- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By RACHNA LAL and
The ‘apparent’ shortage of local chicken in the market is not because there is a shortage per se, but rather because of increased demand for chicken.
This is the view of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made these comments yesterday while addressing participants at the 2012 Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia-Fiji branch congress at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island in Nadi.
He said he had been informed by one of the chicken producers in the country that the growth in demand in the fast food outlets had been phenomenal over the past few months.
“He said people must be eating out a lot. People perhaps, who were not going to Chicken Express, are now maybe going to Chicken Express,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed there was a very good spill to this as far as the economy was concerned.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he believed this was probably because people had started utilising the tax cuts now provided by Government.
“The fact is that 90.1 per cent Fijian taxpayers, through the 2012 budget, received a tax cut and many of you, in particular those of you who earn below $270,000, would have been the beneficiary of that,” he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said companies like Goodman Fielder (distributors of Crest chicken), over the last 18 months had invested close to $78 million.
He said they are now producing chicken that previously had to be imported.
The Minister has also called on accountants, tax advisors, financial advisors and business advisors to take responsibility and make a cultural shift.
He said people need to move away from the business of getting things done because of who you knew or who you know, the business of moving in the right social circles, the business of giving the right amount of donation to a political party or a minister and having him home for dinner. None of that business must exist anymore.
He said one of the reasons there had been an enormous brain drain in Fiji was many people have argued that apart from the fact there has been economic downturns, that they were not necessarily moved up the chain on merit based appointments.
“That means that there was a form of dispute and the recourse, the redress was not available readily and if redress was available, it was tainted, it was jaded,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“Now, under the Bainimarama Government, that has been the focus.
“As the PM has said on a number of occasions, we want merit based appointments; we want people to be recognised for their efficiency, for their productivity.”