The Minority Caucus in Parliament has raised concerns about a directive to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) that departs from the legal requirements for the application of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).
According to the Minority Caucus in Parliament, Government actions, such as introducing legislation that seeks to appropriate parts of the monies due to the DACF, had the potential of ruining the decentralization concept introduced by the 1992 Constitution.
The Minority is, therefore, demanding, among other things, that Government should desist from any further acts that seek to deprive the Assemblies of lawful funds due to them for the implementation of their local developmental agenda and that government should explore and find other means of funding its flagship programmes and projects as directed by Parliament on March 22, 2018.
The Minority in Parliament has also called on Government to immediately withdraw the said directive to the MMDAs regarding the use of the approved direct transfers to the Assemblies and also take steps to regularly and timeously release monies due to the DACF as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution.
These were made known at a news conference to appraise Ghanaians about certain developments which, according to the minority, would weaken the Assemblies and, in effect, derail the decentralization process.
The minority, in a statement, said its attention had been drawn to a directive to the MMDAs that the direct transfer allocated to and approved for the MMDAs should be strictly applied as follows:
1. School feeding Programme - 40% - GH₵ 362, 399, 992.80
2. Nation Builders Corps - 20% - GH₵ 181, 199, 996.40
3. Planting for food and jobs - 20% - GH₵ 181, 199, 996.40
4. Balance for Assembly's own projects - 20% - GH₵ 181, 199, 996.40
The above directive, the statement said, was not contained in the approved formula for disbursement of the DACF for 2018 and that the directive was being issued on the blind side of Parliament.
By this directive, the statement said, MMDAs are deprived of funds to implement their localized development projects which they had already planned for and incorporated into their budgets.
The statement said in order not to defeat the purpose for which the DACF was established, the Caucus had recommended that the Ministry of Finance should strictly adhere to the provisions of the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act, 2017 (Act 947) and not further offload programmes unto the already capped funds of the Fund.