The Economic Stimulus Oversight and Implementing Committee (ESPOIC) has refuted the claim that the economic stimulus package is a slush fund for Members of Parliament and their cronies.
The ESPOIC clarify and remind the public that the ESP implementation and allocation to Members of Parliament is consistent within the ESP objective, guidelines and budget allocations.
The ESPOIC reiterates that there are four main components under the ESP, the first component looks at immediate measures to ensure economic activities continue to function this include tax relief, rental subsidies and youth engagement. The second component which is the immediate recovery measure 1 include investments into productive and resource sector. The third component of the package is the immediate recovery measure 2 which include capital injections and support to SOEs and government institutions (DBSI, Solomon Water, Solomon Airlines, Soltuna etc). The fourth component is to address medium to long-term growth. This part of the package commits the government to bring forward key unfunded major infrastructures (Kirakira ramp, Maluú wharf, Tabaá bridge and Seghe domestic airport)
The ESPOIC further wish to clarify that the payment of $600,000 to each MPs comes under the second component. There are certain specific programs, which MPs would like to support within constituencies, which may not, met the requirements of the ESP. Requirements such as new business start- ups, business registration requirement and urgency needs of the constituency.
The committee also wish to clarify that certain government MPs also received additional support from the ESP to support transportation infrastructure needs within their constituencies. This support comes under component of the ESP. The decision to allocate funds under this category is solely under the discretion of the government. The support is open to any MPs as well as the private sector.
Finally the ESPOIC wish to update the public that the process to release funds to successful recipients under copra, cocoa, noni, honey, fisheries, tourism, kava and piggery is currently on- going. The same process will commence for the other sectors, which include forestry milling, poultry, root crops and others from next week. Work is also progressing to make available information to public through the specifically designed software program for ESP.