"The financial pinch caused by the increase in fuel prices not only affects the Solomon Islands but all countries therefore the increase in taxi fares is not justifiable," Ropate Tufano said.
"In fact taxi fares at home should be reduced instead, because the increase is unjustifiable compared to the situation here in Fiji," Mr Tufane said.
He said comparing the rates in Fiji with the Solomon Islands; the Solomon Islands taxi rates are very expensive.
"In Fiji, Fijian 10c is for 200 meter. They would like to increase that to FJ10c per 100 meters which means FJ$1 per kilometer.
At the current exchange rate, a Fijian dollar is SBD$4.25.
"This means that if the rate is increased, the rate in Fiji will be SBD$4.25 per kilometre.
"The current rate charge by Taxis at home is already SBD$7 per kilometre which is still way beyond the rates in Fiji.
"If the rates are to be increased as planned by the Taxi Association - that would be way too expensive."
Mr Tufane said the increase in fuel did not only affect the Solomon Islands but everyone.
The Fiji Taxi Union's demand for an increase from FJ10c per 200 metres to FJ10c per 100 metres is yet to be acted on by the Ministry of Transport.
The Union asked for an increase in June last year but the ministry has not reached any decision on the matter, prompting the Union to demand the minister to exercise his power.
Attempts to talk to the president of the Taxi Association were unsuccessful but a few taxi drivers spoken to expressed disagreement with Mr Tufane.
"You cannot compare Fiji with the Solomon Islands," one Taxi driver Willie Fotolau said.
Mr Fotolau said Fiji is advanced in terms of services "so competition is the main problem that's slowing down the increasing of rates".
Another taxi owner Joseph Buri said another thing that makes the Solomon Islands different is the bad state of the roads.
"Compared to Fiji, they may have got very good roads, but here, our roads are ridiculous and vehicles will need regular repairs."
By EDNAL PALMER
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