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Committee on Blueprint

Issue No 78; 3 October 2000


A committee on implementing Qarase's blueprint for Fijian Advancement has started meeting.

The committee, chaired by the Fiji Trade and Investment Board Chief Executive, is looking at ways in which 50% of shares in government held companies can be reserved for ethnic Fijians and Rotumans. Other government members are representatives of the Prime Minister's Office and Ministries of Commerce, Finance, Public Enterprise, and Fijian Affairs. Representatives from the Fiji Development Bank, Fijian Holdings Ltd, the Fijian Initiate Group, and Capital Markets Development Authority are also on the committee.

The presence of the CMDA raises questions on the transparency of this body. That the CMDA is a member of a committee to ensure that 50% of shares in government owned companies are reserved is a matter of grave concern since it compromises the integrity of the organisation.

It is believed that government companies and/or shares in companies like the Telecom, Fiji Electricity Authority and Government Printery are looked at by the Qarase regime for dishing out to certain individuals and organisations.

Over the past few weeks, numerous questions have arisen on the way state assistance has been monopolised by a select group of elite Fijians. That the Fijian Holdings Ltd sits in this committee, together with the FDB and Jesoni Vitusagavulu (FTIB CEO who has also been implicated in Fijian Holdings scheme) indicates that the same select group are now scheming to profit further from the proposed sale of profitable ventures by the Qarase regime.

In the meantime, the Fijian Holdings Ltd has filed a writ against the Peoples Coalition Government for raising the FHL dealings publicly. The writ is seen as an attempt to gag the Peoples Coalition from informing the public of the corrupt practices in the Fijian Holdings Ltd and the Fiji Development Bank. Interim regime Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase is a former Managing Director of the Fiji Development Bank, as well as a beneficiary of the FHL schemes.

END

3 October 2000.


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