Chaudhry labels A-G’s comments ‘shocking’

Former Prime Minister and Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry labelled comments made by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum that Government had $3.5m to provide for relief and rehabilitation work in the wake of super storm Yasa as “shocking”.

“This announcement is tantamount to a declaration of bankruptcy of State finances,” Mr Chaudhry said.

“Is the minister setting the stage for another massive raid on the FNPF funds?

“He should well know that the cost of initial relief and rehabilitation is likely to be many times more than the paltry sum he says he has left in the budget.

“Our people are already in a state of anxiety from the news of the super cyclone to be discreetly told that the Government is broke and they may have to take care of themselves. I would have expected a comprehensive statement to have been issued following an emergency Cabinet meeting to reassure the people of Government support.”

Speaking to the media last week, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said through budgetary allocations and also through the Prime Minister’s Trust Fund, Government had “approximately about $3.5 million available on hand to meet any of the additional costs” associated with super storm Yasa’s relief effort.

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