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-Government promises to help local businesses

-Electricity cost down, May

By EDDIE OSIFELO

LOCAL businesses will receive tax incentives from Government to remain afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma revealed this when he tabled the $4 billion budget in Parliament yesterday.

He said Business Incentives are as follows:

1.            Government will not lift but continue with the current tax incentive relief measures for the tourism sector.

2.            Government will continue to fund the State Owned Enterprises Community Service Obligations in 2021.

3.            Government will also continue the grant/subsidy programme for both copra and cocoa industry in 2021 to help in the cost of freight and prices.

4.            Government will also provide special incentives for the NONI industry and local farmers in 2021.

5.            Finally, the government has completed the independent review of electricity tariff.

Kuma said based on this independent review, all Solomon Power tariff rates have been reduced, and will be effective as of May 1, 2021.

These include;

1.            Domestic or household customers are likely to see a reduction of 22 percent,

2.            Commercial customers are expected to see a decrease of around 27 percent, and

3.            Industrial customers are expected to see a fall of five percent.

He said the government expects an overall reduction averaging by 18 percent.

“SIEA will provide the details of the reduced rates in the coming weeks before they are implemented,” he said.

Furthermore, Kuma said the Non- Tax Revenue collection for 2020 showed that despite the impacts of the COVIO-19, there is potential to improve further in this area in 2021.  

He said Ministries collecting non-tax revenue need to seriously look into ways to improve and seal off loopholes to collect this much-needed revenue to finance services and boost the fiscal spending to stimulate the domestic economy.

Debate continues today.


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