2018 Budget credible, fully-funded & balanced: Manele

By Gary Haitgeva

FROM the Development Planning and Aid Coordination view point, the 2018 Budget has much on the line for the implementation of government key policies including the development budget and is as the Finance Minister described it to be.

These were summed up from the Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination, Jeremiah Manele when contributing to the debate of the 2018 Appropriation Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Following its Second Reading, the Hograno/Kia-Havulei Member of Parliament presented his contribution, elaborating specifically on the Development Budget 2018, which he described to be credible, fully funded and balanced, fiscally responsible and grounded with fiscal discipline and measures.

Mr Manele said the budget presented by the Minister of Finance, Manasseh Sogavare on Monday is committed to implementing the Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG)’s Policy Strategy and Translation documents, launched in February this year.

He said the budget also demonstrates the government’s commitment to implementing its policies and mandate set out in the SIDCCG Policy Statement, Priorities, Strategic Actions and Outcomes that articulate key policy directives which will empower Solomon Islanders with access to opportunities that would improve their social and economy livelihood.

He then supported earlier statements from the Finance Minister who emphasised that the government through its budget recognises the key to growth and progress of the people of Solomon Islands lies within suitable economic development.

Therefore, he said a return to economic growth and continued sustainable and inclusive economic and social development in the economic and social well-being of all Solomon Islanders, and this is also noted in the budget.

“The government recognises the importance of ensuring benefits of growth are shared by all, and especially with those in the provinces and rural areas.

“We need to reinvigorate the economy and regain the growth momentum. It is only through sustainable growth that we can generate the resources to ensure a reasonable standard of living for our people,” the Manele stressed.

Manele said though faced with challenges, as a government, everyone must always be ready to act smartly, quickly and be flexible, to bring fresh and strategic thinking and also to evolve responses as appropriate and needed.

He said it is his strong believe that all leaders and those involved in the process of implementations and fulfilment of programmes within the Budget have the same ambitions.

“We all want progress and we all want to improve the social and economic livelihood of all our people.

“And we all know that it’s always challenging. But I believe that with determination, drive, right attitude and strong will, achieving our ambitions are possible,” Manele expressed.

He then stressed that everyone impacted by the budget both direct and indirect, need to raise ambitions if there is strong edge to spur economic growth for the country’s economy and its people.

He added that there is also need to make the right investments that are critical for the country to be competitive and conducive for investment and growth.

“At the end of the day, our aspirations for our people is to improve their social and economic livelihood.

“And let’s be bold in this endeavour and together we will remake history for ourselves, our children and all future generations,” the Manele concluded.

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