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Fiji Times Online Saturday, November 28, 2009

THE Office of the Prime Minister has had an increase in its budgetary allocation from $6.3million in 2009 to $42.2m in 2010.

Permanent secretary Colonel Pio Tikoduadua said this was because some "offices" and departments were being incorporated under the PM's Office.

For example, the Strategic Framework for Change Office used to be under the National Planning Ministry but was now under the PM's Office.

In addition, the sugar ministry was still under the office even though its permanent secretary was Manasa Vaniqi, who also heads the Regional Development Ministry.

The expenses of the office for the new year include a grant of $209,000 to the Rotuma Island Council, $95,000 to the Rabi Island Council, $50,000to the Kioa Island Council and $114,000 to the Melanesia Vasu I Taukei. There is also an expenditure of $15m for the land reform program.

The office will receive grants totalling over $19m, most of which will go to the sugar industry.

The Sugar Industry Support Program will receive $8m and the subsidy to South Pacific Fertilizers Limited is $9.8m.

Part of the grant will also go as contributions to the Sugar Research Institute ($900,000), the International Sugar Council ($29,400) and $500,000 to the Sugar Tribunal.

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