Correction to a slight error in a quote attributed to Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry in FLP’s response to the 2011 Budget regarding the 15c per litre tax imposed on Fiji Water.
Mr Chaudhry said,”I wonder what process of enlightenment has made those responsible in the regime to now strike a somewhat realistic ( not unrealistic as published) rate of 15c per litre. And why is it confined to only one operator? Where is the equity?”
As Finance Minister in 2008, Mr Chaudhry had tried to impose a 20c per litre resource tax on all exporters of bottled water. The tax was quickly reversed at the instance of some influential and powerful lobbyists acting for the water companies.
As a result of this intervention, the excise duty was reduced from 20c to the “preposterous” rate of 0.001 cent per litre in 2008!