The Peoples’ Coalition Cabinet held its seventh meeting of 2024 on Tuesday 9 April 2024.

Presentation to Cabinet by Indian High Commissioner on plans for the Regional 100- bed super specialty cardiology hospital and dialysis center to be constructed in Nasinu. Cabinet received a presentation from the High Commissioner of the Republic of India to Fiji, H.E. Palaniswamy Subramanyan Karthigeyan, and a team from HSSC India Limited on Regional 100 bed Super Cardiology Hospital and dialysis centre to be constructed in Nasinu under a Grant-in-aid program from the Government of India.

HSSC India Limited have been selected by the Government of India to construct the hospital. The members of the High Commissioner’s delegation included Mr. Narender Kumar (General Manager- HSCC, Govt of India Enterprise) and Ms. Sephali Padhy Architect- HSCC, Govt of India Enterprise. Ms. Padhy presented detailed architectural drawings of the planned regional specialty hospital to Cabinet. A joint project committee comprising representatives from the Government of Fiji and the Government of India will be appointed to oversee the construction of the specialty hospital and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Regional 100 bed Super Cardiology Hospital and dialysis centre in Fiji is among the new initiatives announced by India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the 3rd Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation Summit (FIPIC-III) held in Papua New Guinea in May 2023.

The Government of India will also provide equipment and human resources for the operation of the hospital. This collaboration with India marks a significant footprint in Fiji’s bilateral relations with India and one that greatly supports our national development priorities. The 100 bed super-specialty hospital will be the largest ever project by the
Government of India in Fiji and the Pacific region. The Prime Minister thanked H.E. Karthigeyan and his team for the presentation and reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to strengthen relations with India, given our historical and
cultural links and important contributions of Girmitiyas.

“Following the historic meeting between Indian Prime Minister, Honorable Shri Narendra Modi and I, on the sidelines of the FIPIC-III Summit in 2023, the traditionally close ties between the two countries have received a huge boost. India and Fiji enjoy close and cordial relations built on mutual respect, cooperation and strong people-to-people ties,” said Prime
Minister Rabuka.

The decisions made by Cabinet today include the following:

1. Review of National Aviation Policy
Cabinet approved the review of the National Aviation Policy to allow for liberalisation of air transport on a case-by-case basis, in the national interest.

The decision to adopt open skies on a case-by-case basis, will be based on careful consideration of economic, strategic, and operational factors. CEO Fiji Airways Andre Viljoen made a presentation to Cabinet on the review of national
aviation policy.

Cabinet also agreed that negotiations be held with the U.S.A. for an open skies framework which will allow Fiji Airways to evaluate operating direct services between Fiji and other U.S. destinations as well as one-stop services from Fiji through the U.S. to a third country.

2. Letter of Agreement with Food Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

Cabinet approved a Letter of Agreement (Agreement) between the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Trade, Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises for technical and capacity assistance to revamp operations of Wainuqa Farmers’ Cooperative Limited and to strengthen capacity in financial and business management.

Wainuqa Farmers Cooperative Limited is based in Nabulini Village in Wainibuka, Tailevu. The core business activity is the production and selling of cassava, dalo and banana/plantain chips. The business operations of Wainuqa Farmer’s Cooperative Limited came to a halt during COVID-19.

The Ministry and FAO will work together to review the operation of the Cooperative and provide necessary support to revamp the business.

3. National Minimum Wage Review
Cabinet approved the review of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the ten sectoral minimum Wages Regulations (WRs) including proposal of new job classifications within the current WRs. The review will be undertaken by selected local consultants.
The outcome of the review exercise will be brought back to Cabinet for consideration.

4. Recommencement of the International Labour Organisation Direct Contact Mission Visit to Fiji
Cabinet approved the recommencement of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Direct Contacts Mission (DCM) visit to Fiji. The DCM visit to Fiji later this month is to follow-up and assess the progress made by the Coalition Government in the implementation of the recommendations of the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards. The DCM will consult government, employers, workers and other stakeholders in relation to the progress made by Fiji in line with the 2016 Joint Implementation Report.

5. Adaptive Social Protection Strategy and Implementation Plan

Cabinet endorsed the Adaptive Social Protection Strategy and its Implementation Plan.
The Implementation Plan will be executed over a 5-year period. The Strategy and its Implementation Plan will guide the integration and harmonization of existing social protection programs and new interventions, making them inclusive (that is,
gender smart and covering vulnerable families excluded from existing mechanisms) as well as adaptive and responsive to future disasters and crises. The Strategy and Plan were developed under the purview of a Steering Committee led by
the Ministry of Finance and supported by multiple member agencies.


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