Thursday, 24 July 2008 5:36 PM

Fiji Government Repeals Tax on Bottled Water

Fiji's interim government has decided to repeal the new taxation system it had recently imposed on the bottled water industry following the shutting down of operations by bottled water companies across the country.

As updated by Fiji media, the interim government has repealed its 20 cents per liter taxation on bottled water following the shutting down of operations yesterday by Fiji Water, Fiji's largest bottled water exporter, who was the last of the bottled water companies to stop operations after the interim government imposed the new taxation system.

Following Fiji Water's action yesterday, Fiji's interim Attorney-General, Aiyaz Saiyed-Khaiyum, met with representatives from the company and today saw a series of meetings between government heads resulting in the announcement to repeal the tax.

According to Fiji Times Online, Fiji Water's Director External Affairs and Development, David Roth, said 'the company was grateful for the quick intervention by interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for stepping in to resolve this issue before more jobs and money were lost for the industry'.

'"They did the right thing at a very critical time for Fiji. We're proud to resume our role as one of Fijis leading exporters and economic engines," he said'.

According to Fiji One News, the bottled water companies have welcomed the move and the 'Fiji Bottled Water Institute, representing nine companies, says consultations need to be held first on any future tax intentions by the interim administration before it's implemented' and industry spokesman, Mr. Jay Dayal, said that 'the interim government needs to treat the business sector fairly'.