Industry yet to receive allocation from treasury SDR funds

By John Nhandara

THE Ministry of Industry and Commerce is finalising engagements with Treasury for the disbursement of US$30 million allocated to the manufacturing sector under the Special Drawing rights, SDR funds.

Officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce were this Thursday summoned by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce to explain how they will utilise funds allocated to the manufacturing sector under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Dr Mavis Sibanda said the Ministry is set to get UDS$30 million for the manufacturing sector and the funds are meant to finance value chains such as mineral beneficiation, rural industrialisation as well as cotton and leather production.

“To date we have not yet received the funds, but we have submitted our concept note to the Ministry as to how we want the funds to be used so we are now on the process of engaging commercial banks identified to work on the processes of making the MOU,” she said.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, Hon Sonny Mguni highlighted that the committee will also summon treasury to explain delays in the disbursement of funds aimed at retooling and recapitalising industry.

“We need to engage the Ministry of Finance since they are responsible with distributing these funds. Lack of disbursement is affecting most line ministries so we will be having the ministry of finance explain in parliament,” noted Mguni.

Zimbabwe last year received US$961 million under the IMF Special Drawing Rights meant to cushion member states from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Treasury and the Central bank concurred that the funds were to boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves while also buttressing the stability of the domestic currency.