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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, April 15) - The Honiara City
Council is being criticized over its collection of fees from betel nut vendors
in the streets of Honiara.

A Honiara resident and betel nut seller, John Hou, describes the
fee collection as an unrealistic way of earning revenue by the Honiara City

Hou said the fee, of 20 dollars a day, which is being charged on
betel nut vendors, is excessive and is subject to abuse by those who propagate

Hou says the city council should embark on a formal and
systematic way of earning revenue than exploiting those who are struggling to
make ends meet.

He says while the council is not providing an environment
conducive to economic recovery for the city residents, the action it had
resorted to in collecting 20 dollars from betel nut sellers is very suspicious.

He says the receipts issued by the collectors are not only
subject to questioning but it appears the whole undertaking is master minded by
con men.

Hou calls on the Honiara City Council to immediately stop the
collection of twenty dollars.

Hou points out that from personal experience, betel nut sellers
at various street corners in the capital don't make money.

Officials of the Honiara city council could not be reached for

April 16, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation: 

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