BY ALEX DADAMU
THE ongoing Onslaught of the COVID-19 has continued to greatly impact Solomon Islands’ domestic economy with key monthly economic indicators continue to show subdued performance indicating the continuing nature of the COVID-19 shock.
The Solomon Islands activity index also shows business activities are well below 2019 levels, as wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and other business activities are subdued, and the outlook is still very uncertain.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his nationwide address on Monday revealed that as previously being reported, the June 30th forecast of the Solomon Island economy to contract by around negative 4.3 percent in 2020 still stands.
“However, I wish to inform all of us that the COVID-19 landscape is changing daily and there remains a potential for further downside risks.
“We need to continue to be mindful of the possible impacts of further ‘second waves’ of COVID-19 infections spreading across the globe and associated disruptions this would bring to our borders,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
He further revealed that Government revenue collections have been weaker than expected and forecast to be lower than the 2020 original budget.
“The Ministry of Finance and Treasury continues to strengthen their compliance activities and ensure prudent administration of any tax incentives as a priority for August through to December 2020. Other Government Ministries’ non-tax revenue initiatives are also reviewed and strengthened.
“This Government through the Minister of Finance and Treasury will continue to be updated on these situations and on of any further fallout of our economy should the country reach a stage when business activities and other services are temporarily closed,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
He in the meantime stated that with these backdrops, the underlying commitment of the Government is to ensure that the health and well-being of everyone is safeguarded and to keep the economy afloat.