Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada says the late disbursement of funds by Treasury and donors is slowing the implementation of the Medium-Term Plan (MTP) projects in the country.
MTP, a comprehensive economic blue print that was launched in July last year, outlines economic policies, projects and programmes that set national priorities for the period 2011-2015.
It requires $9,2 billion to ensure full implementation.
Speaking before the Parliamentary portfolio on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion chaired by Goromonzi North MP Paddy Zhanda on Monday, Mashakada said the direction the economy was taking was not sustainable.
“There is need for huge injection of funds in our economy, foreign and local investments, apart from frequently leveraging on our economy resources,” Mashakada said.
Mashakada said most of the infrastructure projects in the country were stalled owing to limited resources within Treasury.
The MTP sought to prioritise projects including the construction of the Mtshabezi pipeline, Bubi-Lupane dam, Mutange dam, Tokwe Mukorsi dam, Wenimbi pipeline Gwayi- Shangani and Kunzvi dams.
“Varying progress has been achieved towards the completion of these priority projects. Construction of Mtshabezi pipeline is now at an advanced stage (88% complete),” Mashakada said.
To date $17 million of the $23 million project has so far been disbursed.
“The Bubi-Lupane dam is now 99% complete whilst Muntangi dam is at 46%.
“Tokwe-Mukorsi dam construction is also at an advanced stage. $60 million out of the expected $66 million has been expended to date,” Mashakada said.
He, however, said owing to limited resources there were no disbursements on the Kunzvi and Gwayi-Shangani dams.
Concerning the issue of housing and social amenities, the minister said a number of policies, legal and institutional reforms were underway.
Mashakada said the information and communication technology sector was being affected by skills flight and an unclear public-private partnership framework.
Concerning the transport and communication sector, the MTP was working towards rehabilitation of the national road network, airports and rail infrastructure.
“The current source of funds from the Treasury for the projects is limited compared to what is needed,” he said.
Air Transport projects received a total of $21,5 million in 2011 and $20 million in 2012 for the major rehabilitation of the Harare International Airport, upgrading of JM Nkomo Airport terminal building and the Victoria Falls Airport and development of the Buffalo Range Airport.
Mashakada said challenges that were being experienced in all the three sub-sectors of the transport sector were late disbursement of funds, inadequate planning for resource rehabilitation and recapitalisation funding.
High replacement costs for obsolete equipment, low business availability due to capacity underutilisation of industry and lengthy procurement processes especially where the State procurement board was involved, were also cited as challenges.