Nasinu

Financial relief for small businesses affected by Winston

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced that people who were given the $1,000 micro and small business grants and later got severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston will be provided with financial relief. PM Bainimarama while handing out the $1,000 small business grant cheques to 903 people in Valelevu, Nasinu today said that assessments are underway […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

June 15, 2016 2:01 pm

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced that people who were given the $1,000 micro and small business grants and later got severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston will be provided with financial relief.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Minster for Tourism Faiyaz Koya with a recipient of the business grant in Valelevu today. (@FijiMITT/Twitter)
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Minister for Tourism Faiyaz Koya and the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Shaheen Ali with a recipient of the business grant in Valelevu today. (@FijiMITT/Twitter)

PM Bainimarama while handing out the $1,000 small business grant cheques to 903 people in Valelevu, Nasinu today said that assessments are underway for the cyclone affected people and that the Finance Minister Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will make further announcements in the National Budget next Wednesday.

BAINIMARAMA: “The Government recognises that you may now need additional assistance. Some, or in some cases, all of what you invested your $1000 in may have been damaged or destroyed. And so we are currently working on a way to assist you by providing you with the financial relief you need toget back on your feet again.”

This includes recipients in Ovalau, Koro Island, Vanuabalavu, Savusavu, Taveuni, Rakiraki, Tavua, Lautoka and Tailevu North and all areas which were hit hard by Winston.

The Prime Minister stressed that they are relying on people to do the right thing and not try to rip off their fellow Fijians.

BAINIMARAMA: “Teams of assessors have toured the affected areas to gauge the extent of the damage to these recipients and the Attorney General and Minister for Finance will have more to say on this in the Budget. But I want to stress again that we are relying on people to do the right thing and not try to rip off their fellow Fijians. So there will of course be heavy penalties for those who try to make fraudulent claims.”

PM Bainimarama said $5.5 million worth of grants have been handed over to 7,744 recipients from 2015 to date.

BAINIMARAMA: “The 903 men and women who will be receiving their grants of $1000 each this morning are among the 7,744 successful applicants last year.”

PM Bainimarama said more jobs and opportunities are being created through this and it is a way to tackle poverty.

BAINIMARAMA: “Since this program began at the beginning of 2015, we have done a great deal to trigger an enterprise culture in Fiji. We have given the recipients of these grants the means to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them. And we have also provided an important boost to the Fijian economy as a whole. Because as these business grow from the seeds which we have sown with this scheme, the benefits flow to the wider economy.”

The Prime Minister said that the recipients do not get cash but a cheque made out to the supplier of the goods they have asked for.

He said in this way, the system is much more transparent and much less open to abuse.

PM Bainimarama said the micro and small business grant scheme is one of the government’s most important initiatives.

BAINIMARAMA: “There is increased activity across the board. More people are being given a leg-up and the means to help themselves. More jobs are being created as these people hire others to help their businesses grow. And that means this scheme is an important way in which Fiji is combating poverty and improving the living standards of our people.”

PM Bainimarama said the recipients to use the money wisely and to use it for the purpose that it has been given and the government will continue with this initiative.

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