MINISTER of Finance and Treasury Harry Kuma says around $114.5m from the $309m estimate budget for the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP) announced by the Prime Minister in March, is still to be injected into the economy.
Mr. Kuma announced this on the floor of Parliament during the recent Sine-die motion after declaring that $184.5million of the ESP is already spent.
“With SBD $184.5million of the ESP Budget already been used, it means around $114.5million is yet to be injected into the economy to continue stimulating our economy through to early next year,” he said.
He said the early result of the implementation of the ESP has proven significant positive impacts on our economy as figures from the export commodities including copra, cocoa, kava, and timber recorded increase export, as a result, achieve the underlying policy objective of the ESP.
“The cash returns from these commodities fall right into the hands of our rural farmers and producers,” he said.
Mr. Kuma said the country would like to have more funds to be available into the ESP maybe around a billion or so on but that’s what it can afford or have at this time.
“I think if we can be able to raise more funds; we could look at other major infrastructure projects as well to stimulate the economy from the medium to long term,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the ESP is an initiative undertaken by the DCGA government led by the Prime Minister mainly to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19 in the Solomon Islands economy by stimulating economic activities.