SUVA, (FIJI TIMES) – The Fijian Government is working on ways to assist people who already received Micro and Small Business Grants (MSBG), but suffered damage in the aftermath of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made this announcement at the MSBG disbursements at the Valelevu grounds in Nasinu.
“This includes recipients on Ovalau, Koro Island, Vanuabalavu, Savusavu, Taveuni, Rakiraki, Tavua, Lautoka and Tailevu North — all areas which were hit hard by Winston,” Bainimarama said.
He said the Government recognised that some people who were already given grants needed additional assistance because what they had invested in may have been damaged during the cyclone.
Bainimarama said they were working on a way to help those affected by providing them with the financial relief needed.
“Teams of assessors have toured the affected areas to gauge the extent of the damage to these recipients.
“The Attorney-General and Minister for Finance will have more to say on this in the budget,” he told the recipients.
He then stressed that they would rely on people to do the right thing and not try to rip off their fellow Fijians.
“There will, of course, be heavy penalties for those who try to make fraudulent claims,” Bainimarama said.
“But if you have honestly suffered a setback in the cyclone, we intend to give you a further leg up.
“Because having invested in your business in the first place, it is in the interests of the Government on behalf of every Fijian for you to succeed.
“And we are going to give people who need a second chance to do so.”
The 903 men and women who received their grants of $1000 (US$500) each Wednesday were among the 7744 successful applicants last year.