Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the government will meet with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service Board to implement reforms after the Business Reform Committee provides the recommendations based on it’s findings on tax and customs services.
Sayed-Khaiyum says they felt as policy makers that a number of agencies of government need to modernise themselves not just in terms of technology they use but also their approach to business themselves and business processes.
While speaking in parliament, Sayed-Khaiyum says they wrote to a number of organizations throughout Fiji including Fiji Pharmacy Association, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, Fiji Institute of Accountants, Fiji Chamber of Commerce, Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association, Association of Banks, Fiji Retailers Association, Fiji Institute of Engineers, Association of Architects, Duavata Sustainable Tourism Collective, Fiji Van and Carrier Operators Association and Women in Business to be part of the committee.
He says the Business Reform Committee also has the head of Jack’s Fiji who is the head of Vision Group, hardware companies, supermarket companies, shipping companies, a legal representative that has submission from the Fiji Law Society, Pacific Destination, Hot Bread Kitchen, the pearl industry, restaurants, Construction Industry Council and young entrepreneurs.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the key objectives of the committee is to review the tax and customs administration, ensure the smooth implementation of the VAT Monitoring System, improve FRCS stakeholder engagement, strategies and examine the effectiveness of trade and investment facilitation policies and build services to accommodate businesses of different sizes and sectors.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the committee has already highlighted about 277 issues and they are also calling for public submissions.
He says the top ranking issues highlighted are that about 13 percent of the respondents feel that the FRCS business approach issues need to be addressed, 12 percent of them feel the VAT Monitoring System needs to be addressed, 16 percent believe FRCS customer services needs to improve, trade facilitation needs to improve and Revenue and Customs public relations and communication problems need to be addressed.
Sayed-Khaiyum says there was a particular level of dissatisfaction by some people in the business community for a lack of understanding by Fiji Revenue and Customs on some of their business processes and hopefully this will create a better business environment.
SODELPA MP, Inosi Kuridrani
SODELPA MP, Inosi Kuridrani raised the question on why the Fiji Indigenous Business Council is not included in the Business Reform Committee.
Sayed-Khaiyum says no one is being left out.