The Guadalcanal Provincial Government has urged its debtors to pay their outstanding bills as soon as possible so it can use the monies to implement its development programmes.
Speaking during the provincial assembly meeting on Wednesday, Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs) of Guadalcanal Province stated that a total of $77,713,035.01 dollars in property rates is owed to the provincial government by debtors over the past six years.
“The highest property rates debtors are Levers Solomon Limited (LSL), Metropolis PTE, Catholic Diocese of Honiara and the Solomon Islands National University (SINU),” MPAs said.
“These debtors owe several properties nothing Guadalcanal Provinces jurisdiction, the debtors are categorised in a number of lots and all the debtors are located in Lot1. There are many more lots which the Revenue Division is working on and will be billed later.
“These are monies that are supposed to be used for development and services on Guadalcanal. However, lack of payments mean that debtors are denying further development and services from the people of Guadalcanal people.
“The property rates are calculated by the unimproved value of the rate of the land owned by Guadalcanal Province and all the property owners in Guadalcanal are obligated to pay the property rates,” the MPAs stated.
Meanwhile, speaking to Solomon Star was one of the Guadalcanal landowners who said the amount owed by debtors to Guadalcanal Province is huge and can cater to develop many of the areas or sectors that need improvement such as sanitation, health and education.
He said that these properties come under three categories and they are agricultural, commercial and residential and the debtors need to quickly meet their obligation to the Guadalcanal Province.
“What will we do to make sure they pay the full amount and how and what we will use the money for are important questions that must be looked into,” the Guadalcanal landowner said.
The Guadalcanal landowner said with such amount of money, Guadalcanal Province as the second most populated province must seriously consider what actions it should take to ensure debtors live up to their obligations as the payment of the full sum of debt is crucial to address its development priorities.
By MARY MANELEGUA
Solomon Star, Honiara