Ditoka: Initiatives show government’s strategic approach
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Ditoka: Initiatives show government’s strategic approach

Rural Development Minister Sakiasi Ditoka says the initiatives outlined by Government for the next financial year are collective evidence of its strategic approach to supporting inclusive growth and raising the living standards of Fijians.

Welcoming the 2024-2025 State Budget, Mr Ditoka said that in his view, the new budget has been developed in the context of renewed confidence and optimism and that it is appropriate for an economy that is struggling to cope with the uncertainty caused by the previous government’s overspending and its inability to take a comprehensive view of the upcoming development issues.

“This budget supports the government’s commitment to closing the development gap between rural and urban areas,” he said.

The Ministry of Rural and Marine Development and Emergency Management has been allocated $37.9 million for fiscal year 2024-2025, an increase of $8.8 million over last year’s allocation.

Mr Ditoka said the significant increase was evidence of the Coalition Government’s commitment to progress in developing resilient rural communities as part of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11.

“I am pleased to note that the Government has prioritised initiatives that focus on growing the rural economy by investing in rural infrastructure, increasing economic opportunities, empowering individuals and communities, and addressing climate change.

“The People’s Coalition Government strongly believes that facilitating rural communities’ access to major road networks will help them integrate more effectively into our national economy and the country’s overall development.

“I welcome the allocation of $354.8 million to the Fiji Roads Authority for ongoing road construction and maintenance, upgrade and replacement of bridges and jetties, and upgrade of rural roads.

“The Ministry also confirms the allocation of an additional $5 million to the Ministry of Public Works for the maintenance and upgrading of rural roads.”