Fijileaks: Prasad runs down Khaiyum but keeps Khaiyum's Permanent Secretary and makes a fool of himself by replicating Khaiyum's 'Budget consultation tours' legacy.
*The national budget consultations were introduced and carried out by Khaiyum as Minister of Election (MOE) at the commencement of the 2014 election campaign. It was the first time it was done by any sitting Government since independence to canvass public support for FFG and to indoctrinate students of voting age in Fiji’s secondary schools.
*As part of this indoctrination, Form Five and Six students were supplied with free daily copies of the propagandist Fiji Sun two weeks before the elections were held.
*It was done also in the 2018 and 2022 elections.
*Previous Governments followed the Westminster system where the formulation of the national budget was treated as confidential in nature (without any political hype) and was undertaken by civil servants in the Budget Division of the MOF without the Finance Minister’s participation. *Business houses, NGOs, etc were invited to submit their interests and concerns and some of these were followed up through meetings with the staff of the Budget Division.
*Government Ministries and Departments, of course, had their established system of consultations with the MOF Budget Division.
*The Minister himself would have his own private meetings with representatives of major financial and economic institutions and investors.
*This is why the MOF in every Westminster system of Government would walk into Parliament with his/her Red Box on Budget Day before he/she announced the Government’s Budget.
Fijileaks Founding Editor-in-Chief: As a former Senior Sub-Editor on the old Fiji Sun (shut down by Rabuka after his 1987 coups with hundreds of job loses (no compensation or apology), beatings, detention, and deportation of the old Fiji Sun staff), we always got an advance copy of the BUDGET (with promise of utter secrecy) so we could hit the ground running as soon as the Finance Minister sat down in Parliament after delivering the Budget.
*BIMAN PRASAD should cut the CRAP and STOP riding on Aiyaz Khaiyum's BUDGET TOUR CONSULTANCY BUS.
LOBSTER and the LOBBYIST: BIMAN PRASAD should stick to gouging on expensive LOBSTERS (at the mouth-watering expensive Tikos seafood floating lifeboat restaurant at Stinson Parade Jetty and directly opposite Sukuna Park) instead of going on the Budget Tour Bus LOBBYING for Budget Inputs.