Chief of the Pacific Islands Unit, Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund, Patricia Tumbarello says the government needs to prioritize and make sure funds are available for its newly launched National Development Strategy (NDS).

In a media conference yesterday, Ms Tumbarello said the IMF supports such long term planning which she believes "is a very important step towards poverty reduction."

She said that while long term planning is an essential part of strategic planning, the strategy must include a strong emphasis on tax regime so that additional revenues could be channeled towards the budget.

The IMF Pacific Unit Chief said a mining legislation to attract foreign direct investment is also important to support the policy.

She said the National Development Strategy must go through such sequence of reforms to "ensure its operation is sustained financially."