MASERU – Over M5 billion has been set aside as capital budget for the new fiscal year, the Minister of Finance, Thabo Sofonea, announced on Monday.
Making a presentation in the National Assembly on the consolidated capital account (development estimates) for 2021/22, the minister noted that the exact total amount allocated is M5 725 712 634. The sum, Sofonea said, is slightly higher than the previous financial year’s by one percent.
He noted that the government contributed M2 128 billion towards this year’s budget while the rest comes from the country’s development partners.
The Department of Food Security in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been allocated a total of M450 million with a view to promote food security through subsidising crop production.
The minister said water scarcity is a major challenge that Lesotho is battling with, thus the sector has been allotted M710 million to among others supply portable water directly to households where possible.
The Ministry of Energy has been allocated funds to accelerate power connectivity throughout the country while on the other hand reducing the impact of climate change.
“Roads and bridges construction will receive M1billion following massive destruction of the roads and bridges caused by recent torrential rains,” the minister added. The amount he said will be shared by the Ministries of Public Works and Local Government.
The Ministry of Education and Training has been apportioned a sum of M240 million in a bid to rescue the education system which is under threat from the COVID 19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Health has been allocated M482 million to intensify the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS while TB alone has been given M166 to combat its spread. Sofonea said child immunisation as well as reproduction health will receive a total of M7.5 million.
He said the Ministry of Trade’s budget will be utilised as part of the economic growth and development move by ensuring that the Tikoe industrial infrastructure is completed.
“’The capital budget performance from the previous year was adversely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak as the government was forced to take money allocated to all the ministries towards the fight against the spread of the virus,” the minister showed.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has been allotted a total of M265 million to address the issue of National Identification (IDs) now that the government has resolved that old age pensioners will require IDs effective from May in order to access their pensions. The Ministry of Communication will receive a sum of M314 million to speed up the provision of technology in the country.