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General News of Monday, 14 May 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Minority jabs government over new Common Fund disbursement formula

The Minority in Parliament is kicking against a new formula announced for the disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund.

The new formula allocates 40 percent of the fund to the school feeding programme, 20 percent each to the Nation Builders’ Corps, planting for food and jobs and the remaining 20% for the running of the assemblies.

Administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund, Irene Naa Torshie Addo is reported to have given the instruction to the assemblies to use the allocated funds for the purposes for which they have been given.

But former DCE for Sekyere Afram Plains Fuseini Donkor says the directive is an illegality and would impede the development of several districts.

“If you look at the 2018 District Assembly Common Fund formula that was approved by Parliament, you will see no specific allocation to all the things Naa Torshie is actually doing.

“So in the first place what she is actually doing is not approved by Parliament,” he said.

The District Assemblies Common Fund was established in 1993.

By law, “the Common Fund shall consist of all monies allocated by Parliament under section 2 of this Act and any interests and dividends accruing from investments of monies from the Common Fund.

(3) The allocation made by Parliament under section 2 shall be paid into the Common Fund in quarterly instalments.

(4) The monies accruing to the District Assemblies in the Common Fund shall be distributed among all the District Assemblies on the basis of a formula approved by Parliament.

However, critics, including the Minority say the Common Fund Administrator, Naa Torshie has deviated from the formula so approved by Parliament and has rather channelled funds meant for development projects in the districts to executing campaign promises by the government.

The ranking member on the Local Government and Rural Development Committee Nii Lante Vanderpuye says the directive will lead to the collapse of the MMDCEs and hinder the development of all districts across the country.

He told Joy News government must look for funding sources for its campaign promises rather than diverting the District Assembly Common Fund for the execution of the promises.

“We in the minority raised questions about it because we said that the common fund is supposed to go to the districts for development in the districts… The government cannot turn round and depend on the same common fund it cut by 25% and wants to use the same common fund to finance these initiatives in the districts.

“The government is not being fair to Ghanaians and is not being fair to the Districts," he asserted.

He feared the MMDCEs may not undertake any developmental projects because there will be no money to execute.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation is threatening to embark on a demonstration if the government does not come clear on the fresh guidelines for the distribution of the common fund.