PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the top-down approach inherited by the Government under the 2021 Policy Redirection will continue to support the overarching twin objectives of the Government.
And that is to keep Solomon Islanders safe from the spread of covid-19 and to maintain our economy afloat and accelerate economic recovery.
Mr Sogavare in his speech during the launch of the 2022 Budget yesterday said the proposed 2022 Budget Strategy Framework is crafted to support the Government’s priority intention and to build a strong resilient economy.
Therefore, he said it is incumbent that the 2022 budget is formulated to achieve the following principles;
- Protect our people from the spread of COVID 19. To continue to strengthen our domestic COVID-19 response “firewalls” and ensure all Solomon Islanders are protected from the deadly COVID -9, especially the delta variant.
- Support realistic development investments. The government commits to focus on new targeted projects or investments that have already started in 2021 which are expected to yield higher economic returns in the short to medium term.
- Streamlining operational costs. Improving the quality of spending through managing critical pressures, removing unproductive areas of wastages and ensuring critical operational expenditures are considered.
- Promoting sectoral and stakeholder coordination. Improve planning and implementation of the budget through greater sectoral coordination and collaboration to improve service delivery.
- And most importantly, to strengthen macro fiscal stability and discipline and to build back SIG finances.
Sogavare said building on from the 2021 budget, the Government will continue to prioritise the Productive and Resources sectors.
He said these two sectors are major drivers and enablers of economic growth.
“This does not mean that other sectors are not important, they will continue to be supported,” he said.
Under the Productive Sector, Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government is aiming to support infrastructure and communication investments, support food security, create employment and entrepreneurship to empower youth and women.
“We will provide support to value adding projects, encouraging new MSMEs, recapitalization and revitalization of CEMA, support exporters through DBSI and CBSI credit facilities to encourage private sector growth,” he said.
Sogavare said the Government will also support and diversify our export base to increase production of exportable goods and facilitate access to finance through DBSI and CBSI credit facilities to encourage private sector growth.
He said this includes support to land reforms.
Under the Resource Sector, the Prime Minister said the Government aims to build a resilient environment to support socio-economic development, create innovative development models, review and strengthen development frameworks of extractive industries, support strategic development through Public Private Partnership (PPP), and maximize economic benefits from our natural resources.
“Ladies and gentlemen, under the Fundamental Sector, the government aims to address the ongoing development constraints through embarking on structural and institutional reforms across the government including tax reforms, improving good governance reforms and developing robust legislations and policies to drive investment and growth,” he said.
Sogavare said the Government will also prioritise and make commitment to ensure the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and Provincial Government PCDF program are adequately supported in 2022.
He said this is to ensure the ongoing services and developments in these sectors are supported to strengthen the Government’s commitment to build and strengthen our resilience.
“In these developments, the government encourages strong collaboration and coordination amongst all ministries in terms of planning and implementation of the 2022 budget, to ensure key sectors establish working relationships to address cross-cutting needs through cost sharing arrangements to fast-track implementation of key government priorities,” he said.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister said to advance better partnership and fruitful relation, the Government will also work closely with our development partners during the 2022 Budget preparation to prioritize key Government investments in 2022 and onward.