Riot torn businesses to receive payments soon

Fire officers trying to put off fire at the kukum area during the riot. PHOTO: Mavis N Podokolo
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ABOUT 162 businesses affected by the looting and burning down during the riots last November are expected to receive their payments soon.

About $125 million is allocated under the 2022 National Budget to meet the cost.

This came about after Cabinet endorsed the implementation arrangement on August 2nd 2022.

Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma confirmed this when asked by Chairman of Public Accounts Committee and MP for East Honiara, Douglas Ete last week.

Kuma said the technical team chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration has finalised guidelines to accommodate the implementation of the two components mentioned earlier.

The two components are as follows:

Firstly, the Government will directly manage the first part.

The types of support under this part:

  • Possible import duties and good tax exemption on import materials, machinery for construction, equipment or restocking goods to business who are committed to resume operations
  • Possible tax relief on case-by-case basis
  • Possible rental relief for affected business
  • Stamp duty exemptions on mop purchase if business seek additional financial support from commercial banks
  • Options for possible cash grants

The second component will be managed through our commercial banks including the Development Bank of Solomon Islands.

Types of support include:

  • Long relief support. This relieve includes interest payments on existing loans up to six months on affected businesses
  • Concessional financing. This includes special products with DBSI to support affected businesses who wish to rebuild their properties and restock.

Kuma said the affected businesses will be informed on the criteria and commencement of the support.

Parliament resumes on 29th August.