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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Dec. 29) - Former Ministers and political appointees have until early January to return the government vehicles they are using.

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, Peter Hau'ia confirms the date, saying according to Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations the 14 day grace period for their use of the vehicles will lapse on the third of January 2008.

Mr Hau'ia explains the Ministry understands the vehicles are needed for re-allocation to new ministers of the Sikua-led government.

Earlier this month, the Minister for Infrastructure, Stanley Sofu had told SIBC News that the government cannot afford to buy new vehicles as funds have already been exhausted and funds under the government's contingency warrant has gone over its ceiling.Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary says the Ministry is still expecting the 23 vehicles bought this year to be returned for checking and servicing before re-allocation.

"We expect that number and if they are returned, we will check their conditions before re-allocation. And may be service them before giving them to the new Ministers."

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