A waiver of interest has been approved for all State lessees with rental arrears.
The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources confirmed that this applies over an amnesty period of six months, and effective from 1 January to 30 June 2018.
“Accordingly, lessees who pay their rental arrears in full during the amnesty period will have the interest on their rental arrears, waived,” emphasized Lands & Mineral Resources Minister, Faiyaz Koya.
“Payments can be made in any of the four divisional offices in Lautoka, headquarters at the I Taukei Trust Fund Complex (Raojibhai Patel St in Suva) and Labasa, and no other agencies.
It is hoped that lessees who have rental arrears take full advantage of this opportunity.”
Earlier this year, the ministry invited applicants to lease State land at various agricultural and commercial sites in Tovatova, Ba and at Maro in Nadroga, as well as at Vuo Tiri, Labasa and Bucaisala in Macuata. For agricultural leases, the ministry notes that preference is given to bona fide farmers and applicants who show the capability to cultivate or have farm management experience. Applicants seeking consideration for commercial State leases must show evidence of the ability to build a commercial building of the required standard and having necessary expertise for commerce, alongside financial capability.
Koya also recently officiated at the launch of the Pacific Geographical Information Systems (GIS) & Remote Sensing Council in the capital.
The council was initiated by personnel from the Ministry of Lands, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific.
A statement from the launch noted that the council’s objectives are to promote the development of GIS and Remote Sensing data, technology, methods, and services for the Pacific region. Additionally, the council aims to enable collaboration and share lessons learnt across regional agencies and commercial parties, and discuss and establish methods in building adaptation for the Pacific environment for solutions that are already working well outside the region.
The council also seeks to manage the distribution, publication, and awareness of conference outcomes.
“Another key objective of the Council is to ensure connectivity and robust linkages with other GIS, Remote Sensing and scientific bodies both regionally and globally,” Koya noted.
The council’s three trustees are the Permanent Secretary of Lands and Mineral Resources, Malakai Finau, former SOPAC Director Dr Russell Howarth and Commissioner for Oaths and recent Member of the Order of Fiji, educator, Rajendra Singh.