Gov’t urged to prioritise Dual Citizenship and DBSI Bills

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Solomon Islands National Parliament
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By Gary Hatigeva

THE Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) has been called on to set its priorities right on their bills that are before parliament for deliberation.

This comes as the country now counts down on the remaining life span of the 10th Parliament House, which will come to its natural death on December 17, 2018.

Parliament will only have around two weeks and three days to deal with the remaining businesses brought before it, when the house resumes.

However, there are worries over the limited timeframe before the dissolution, and people are expressing that the government should ensure that the two highlighted bills are prioritised for their passage as they will have direct impacts on the lives of people, both in and outside the country.

This is apart from the 2019 Appropriation Bill 2018 and the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2018, which are currently before the Bills and Legislation Committee for inquiries.

The calls then suggested for the government to put less emphasis on the Payment System Bill as it can come in later time or be deferred to the next the 11th Parliament House.

Deliberations of the DBSI Bill experienced two adjournments after it was introduced in the Committee of the Whole House for its thorough scrutiny, and now with Parliament’s special adjournment, all eyes are banking on the resumption of the house.

But people are concerned that other bills including the Payment System Bill, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill and the 2019 Appropriation Bill, are also on the loop for deliberations, and questioned, what chances are there for the house to deliberate on the Dual Citizenship Bill, or the completion of Proceedings into the DBSI Bill, when parliament will only have two weeks before this term ends.

There is also the concern that with the ongoing issue on the lack of quorums due to low attendances by members of parliament, this in itself will likely be affecting the continuation of necessary proceedings into the, particularly, the Dual Citizenship, the DBSI and the Payment System Bills.

Constitutionally, the 2019 Appropriation Bill (Budget Bill) will have to be prioritised because it required, in order to avoid any constitutional crisis, let alone, economical set back, as far as government’s continued services deliveries, are concerned.

Why do we need the Dual Citizenship Bill prioritized?

If passed and enacted, it has been revealed over and over that the country will have a lot to look forward to, in terms of social and economic benefits.

And according to a mini survey conducted on this, results showed that if the proposed legislation is adapted, Dual Citizens whether indigenous or not, will have no hesitation to participate in economic activities, which may include investing in businesses or other economic activities, knowing that their rights to propriety will be guaranteed under the new citizenship law and the constitution.

This according to many, would also enhance the country’s foreign earnings and resulting in economic development.

Why is there need to prioritise the DBSI Bill?

The DBSI Bill on the other hand, will have the same impact, but from within the country’s economic circle, where the locals will have the opportunity to be involved directly and indirectly in the economic, so as the social developments of Solomon Islands.

As also being projected and objectively, based on the proposed legislation, if passed and enacted, the establishment will also give confidence to the local investors, and together, these two proposed acts can have a huge impact and would play vital roles in the fading economy, this country continues to experience.

Why not the Payment System Bill?

Regarding the Payment System Bill 2018, respondents, including many who advocate for the other two bills, stressed that even if it (Payment System Bill) does not make it, or not being deliberated on, the country will have nothing to lose, as there is a current system in place, which they thought is working fine.

While many agreed that the country needs an updated payment system, there is the notion that the current system can be relied on to buy time for it to be put forward to the next house, which was reiterated that the country will have nothing to lose out on.

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