CHINA is yet to provide any budget support to the Solomon Islands since the two countries established diplomatic ties last August.
That’s according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) Ruth Liloqula.
“From their investigations, we have not seen any financial inputs from China in the RCDF budget component to date,” Liloqula said in her contribution to a recent talk-back show.
“What we sighted before the budget went into the discussion was the Solomon Island Government’s budgetary contribution which mostly derived from the pockets’ of the country’s taxpayers,” she added.
Liloqula was responding to a question by a member of the public as to whether China has stepped in to fill the void as was strongly advocated before the switch in diplomatic recognition to China.
She said that whether China would assist at all or not or when the funds would be available still remains sketchy.
Asked whether the loan was a counter to fill the void, the outspoken Liloqula said that if that is the case, the question that needs to be answered is who the funds are for.
She said that in the past 36 years, very little of the RCDF funds are used for rural developments whilst the bulk of it is benefitting the members of Parliaments themselves.
“This calls for all MPs to make their stances on the issue known and not just the members of the executive government because they are all due to benefit from the funds,” she said.
The former Auditor General Edward Ronia mentioned that if this is how the DCGA government intends to fill the void left by Taiwan, this would be the worst undertaking of all.
“Taiwan’s assistance at least has no repayment obligations attached whilst this arrangement is on course to have generational financial impacts,” he added.
Ronia further said that even with a 1% interest rate of repayment, Solomon Island would not be enough to finance such a huge loan.
In his contribution, the former Governor of CBSI Denton Rarawa said if China is to fill the void then it would be proper for such engagements to be on a government to government basis and not from private sources.
By SAMSON SADE