MEMBER of Parliament for South Vella La Vella and Parliamentary Wing leader of Solomon Islands Party for Rural Advancement, Lional Alex, has cautioned the government not to make available a free grant scheme that will be in direct competition with the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI).
Mr Alex made the cautionary statement when he contributed to the debate on the budget speech which was delivered by the Minister of Finance and Treasury Snyder Rini last week.
He said by availing an alternative development financing in the form of a free grant scheme it will compete against the intention to revive the now defunct DBSI.
“…if we are serious about resurrecting DBSI we must avoid having an alternative development financing in a form of free grant scheme that will be in direct competition to DBSI or such microfinance,” Mr Alex highlighted.
The South Vella La Vella MP said in the event a free grant is made available people are likely to go for it rather than to access microfinance schemes such as DBSI.
Mr Alex reminded parliament that the fall of the former DBSI was because of the introduction of the free grant verses the microfinance scheme as of that of DBSI.
He cautioned parliament not to repeat the same mistake.
The SIPRA wing leader also highlighted that according to the development budget this year, constituency grant has risen to $260 million a marked 73 percent from the previous years.
Mr Alex stated that such an increase is an example of government’s carelessness to continue the trend of “…beeps(ing) up the demand side of the economy without any clear processes and guidelines to ensure effective return to the economy”.
Parliament has given four clear days starting on Wednesday till today for MPs to debate on the budget speech.
The Finance Minister is likely to close the debate on the budget speech on Monday next week or if the speaker is satisfied that all have been given opportunity to debate then it is likely that today is the last day of the speech debate.