$16m for recovery of businesses from the November 2021 riots


THE Government has disbursed a total of $16 million to assist owners of properties in Chinatown, torched and destroyed during the riots in November 2021.

This was based on a policy government passed last year to support the property owners.

Under the policy, Government would provide incentives, relief on duties on goods and materials and give them capital injection up to $2 million for those affected.

Ministry of Finance and Treasury permanent secretary, McKinnie Dentana said some property owners have received $2 million, others less than $2 million and $1 million.

He said this was based on the assessment carried out by Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration technical team on their sites.

Dentana said the assistance was to support the property owners restock their shops because some have relocated to new locations and for reconstruction.

He said the support is very small because some of the properties valued more than $10m.

“But the government can only go as far as the amount to rebuild their businesses,” he added.

Furthermore, assessments have been carried out by Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Development Architectural and building license services, National Disaster Management Office, Honiara City Council and Solomon Islands Fire Services last year.

This happened after HCC convened a meeting with Solomon Islands Chinese Association (SICA) in January 2022.

Reports from the assessments recommended that 32 buildings need to be demolished immediately before the Pacific Games in November.

Ministry of Finance and Treasury has confirmed the November riots has showed an estimated loss of $811 million in 2021.

It happened after protestors demanded Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down after his government switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.

However, there were other mixed issues blamed for the riots as well like ‘economic inequality’ and ‘ethnic tension’.

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