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Each constituency gets about $140,000 a year

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 13, 2009) – Taiwan yesterday urged Members of Parliament to properly manage the Constituency and Rural Development Fund and distribute it fairly to the people.

Taiwanese Charge d’Affaires Ben Wang made the reminder when releasing the second payment of the funding for this year.

Acting Prime Minister Fred Fono received the funds.

The Constituency and Rural Development Fund comprised of the Rural Constituency Development Fund (RCDF), Micro Project Scheme and Millennium Development.

Each constituency is entitled to a total of $1 million [US$143,500] a year under these funding, which are paid out in four tranches.

Government sources said yesterday’s payment was only for 42 constituencies, whose members have submitted reports of the last payment.

"The other eight MPs have yet to provide their reports. Their payments will not be released until they provided their reports," one source said.

The use of the constituency and rural development funds has always been controversial.

MPs have been repeatedly accused of using the funds to support only those who voted for them.

Mr. Wang said yesterday MPs should use the fund properly and help rural people in their constituencies without bias.

He added the funding was given out in line with government intentions to alleviate poverty and improve quality of life for rural people.

Mr. Fono thank Taiwan for the timely support.

He said the Ministry of Rural Development will undertake the task to provide the Embassy with the reports in due time.

Fono said he strongly believed that the funding will improve the livelihood of rural people.

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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