MASVINGO — Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada has said lack of donor funding and frozen lines of credit are the major challenges facing the Mid- Term Plan (MTP), an economic blueprint outlining the policies and projects that will guide the country for the next five years.
The MTP is prescribed in article three of the Global Political Agreement aimed at supporting restoration of economic stability targeting an average growth rate of 7,1%, single-digit inflation, employment creation of 6% per year as well as for the country to reduce the budget deficit, among others.
Mashakada said he was optimistic the targets set aside under the five-year MTP would be met despite the shoestring budget that the country was operating on.
In an interview at the Masvingo Civic Centre on Monday where he officially launched the provincial MTP programme, Mashakada said the National Budget would not sufficiently cater for all the programmes like investment promotion and infrastructure development as well as enhancing the country’s productivity.
“There are no donor funds and we do not have access to funds from international lending institutions. We only rely on the National Budget, yet, as you are aware, the National Budget has to cater for a lot of things.
“But we will rely on ourselves as we have the resources. We hope the revenue from diamonds will also be channelled to the MTP,” he said.
Unlike many other programmes which lacked implementation and evaluation, Mashakada said this time, there was serious follow-up to ensure the MTP did not end up just like any other document.
“This time it is different. We are on a countrywide crusade and this is a sure sign we really mean business. It is a sure sign that we are committed to meet our objectives because provinces form the frontline, therefore, we have to start with them.
“Unlike previous top-bottom approaches to development, we need to re-align the provinces with the national development plan,” he said.