Fijian gov't announces budget to boost revenue

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SUVA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government announced on Friday this year's national budget, outlining reforms and plans to boost its revenue including increases in tax revenue, departure tax rates, excise duties, and the water resource tax.

Delivering the 2024-2025 National Budget, Finance Minister Biman Prasad said strengthening fiscal and debt sustainability remains a key priority for the coalition government, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The new budget sees government revenue increase from 3.7 billion to 3.9 billion Fijian dollars (around 1.6 billion to 1.7 billion U.S. dollars), with an increase in expenditure from 4.3 billion to 4.5 billion Fijian dollars.

Prasad said tax revenue collections are projected at 3.3 million Fijian dollars for this financial year, an 8.7 percent increase compared to the last cycle.

With the stable position of the tourism industry, increments are being implemented to boost revenue.

Effective on Aug. 1, 2024, the transit hours for departure tax exemption will be reduced from 96 hours to 48 hours.

The water resource tax rate will increase from 1 cent per liter to 5 cents per liter for producers who extract between 0 to less than 10 million litres per month.

Meanwhile, people will now have to spend more on alcohol and tobacco as the excise duties on both products have increased by five percent.

The government debt is projected to be 77.8 percent of GDP by the end of July 2025, while the net deficit stands at 635.4 million Fijian dollars or 4.5 percent of GDP. Enditem

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