THE country’s loss-making parastatals have presented government with the undue burden of carrying their debts through fiscal support, Finance minist
er Herbert Murerwa said yesterday.
Presenting the mid-term fiscal policy review yesterday, Murerwa said most parastatals continued to perform dismally due to huge debts.
“The debt stock for the major parastatals as at June 2006, stood at $76,43 trillion. As a result parastatals are failing to service their debts, often calling on government to assume their obligations,” Murerwa said.
Despite receiving support under the Parastatal and Local Authorities Reorientation Programme (Plarp) to enhance their performance, the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, Air Zimbabwe, Zesa Holdings and Arda had continued to make losses, Murerwa said.
The thrust of Plarp was to steer parastatals and local authorities towards sound corporate governance, efficiency, profitability and sustainable long-term growth.
Murerwa said government had introduced the National Economic Development Priority Programme (NEDPP) to help with the parastatals restructuring exercise.
Under NEDPP, financial packages to support the re-equipping of Air Zimbabwe, NRZ, Zesa Holdings and plant refurbishments at Ziscosteel and Hwange Colliery would be availed, he said.
“This will complement our on-going medium and long-term initiatives on joint ventures and strategic alliances,” Murerwa said.
“Performance guidelines for parastatals are being reviewed, with compliance being enforced through the relevant ministries and other structures under NEDPP,” added Murerwa.