Posted by : Posted on : 07-Apr-2020

A glimpse of what the Solomon Islands stimulus package might contain.

Many in the Solomon Islands will have been wondering what the contents of the government’s proposed Covid-19 economic stimulus package will contain and how the package will be funded.

When speaking in parliament today, Solomon Islands Finance Minister, Harry Kuma, reportedly provided a glimpse of what the package could contain if it was approved by the cabinet next week.

According to Radio New Zealand this afternoon, Mr. Kuma said the package would contain four parts, including soft medium-term relief for businesses and the public, financial injection into the productive and resource sectors, equity investment into specific public and public/private companies and finally medium to long-term support for economic growth.

Quoting what Radio New Zealand has just reported, “the first part of the economic stimulus package, soft medium-term relief, would include a utility relief component from the likes of Solomon Power and the Ports Authority; loan and interest relief from banks and financial institutions; tax relief for specific sectors; and ongoing payroll support for public servants in non-essential roles, all of whom have been ordered to take emergency leave.”

“The second part of the package, financial injection into the productive and resource sector, would involve investments to add value to agricultural products and the fisheries, forestry and tourism sectors. It would also include a new Covid-19 finance product in the country's development back to support agricultural ventures.”

“Thirdly for, equity investment in public and public/private companies, Harry Kuma singled out Solomon Airlines, Soltuna, Kolombangara Forests Plantation Limited and the Development Bank of Solomon Islands as the entities which would benefit from this part of the package.

“And finally for the government's medium to long-term support for growth, Mr Kuma said the plan was to bring forward un-funded infrastructure projects under the national transport plan such as the construction of wharves, roads and bridges particularly in rural areas.”

“The Minister said, alongside the government's contribution, funding for the economic stimulus package would be supported by the country's donor partners.”

Source: Radio New Zealand.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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