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General News of Monday, 21 February 2022


Minority, deputy Finance Minister 'clash' over release of 2021 Common Fund

Bench of the Minority leadership in Parliament Bench of the Minority leadership in Parliament

The Minority in Parliament has accused the Ministry of Finance of failing to release funds to District Assemblies Common Fund for the whole of 2021.

But the allegation has been vehemently rejected by the Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare.

The situation brought tempers high once more in Parliament on Friday during the presentation of the business statement for next week.

Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed appealed to the committee to program Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to answer questions about delays in the release of the District Assemblies Common Fund which he claimed have been in arrears for the whole of 2021.

“Mr. Speaker we must program and bring the Minister for Finance to meet us for us to know the status of the formula that we used in 2021. I want to know how much was transferred from the Ministry’s account.

“The 2021 District Assembly Common Fund of Gh2.2 billion that was approved in this House there was not a pesewa transfer from the Ministry of Finance to the Office of the Administrator of District Assembly Common Fund. If there was let the Deputy Minister for Finance give us the figures,” he demanded.

The MP continued “How much was transferred, I want to know. Mr. Speaker if you are aware do you remember on the 17th of November when the Finance Minister was coming to present the budget we have this complaint that if there is no transfer we are not going to seat. Mr. Speaker the 200 million that you went to pay at the Access Bank that was first quarter 2020. So the whole of 2021 the 2.4 billion, you’ve not transfer a pesewa.”

This assertion, however, got Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare incensed as she refuted the claim.

According to her, monies have been released to the fund to cater for some periods in 2021 contrary to the claim.

“Mr. Speaker, initially he said nothing has been paid now he is saying something has been paid. This house is a house of a record. We have paid some of the DACF last year. We did pay and we will continue to pay what is due. Mr. Speaker this is a house or record there is a difference between not paying and now changing the theme to pay.

“In as much as things are not the way they use to be in this house we have to say the truth in this House. We have pay 2021 DACF. We pay 2021 first quarter and second quarter. The outstanding is the 2022 first quarter,” she explained.