Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila told Parliament yesterday that the much-awaited feasibility study on the Shire-Zambezi Waterway Project will be discussed at a ministerial meeting next month before operations can start.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration identified the waterway project, a brainchild of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, as a priority.
The project is set to be implemented under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model where the private sector will operate it following financing of the construction by the Malawi Government.
Responding to a query on the lack of funding allocation towards the Shire-Zambezi Waterway Project, Kasaila said a feasibility study was ready and would be put before a ministerial committee for deliberation.
He said: “There will be a ministerial meeting next month on the feasibility study before it is submitted to the President [Peter Mutharika]. It is upon that consideration that operations will start.”
Meanwhile, Parliament yesterday approved allocations to 20 votes, including the contentious Ministry of Health, without amendments.
Among the votes which received the most attention and queries from members of Parliament (MPs) was the Ministry of Transport and Public Works which has been allocated K9.6 billion. Queries arose over the reductions in the budgets for marine and rail services.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe also told Parliament yesterday that a K27.3 billion (US$60.7 million) allocation to the Malawi Police Services would include purchase of new equipment for the police.
Parliament will continue scrutinising the votes this afternoon.