KUMA: RIOT COSTS $800M

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Carnage on the streets of Honiara. PHOTO: Mavis N Podokolo
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It’s a huge infrastructure loss, says finance minister

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

Last year’s November riots have led to the destruction of $811 million worth of infrastructure.

Minister of Finance Harry Kuma revealed this during the 2022 appropriation bill.

Kuma said a Ministry of Infrastructure Development latest report on the riots showed an estimated loss of $811 million in 2021.

“This barbaric and senseless looting and burning of private businesses and properties have not only endangered the lives of many innocent individuals and families, but also represent one of the largest economic self-inflicted shocks the country has experienced since 2006.

“This is a great loss indeed that will take many years to recover from, the civil unrest had also severely impacted Governments fiscal operations.

“Preliminary indicators have shown that Government has lost $120 million in total revenue in the last two months of 2021 alone.

“Ongoing revenue losses for 2022 are estimated at $200 million.

“Sir, I am highlighting the costs of this politically motivated unrest and senseless looting of private businesses and properties to prove that, as a nation, we have not learnt any lessons from our past history.

“I do not know what the instigators of this civil unrest had planned for this country in doing what they did.”

The report also showed that a total of 81 businesses and buildings were affected.

This comprised of 53 fully damaged buildings, and 28 partially damaged buildings.

The total loss was equivalent to 6.1 percent of the pre-unrest 2021 GDP value.

“Therefore, as part of Governments recovery plans, the Government has approved a total of $200 million as a reconstruction and rehabilitation package, split over two years, to assist businesses affected by the unwarranted unrest.

“Government is also prepared to offer tax reliefs and exemptions to the identified businesses that were damaged and affected,” Kuma added.


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