Luke Rawalai || The Fiji Times | August 09, 2016
OFFICIALS of the Ministry of Lands will soon begin consultations on a formula that will determine Government and landowners fair share of mineral royalties.
Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Malakai Nalawa said they were still in the process of working out a formula.
Mr Nalawa said they were still working on the percentage of the shares that would be given to Government and landowners.
“We need to work out the percentage and justify why the need for such percentage,” he said.
“Once this is done we have to take it down to landowners in the form of consultations to hear their views on the percentages and its justifications,” he said.
“When we talk about landowners it will also involve state, native and freehold landowners.”
As part, of the consultative processes, Mr Nalawa said, they would also refer to other countries overseas that had adopted the same system of distribution.
“The formula the ministry is working on is not for the determination of future generations fund but rather the fair sharing of mineral royalties between Government and landowners,” he said.
“At the moment Government is the main recipient of mineral royalties by virtue of the Mining Act.
“But that has been changed by the 2013 Constitution, whereby it stipulates its fair sharing.”
Minister for Lands Mereseini Vuniwaqa had earlier confirmed the Mining Act (Cap 146) had always given Government the right to own minerals.
The difference, however, in the 2013 Constitution landowners will now have a share from the money Government will get for the minerals.
She said one of the priorities of her ministry was to determine the formula which would be used to decide a fair share.