The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing will spearhead a major programme of road and infrastructure improvements, being financed at a cost of approximately $3.9 billion.
The allocation, which has been earmarked in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, is being executed under three components.
These include the Road Maintenance Fund (RMF), Jamaica Development Infrastructure programme (JDIP), and Jamaica Emergency Employment programme (JEEP).
The RMF has been allocated $1.3 billion, which represents a portion of the special consumption tax on fuel. The money will be used to carry out infrastructure improvements islandwide.
Approximately $1.8 billion has been allocated to JDIP. This provision is intended to assist the RMF in meeting its 15 per cent counterpart obligation, amounting to $720 million, in relation to its US$50 million loan with the China EXIM Bank. The sum is the projected expenditure representing the balance on the programme.
The allocation also includes approximately $1 billion for outstanding management fees to the National Works Agency (NWA) and RMF; and $129 million in payments for lands acquired in Christiana, Manchester, and activities related to construction of the Queensborough Bridge in St. Andrew.
The Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) has been allocated $740 million to facilitate employment creation.
Approximately $38.3 million of this sum is earmarked to offset the administrative expenses of the JEEP Secretariat, which monitors and co-ordinates the programme.
The remainder of the funds, a provision from the PetroCaribe Development Fund, is earmarked to finance activities that will generate employment.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter