The total expenditure by government in relation to its flagship programme, the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP), for the 2016/17 financial year has been pegged at P2.2 billion, Minister in the office of the President, Eric Molale told parliament on Friday.
According to Molale, by the end of January 2017 the contract amounts for awarded projects stood at P1.9 billion. However, Molale said that the total expenditure to date for ongoing and completed projects as at the end of January 2017 was P519.8 million.
“There are a total of 3652 projects implemented across ten Ministries. Of the 10 Ministries implementing ESP projects, Five Ministries have projects that have been completed as at the end of January 2017”, Molale said.
It is said that the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security has seven completed projects with only two completed on time.
Regarding employment creation, Molale said over 20 000 people were employed through awarded ESP projects by the end of November 2016. He further said that a breakdown of employed people showed that 19 907 were citizens and only 120 were non-citizens.
In early February 2017, Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo told Parliament that the country’s fiscal situation has recently been characterised by slow growth in government revenues and increased pressure on expenditures, as a result of the implementation of programmes such as the Economic Stimulus Programme.
Government recorded a significant budget deficit of P6.99 billion or 4.7 percent of GDP in 2015/2016, compared to a surplus of P5.34 billion or 3.7 percent of GDP in 2014/2015.
The Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) was adopted by government in September 2015 to promote growth, economic diversification and employment creation.