News Release

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Honiara, Solomon Islands October 4, 2007

The Solomon Islands government has announced another of its financial scheme, the Rural Equity Supplementary Scheme that will ensure rural people have access to financial services for investment and development activities.

The Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said as part of the Bottom-Up Approach program, the Equity Scheme would also be made available to the commercial banks in the same way as the SBD10-million [US$1.4 million] Guarantee Scheme.

"Our officials are working on that right now. And as soon as the guidelines are drawn, the guidelines that will be monitored by the Central Bank and the financial institutions, then the official announcement will be done", Mr. Lilo said.

He said the scheme, amounted to SBD5-million [US$717,500], will be made available to the banks by November, and will be accessed through loan application at the commercial banks.

Furthermore, the initial SBD5-million [US$717,500] will be increased in the future if it is proven successful, he said.

He added the availing of financial subsidies by the government is part of its on-going program to financing quite a number of development activities in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry and infrastructure by the end of the year.

"This government is just through the first part of the second year in office and yet we have done very well. The first thing we have to do is to prepare ourselves first. We have done that and we have made all the necessary preparations in terms of planning and also strengthening our financial capabilities," the Minister said.

"We’ve put in place proper policies to safeguard government finances, project our revenues, build a strong fiscal position because only when you have a strong, stable fiscal situation that it will create a good macro economic condition. The government has to behave properly. And this is what the government has shown," he said.

Solomon Islands Department of Prime Minister

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