The government through the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) has reaffirmed its commitment towards rural development with resolute determination to boost rural economic activities within the 50 constituencies targeted at alleviating poverty and improving constituent’s livelihoods.
Permanent Secretary (Acting) Hugo Hebala made the assurance when MRD executive and management team appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for the 2022 Appropriation Bill 2022 on Tuesday 5th April, 2022. The meeting was held virtually by zoom.
“Making sure rural Solomon Islanders participate in economic activities to sustain and improve their livelihoods is important, and thus, the government through the ministry will continue to facilitate financial support to constituency offices in implementing their development programs in their respective constituencies this year and onward.
“Constituents participation in socio-economic activities is necessary, and the ministry is fully committed to see all rural Solomon Islanders become meaningfully participated in development activities to improve their social and economic livelihoods.”
Meanwhile, on ministerial priorities, Mr. Hebala told PAC that the ministry has embarked on a number of key priority activities for this year, 2022 including new and ongoing projects. These priorities include the review of the CDF Act 2013 in compliance with Public Financial Management Act (PFMA), supporting the Establishment of Constituency Development Centres (CDCs), developing essential constituency infrastructures and supporting the development of a Constituency Development Plan for the 50 constituencies.
Apart from the existing activities, Mr. Hebala told PAC that MRD will also undertake New Projects for Development this year. These include documenting of Constituency development profiles, develop and design CDF Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, Conversion of CDF Paper-based application to Online application form and Introduce e-procurement of Preferred Suppliers Arrangement (Tender).
One of the priorities which highlighted by PAC was the CDF Act 2013 review.
In response to that particular CDF Act Review, Mr. Hebala told PAC that last year the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) took the leading role in the review process while MRD and Prime Minister’s Office supported the process adding the review now awaiting presentation to Cabinet. “The presentation on the review will be looked at the CDF Act in compliance with the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA).”
Mr. Hebala assured PAC that MRD will prioritise this CDF Act review as it has been long outstanding which was also highlighted by PAC member and Member of Parliament for Aoke-Langalanga and Opposition Leader Hon. Mathew Wale.
“The CDF Act will be our key policy and key ministerial priority for this year and it requires commitment from the other two ministries before it can be presented to the Cabinet,” he added.
MRD is one of the 24ministries within the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) machinery. It is established on the 28th September, 2007. Its core mandates as contained under Legal Notice 164 in accordance with the Constitution of Solomon Islands is to oversee the effective planning and implementation of Government’s Rural Development Policies.