Deputy Minority Whip and Member of Parliament for Banda, Ibrahim Ahmed, has hinted the Minority in Parliament may block the 2022 budget if the Finance Minister fails to release statutory accruals to the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) for onward disbursement to the MMDAs.
“We have no other choice but to adopt this rout. The Last time we threaten not to approve the 2021 Budget if the Common Fund for the fourth quarter of 2020 is not disbursed, the Finance Minister promised to process it as soon as it is approved; but he didn’t. He gave the same promise during the Mid-Year Budget Review, yet again he did not release it,” he said.
“We are returning to Parliament from next week. The presentation and approval of the Government’s Fiscal Policy for the coming year is high on the agenda. If the release is not made to the Common Fund, we are serving notice that we will not approve of the budget.”
Ibrahim Ahmed made the comment during a press conference organized in Parliament on Thursday, October 21, 2021, by the Minority Caucus of the Parliamentary Committee for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development on the malfunctioned status of the District Assemblies Common Fund.
Article 252 (2) of the country’s constitution provides that an allocation of not less than five percent of the country’s total revenue shall be paid into the District Assemblies Common Fund in quarterly installments for the development of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
However, the Akufo-Addo government has delayed the release of the funds to the DACF for over a year, leading to arrears in excess of GHC 2 Billion and dating as far back as the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to the Minority, all persuasions have so far failed to get the Finance Minister to do the needful.
Several appeals by the Minority for the release to the Administrator of the DACF for onward disbursement to the 261 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies across the country, have so far fallen on deaf ears, they said.
Meanwhile, according to the Deputy Ranking Member on the Committee, Benjamin Kpodo, the DACF has been rendered completely impotent.
“The monies due to the fund have not been given to the Fund to enable it to carry out its mandate as abundantly outlined by the Constitution and relevant Act,” he observed