Call to monitor traders; businesses still charge VAT on 21 zero-rated items – A-G

Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the Fiji Institute of Accountants 2022-2023 Pre-election consultation at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service to monitor businesses who are still charging value-added tax on items that should be zero-rated.

“So even though the VAT was reduced by 10 per cent, there are still some companies that have not implemented the new prices.

“We need these people to carry out their responsibility otherwise what’s the point of us losing $265 million? That’s how much revenue we’ve lost to generate those 21 items.

“What’s the point of doing that if it is not going to be passed on to the consumer,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made the comments at the Fiji Institute of Accountants at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa where a pre-budget discussion was held between Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Arif Ali, Fiji Revenue and Customs CEO Mark Dixon and Fijian Consumer and Competition Commission’s Joel Abraham.

He added that there was a need to address the rising prices as this continued to be an important topic that affected not just Fiji but the international community.

“We have to be able to address the critical immediate issues in terms of things like rising commodity prices,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We also have to focus on long-term goals.

“There is a need to provide confidence and build measures; we need to increase product competitiveness.”

The A-G has added that there needs to be complementarity between civil society and Government and a collaborative approach would be needed in the lead-up to the national budget announcement next month.

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