borrowed in four years, pushing government’s debt levels to a massive $2.5 billion.

He was responding to a statement by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase that Chaudhry must be blind if he could not see the capital works carried out by the government through this borrowed money.

But Chaudhry stuck to his guns and replied:

The Prime Minister speaks of $120 million-$160 million dollars spent to upgrade the water supply in the Suva and Nadi-Lautoka areas. Yet, almost everyday we get complaints in the media from residents in the Suva, Lautoka and Ba areas about chronic problems and disruptions to their water supply.

“So where has all this money gone to that the Prime Minister is talking about?” Mr. Chaudhry asked.

“I don’t know from where the Prime Minister has concocted a $100 million figure for the construction of the Rewa Bridge. The bridge is being built for $30 million, the bulk of which is funded by the European Union,” Mr. Chaudhry said.

“I ask again what has government got to show for the $1 billion it has borrowed so far?

“Water reticulation problems have worsened. Fiji’s roads are in a pathetic state, our hospitals are deplorably under equipped and under staffed to say the least, the numbers of the jobless are on the increase, squatter problems are escalating and more and more of our people are now caught in the poverty trap due to government’s insensitive polices.

“This is the SDL government’s pathetic record of four years in office. It has little to show beyond gross mismanagement of public funds, scams, corruption and rapid economic decline,” Mr. Chaudhry said.