The new leader of the National Federation Party, Dr. Biman Prasad said they will reduce the VAT from 15% to 10% if the Party comes into power.
Prasad who is the University of the South Pacific’s former Professor of Economics was unanimously elected as the leader during the Party’s Annual General Meeting and Convention in Nadi yesterday.
Prasad said the NFP will call for a review of the management structure of the Fiji National Provident Fund and ask for more representation on the board by workers representative.
While speaking infront of around 600 people, Prasad said the NFP will also abolish all decrees including the Essential National Industries Decree which is restricting the rights of workers in the country.
He said they will allow unions to operate in the spirit of dialogue and consultation with the employers.
He said they will revise minimum wages based on different sectors and make the wages council work more efficiently and effectively.
Prasad has welcomed the new RFMF Commander, Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga’s assurance that the military will be apolitical, will stay neutral in the upcoming elections and respect the results.
Speaking about education, Prasad said they do not have a quarrel with government’s major priority for education and have commended it.
He said the NFP will maintain giving school grants.
However, Prasad said in the rush some government policies on education are confusing.
Prasad said this includes the removal of exams, new adjustment methods and new curriculums.
He said they appreciate and understand government’s attempts to provide scholarships and loans for poor students to qualify for higher studies.
However, Prasad said they will review the structure of Tertiary Education Loan Scheme and its secretariat while maintaining the goal of providing scholarships to all students.
He said the NFP will keep the scheme for the 600 highest mark scorers in form 7, however they will introduce a new scholarship scheme for those students who do not make the cut in the 600, which will ensure that students from very poor families will get full scholarship and will not be forced to take a loan.
Meanwhile, Suva lawyer, Tupou Draunidalo has been elected NFP’s new President while Kamal Iyer has been elected as new the General Secretary.