12 Dec 2012

Solomons pass biggest budget in country's history

12:47 pm on 12 December 2012

The Solomon Islands finance minister says next year's 480 million US dollar budget is the biggest in the country's history.

Rick Hou says health and education account for almost 300 million dollars worth of recurrent funding but the government's main development focus is the rural sector.

Mr Hou says the decline of the logging industry, an economic mainstay for the past 20 years, presents the government with serious revenue challenges.

"There are other sectors other than forestry that we need to ensure they start growing, namely agriculture, fisheries and other productive sectors."

Rick Hou says the budget, which he presented for its second reading in parliament this week, is fully financed through government domestic revenue as well as budget support from donor partners.

It will be debated next week and receive a third reading by December the 21st.