14 Mar 2005

Solomon Islands government upbeat about debt repayment process

4:23 pm on 14 March 2005

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance's Permanent Secretary says the government is making good progress in paying back its debts.

Shadrack Fanega says the government has undertaken a successful restructuring of a majority of its debts to the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund.

He says under agreements reached last year, the government's debt to the NPF, which totalled over 17 million US dollars, is now being paid off in monthly repayments of principal and interest.

Mr Fanega says the Government has cleared up contribution arrears to NPF, which have continued to accrue since 1998.

He says new discussions are underway to resolve Government guarantees over NPF loans to State owned enterprises and provinces.

"We have started off with the other agencies, the banks, all these other bond holders which include NPF, and now we are focussing on the NPF itself before we can go on to other agencies, including the Central Bank or the CBSI. seconds"

The Ministry of Finance's Permanent Secretary Shadrack Fanega