April 1, 2010

Become Shareholders, Ba Province Told

Delegates attending the Ba Provincial Council meeting in Suva were encouraged to become shareholders in their businesses particularly in hotel development projects.

Attorney-General and Minister for Tourism, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum addressed the delegates saying they already possessed a great asset, land.
“…..land that you own which has accessibility to a good beach or a good island or land that has potential for eco-tourism, waterfalls, walks in the bush etc,” he explained. 

According to the AG, in the past low rent was paid despite the payment of good will in the beginning, or the offering of scholarships or the building of a nursing station, however, that was where it ended. 
“What we are saying is that’s not enough.”

“You should see land as an asset without which the hotel cannot be built. You should become a shareholder in the business. 

“This is why Government has said if in any hotel development a 25 percent shareholding is given to i-taukei landowners or to any landowners in the business, there is an additional corporate tax holiday,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“It is an incentive for them to make i-taukei shareholders in the business.”
Sayed-Khaiyum said it is a question of building confidence and having a stake in the business.
He added that the Tourism Ministry could assist the Ba Provincial Council to assess the viability of any proposal it was presented with.

Council chairman Ratu Meli Saukuru told FijiLive delegates were encouraged by the talk given by the AG and that they would try and continue making use of their resources.

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