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General News of Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Parliament prevents government from diverting DACF cash

Parliament has unanimously resolved to put a stopper on the government from diverting 80% of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) to finance other priority projects.

This follows the Committee on the Whole’s meeting with the Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund, Hon. Irene Naa Torshie-Addo on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

In March 2018, Parliament approved the formula for the disbursement of the DACF for 2018 pursuant to Article 252 (3) of the Constitution.

A total amount of GH¢1,812,144,435.00 was then appropriated for disbursement over nineteen (19) line items. Significant among them include:

Transfers to other legal entities – Youth Employment Agency (YEA) – 10%, National Youth Authority (NYA) – 5% and National Disaster Management Organisation – 1.5%, all amounting to GH¢299,000,665.00.

Allocation to People with Disability – 3% amounting to GH¢54,364,333.00

National Projects – Education, Sees Capital for newly created District Assemblies and Waste Management – 11.59% amounting to GH¢210,000,000.00 and

Direct Allocations to MMDA – 50% amounting to GH¢905,999,982.09.

But the government in a memo sent to all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) last month directed that the approved transfer of the DACF should be strictly applied as follows:

School Feeding program – 40% amounting GH¢362,399,992.80

Nation Builders Corps – 20% amounting to GH¢181,199,996.40

Planting for Food and Jobs – 20% amounting to GH¢181,199,996.40

Balance for Assembly’s own projects – 20% amounting to GH¢181,199,996.40

This directive did not go down with the Minority National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament, provoking them to lodge a complaint with the Speaker of Parliament and further pleaded that he summons the Administrator of the DACF to brief the House over the directive of the government.

They argued that the directive of the government violates the formula of the DACF which was approved by Parliament for 2018.

Further to that the directive of the government will deprive the Assemblies of funds to implement their localized development projects which they had already planned for and incorporated in their budgets.

“This financially weakens the Assemblies and in effect, derails the decentralization and local governance process”, noted the deputy Ranking Member of the Committee on Local Government, Hon. Benjamin Komla Kpodo.

Although the Committee on the Whole’s meeting with the Administrator of the DACF was not public, information gathered indicate that the legislature has pulled the breaks on the government not to interfere in the DACF approved by the House.

NDC MP for Banda, Hon. Ibrahim Ahmed, told journalists moment after the meeting that “both Majority and Minority sides of the House have resolved that government abides by the formula approved by Parliament for the disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund”.