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Fiji govt to launch Cash-for-Work program

Fiji,Business/Economy

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Suva, Aug 31 (IANS) The Fiji government will launch a Cash-for-Work program to assist those working in the informal sector and affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Reserve Bank of Fiji, 130,000 Fijians are employed in the island-nation's informal sector which refers to those who are self employed, or who work for those who are self employed, reports Xinhua news agency.

People who earn a living through self employment in most cases are not on payrolls, and thus are not taxed.

Many informal workers conduct their businesses in unprotected and unsecured places.

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said on Monday that some of these people may work every week and some of them may work just two weeks in a month or couple of days in a week and they need assistance.

"As a start, this assistance with the informal sector will be limited to those who can provide proof that they do not have retirement funds in the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) accounts and are not registered with Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) for taxation purposes.

"These individuals must also be able to provide proof of a reliable income source prior to Covid-19," he said.

According to Khaiyum, the Fijian government will carry out this program in partnership.

"As with FNPF, government will work in partnership with other organizations and government related agencies such as municipal councils, ministries like agriculture, environment and forestry and credible NGOs that can develop temporary work programs in return for pay, they could be in the form of clean-up campaign in municipalities or residential areas, planting trees or other agricultural produce.

"This will ensure that only genuine affected people are assisted," he added.

Fiji has so far reported 28 coronavirus cases and two deaths.

--IANS

ksk/

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