FINANCE minister Tendai Biti yesterday distributed US$100 million –– part of the International Monetary Fund’s US$510 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR) funds received last year for infrastructural development.
The money, Biti said, would be applied to priority arrears, particularly infrastructure. He said the identified infrastructure was consistent with government thrust of “reconstruction with equitable growth and stability”.
“Given that this money has to be repaid at a later stage, it is critical that utilisation be targeted at projects that will generate economic activity and give returns to the country,” said Biti addressing the beneficiaries.
Government has so far accessed US$50 million of the SDR which has been directed towards procurement of inputs for the 2009/10 agricultural season.
Of the US$100 million, US$10 million was allocated to rehabilitate Hwange Thermal Power station and US$10,28 million for roads dualisation and bridge construction.
Biti allocated US$18,1 million for the rehabilitation of Harare International Airport taxiways and construction of JM Nkomo airport in Bulawayo.
Rehabilitation of rail infrastructure was allocated US$5,02 million. water and sanitation projects for Bulawayo received US$6,47 million, Marondera US$2,9 million and Mutoko US$180 000.
Mtshabezi Water Augmentation Project was given US$7 million, ICT infrastructure US$6,2 million and broadcasting transmission network US$800 000.
Housing was allocated US$10 million, completion of the central registry US$3,5 million, and US$19,54 was allocated for productive sector lines of credit.
The Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe was appointed by Biti to facilitate disbursements as well as recoveries.
“The bank will also in conjunction with my ministry and line ministries, monitor and evaluate the impact of our interventions,” Biti said.
“Therefore, we have taken a stance that each implementing agency as well as beneficiary institutions be responsible for the repayment of the loans.”
Biti said the projects were selected on the basis of their ability to re-invigorate the economy and hence the need for them to be completed within time and money.
“Based on our experience with other projects last year, the resources will not be disbursed to beneficiary institutions, rather payments will be made directly to supplier of goods and services,” Biti said.