2018 national budget by March

National Parliament of Solomon Islands
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THE Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government is optimist to table the 2018 national budget before parliament by March 2018.

In a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Hon Rick Hou updated local media on his government’s preparation towards the budget.

He said on the objective of the budget, they are on course with their target date to take the budget to Parliament in March and pass it before end of that month.

He also announced a number of policy objectives that they are looking at to underpin their policy priorities and intentions.

“The first and it’s important to government as an institution is to stabilize the political situation.

“What we observed for the last three years is too much instability and it made government never focus.

“So one of the important objectives to us is to ensure political government must stable,” the Prime Minister said.

He believes they have achieved that as there is strong support showed by the cabinet and backbenchers.

Hou added that another objective they set to achieve is to stabilise the country’s financial situation.

In doing that he said there will be a strong management from the minister for finance.

“And I’m happy to announce that currently the financial situation is under control.

“I want to note here as well that we have started to pay our bills as early as December and January and do lots of our arrears,” Hou said.

He said under their policy priorities, they also consolidate actions towards implementation of selected major national investment projects.

Saying the projects include, Tina River Hydro Project, Undersea Cable Project, Gold Ridge Project and Bina Harbour Fish Processing Project.

Hou said at the office of Prime Minister they have at least six major infrastructure projects they are pursuing, that most of them have been on-going for a number of years.

He said they include, PMs Residence, Speakers residences, Leader of Opposition Residence, OPMC Office complex, Parliamentary Committees Office complex, SI Anti-Corruption Institutions Office Complex, SIBC Television Broadcasting and SIBC Radio broadcasting projects.

However, he said in line with the new Government priority, and given the short timeframe and lower budget envelope, all line ministries will have to concentrate their resources and efforts on one or two projects and programs that are achievable in 2018.

Hou said the ministers will discuss the details of those various projects but so far indications are that we are on course to start implementation of all these projects in 2018.

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