By Gary Hatigeva
DESPITE faced with suspensions and an adjournment over its deliberation and proceedings, the Development Bank of Solomon Islands Bill (Act) 2018 has finally received Parliament’s approval for its enactment.
The Bill (Act) when first introduced, received strong support from members of both the government and the opposition including the independent benches, but getting it through was delayed after being covered up to half of its content, due to a special adjournment of parliament.
Yesterday, following its resumption, Parliament set priority for the completion of its proceedings in the Committee of the Whole House where it was thoroughly scrutinised and passed after it was put up for its third reading.
Many, including Members of Parliament and local establishments in the private sector, particularly those in the rural settings, have since its introduction, anticipated its passage, with great hopes for it to help them access the much needed finances to bolster their opportunities to contribute directly to the national economic development of the country.
These hopes came as no surprise to the government and the Ministry responsible for the DBSI Act, who continuously advocated and promoted the Bank’s intentions and purpose of establishment.
The Development Bank through its Act, according to officials, is highly referenced as people oriented and a solution to the growing need of those in the informal sector, so as the Small and Medium Enterprises who are also finding themselves stuck outside the commercial banking circle.
With its re-establishment, the DBSI is expected to facilitate the economic and social development of Solomon Islands within the overall development plans and strategies of the government, with emphasis on the participation of Solomon Islanders in economic and rural developments.
This according to the Minister responsible, when presenting it after its second reading, stressed that the Development Bank is also expected to facilitate any other form of establishments that also intend to contribute to the development sector of this country, which includes those involved in the forestry sector.
The Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) was highly praised for ensuring that the bill saw the light of parliament, and for maintaining its strive to bring back a once popular institute, that was seen to have served its purpose, only that it was mismanaged and vulnerable.
It is also the current government’s intention, as evident in the bill, which is to revitalise the institute to serve the people of this country especially, those in the rural settings, and so as those who intend to become direct contributors to the fading economy of Solomon Islands.
After its passing yesterday, the DBSI Bill (Act) 2018 now repealed the existing Development Bank of Solomon Islands Act (Cap. 50), while also amending certain sections within the Financial Institution Act 1998.
The Act was passed with seven (7) amendments in its proceedings within the Committee of the Whole House, which were moved by the Minister of Finance, six of them were amendments on notice, while one without notice.