General News of Wed, 30 Jun 20041
Parliament adopts report on the formula for the disbursement of Common
Accra, June 30, GNA- Parliament has asked the Committee on Local Government to look into cases of refusal by district chiefs executives to hand over to members of parliament their share of the common fund, as prescribed by the constitution.
The Speaker gave the ruling to this effect following complaints by some members that they have had problems getting their share of the common fund.
The members were contributing to a debate on a motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee of the Whole on the proposed formula for the sharing of the District Assemblies' Common fund. Mr. Kenneth Dzirasah, Chairman of the Committee of the Whole presenting its report, recommended an increase of the allocation of the District Assemblies' Common Fund from five percent to 7.5 percent with effect from next year.
An amount of 708.3 billion cedis has been earmarked for the operations of the assemblies this year, the report said. Among the indicators used for the allocation this year were revenue generation and collection, health facilities, schools, teacher/pupil ratio, access to clean/potable water, and population density. Mr. Dzirasah said members expressed concern over the difficulties in accessing the MPs share of the Common fund.
"It was strongly suggested that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should encourage the District Chief Executives to appreciate the need to release to Members of Parliament their share of the fund on time and without hindrance."
He said the committee also suggested that further financial provision should be made to the newly created district assemblies by central government to cater for infrastructure development, which would provide a firm base for a meaningful take off.
Article 253 (2) of the 1992 Constitution and the District Assemblies' Common Fund Act (1993), Act 455, enjoin Parliament to make provision for the allocation of not less than five per cent of the total revenue of Ghana to the District Assemblies' Common Fund for development.
Section 7 (a) of the District Assemblies' Common Fund Act, 1993 (Act 455) also requires the Administrator to propose annually for the approval of Parliament a formula for sharing the common fund to the District Assemblies.