THE Solomon Islands Government (SIG) is experiencing a cash flow problem and a big drop in finance collection due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the State of Public Emergency (SoPE).
Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury McKinnie Dentana confirmed this yesterday during the weekly talk-back show over the national broadcaster.
He said his ministry has been monitoring the trend over the past six months.
Mr. Dentana said “in terms of finance and economy, we also are closely monitoring the trend over the last six months and especially the first quarter from January up to April and later on May to June.
“Definitely, I can say that during the first quarter, the economy or the government finance is really badly affected,” he said.
However, he added from May, it slowly picks up in terms of revenue, and that’s why the government would like to carry on with the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) initiative to enable the economy to revive the economic activities again.
He said this is to regain what has been lost during the first quarter.
Dentana said with the ongoing bigger national projects, its good news for the country as it would also help to grow the economy again.
But he cautioned the worry now is if the country records a positive case and a period of lockdown is imposed.
“That is our worry because once that happens, those national projects and even the rollout of the economic stimulus package would be badly affected on a wider scale,” he said.
Dentana said the hope now is to keep maintaining the country’s COVID-19 free status and continue to uphold the good advice from the responsible authorities to keep the nation free and continue to grow the economy.
Minister of Finance Harry Kuma last week in Parliament said the business activities would continue to operate as normal until a positive case is confirmed.