Economy continues heading towards disaster

  • 18th October 2005
  • 2005
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The Reserve Bank’s latest report on the state of the economy is yet another confirmation of the gross mismanagement of the national economy and unbridled abuse of public funds by the SDL government.

Reserve Bank Governor Savenaca Narube, speaking to the Fiji Australia Business Forum, paints an alarming picture of a country that is spending beyond its means while major exports continue to plunge.

What little growth is being experienced is largely based on the retail and wholesale sector, showing high consumer spending. As a result imports have exceeded exports for sometime now, creating huge balance of payments problems.

At the same time, government debt levels continue to balloon out of control, currently placed at 51% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). What is worse, the SDL Government has little to show for its high borrowing and spending, given the decrepit state of our health facilities, schools, roads and other infrastructure.

“There is no longer any room for complacency. The economy is in serious trouble,” Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Chaudhry warned.

“Much of the money is being siphoned away through mismanagement, corruption and abuse. If this trend continues, Fiji is headed for downright bankruptcy.

“A nation cannot afford to go on spending money that is not backed by solid productivity in the export sector. All our major exports continue to decline markedly – ie. sugar, garments, fisheries, gold, copra.”

“We are bracing for a further 20% downturn in the garment sector. Agriculture has been sadly neglected under this government. A reflection of this is the highly depressed state of the rural sector and the accelerated rate of rural- urban drift since 2000,” Mr. Chaudhry said.

The Governor of the Reserve Bank has given a grim warning that the overspending must stop and has called for a new growth strategy.

“However, what strategy can one expect from a government that has shown a bankruptcy of ideas on how to deal with the problems facing our economy, has not been able to attract investor confidence and continues to frittle away taxpayer’s funds in scams?” the Opposition Leader remarked.

Furthermore, government’s blatant support for terrorist elements through its Amnesty Bill has caused instability and is scaring investors away.