In lieu with the efforts to cushion the ill-impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help those working in the informal sector, the Fijian Government plans to pilot a Cash-for-Work programme in the western side of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu.
Per the information made available by the Reserve Bank of Fiji, 130,000 Fijians are employed in Fiji’s informal sector, which refers to those workers who are self-employed, or who work for those who are self-employed. The unprotected and unsecure environment of the informal sector makes life difficult for the people working in it as in most cases they are not on payrolls, and thus are not taxed.
Fiji’s Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said, “As a start, this assistance with the informal sector will be limited to those who can provide proof that they do not have retirement funds in Fiji’s National Provident Fund (FNPF) accounts, and are not registered with Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) for taxation purposes. These individuals must also be able to provide proof of a reliable income source prior to COVID-19 … This will ensure that only genuine affected people are assisted.”