Sogavare says China will engage directly with provinces
By ANDREW FANASIA
THE CHINESE Government will continue with the Constituency Development Funding (CDF) support but it will not be channelled through MPs.
That’s according to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on his arrival back yesterday from his week-long China trip.
CDF was one of the controversial funding supports Taiwan has been providing through MPs over the years.
This funding support had received a lot of criticisms from the public due to the fact that it was controlled by politicians, and has been widely used as a slash fund than for development purposes.
But Sogavare said the Chinese government chose a different approach on how it will channel the USD$50 million (SBD$400m) to fund rural development activities across the country.
This means each constituency is expected to receive about USD$10m.
Sogavare told reporters that China sees that this is a funding support to boost rural development programs of the government.
He explained there will be a transition period when the funds will no longer be issued in a form of cash.
“The Chinese government makes it very clear that in the long term there will be no cash handouts but it will go through projects.
“And with this arrangement the Chinese government is willing to fund at least three projects in each constituencies,” Sogavare said.
He further added that this means that if a constituency wants to build schools, health centres or infrastructures, they will build it through the funding support.
“Meanwhile, the cash grant will come from Solomon Islands component because it’s a contributory allocation from our government and the Republic of China,” he explained.
Sogavare said China wants to work with the provinces and focus mainly on the needs of each province.
“So each province must be ready to be part of this plan that the government and China will establish,” Sogavare said.