Government must reduce deductions from Common Fund – Stakeholders

Participants at an inception meeting on the utilization of the District Assembly Common Fund have spoken against massive deductions from the Assemblies share of the Common Fund and the imposition of vehicles and equipment on the Assemblies without engaging them.

They said this was affecting planning and budgets of the Assemblies as some of them had no need for the vehicles and equipment allocated to them.

The vehicles and equipment therefore became a drain on their finances as most of them broke down after one year of their usage and servicing them became a very difficult task.

The participants, who included planning officers from the various district assemblies and representatives of focal NGOs and the media, expressed this concern in Wa at the weekend  at a one-day inception meeting of the second phase of a Common Fund Monitoring Project which is being implemented by SEND Ghana with the support of the European Union.

They appealed to SEND Ghana which has been monitoring the utilization of the Fund for the benefit of the poor and the marginalized to engage the ministries of Finance and Local Government and Rural Development to reduce the quantum of deductions from the Fund.

The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life of the poor and the marginalized through increased access and utilization of the Common Fund.

Mr. Adamu Munkaila Programme officer of SEND Ghana, said during the project, 50 Assemblies in Greater-Accra and the three Northern regions would be monitored and about 5,000 state and non-state actors such as District Citizens Monitoring Committees and Focal NGOs sensitized on how the Fund could benefit the poor.

He said SEND and its partners had planned to organize three national conferences next year involving the Ministries of Finance and Local Government and Rural Development during which it hoped to advocate for an increase in the common fund from the current seven point five (7.5) per cent of national revenue to 20 per cent by 2015.

Source: GNA

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