MPs await RCDF funds from China
By ANDREW FANASIA
THE politicians will pocket their shares of the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF) contributions of SBD$1.8 million from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) anytime soon.
This was revealed by a reliable source within the government.
The source who spoke to this paper in anonymity said that the funds will be channelled through the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD).
“Yes, I can confirm that PRC is ready to channel the money through MRD anytime soon after finalisation and polishing up of some important concerns regarding the funds,” the source said.
When asked about the SBD3 million contributions from the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) the source said that the funds are in order.
But one government observer told this paper that whilst the RCDF fund was seriously meant for rural development, it will eventually end up in the hands of politicians’ at the end of the day.
This paper also understands that our politicians have also enriched themselves from the so-called Economic Stimulus Package (ESP).
MPs on the government side have received more under the ESP meaning that some of them are set to receive 1 million dollars or more under the ESP payments.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the current RCDF payment arrangement told this paper that PRC is very strict with its RCDF contributions.
The source said that Beijing demands a higher standard of accountability from the politicians.
“In fact, most of the MPs have huge bills with a lot of suppliers in Honiara for materials and other things.
“What MRD will do is to pay up all the suppliers’ bills then whatever left, politicians can apply for it in cash grants for their constituencies,” the source said.
But while the country’s economy and finance are greatly affected by the impacts of COVID-19, the source said our politicians are enjoying huge payouts.
This paper understands that the joint RCDF funding arrangement between SIG will continue until 2022.