The extension of the State of Emergency by a further month is regrettable as restrictions placed under it will have a detrimental effect on businesses and the economy in general, Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said.
To the international community it portrays a picture of instability in the country which undermines confidence and deters investment at a time when Fiji’s economy is already in serious recession.
Mr Chaudhry said restrictions placed on trading hours were hitting small businesses, most of which depended heavily on after hours trading in the evenings.
FLP is not persuaded that the restriction on trading hours is a security measure. One can get an extension of trading hours by paying an additional fee so how does this then tie in with security concerns?
Mr Chaudhry warned that a number of small businesses may have to close down if the restrictions continued, contributing to the general hardship, and adding to the list of job losses.
He expressed concern at the rapidly contracting economy and the general hardship that this would lead to – the recently announced lay off of close to 200 workers by Telecom was an indicator of the worsening situation.