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Parliament Approves GHC821m For District Assemblies Common Fund For 2012   
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Parliament on Thursday approved scenario B of the weighting formula as the basis for the distribution of the approved amount of GH˘821, 664, 806 for the District Assemblies Common Fund for 2012.

Senario B, covers 50 per cent on equality factor, 45 per cent on needs factor, three per cent on responsiveness and two per cent on service pressure as against scenario A and C which have 40 per cent and 45 per cent for equality factor.

This was contained in the committee’s report signed by Mr Edward K. D. Adjaho, First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Committee.

The report said out of the GH˘821,664,806, about GH˘457,921,677.34 would be available for distribution after making provisions for priority intervention programmes and reserve fund and part of the remaining amount will cater for National Youth Employment Programme, cured lepers, persons with disabilities and training.

An amount of GH˘273,360,000 would cater for priority interventions, reserve takes GHC90,383,128.66 and MMDAs are allocated GH˘457,921,677.34

The report said that in developing the formula the Committee was informed that the Administrator was guided by four basic human needs principle to development, and therefore considered its indicators to be the needs factor made up of health, population, doctor/population, nurse/population, education facilities, population, teacher/pupil, roads coverage and water coverage, responsiveness factor (improvement), equality factor and the service pressure factor (population density).

It noted that these factors when properly applied would ultimately ensure that perceptions about unfair and discriminatory approaches to development would be avoided.

The underlying principle of the equality factor is that districts should not be deprived of needed funds to pursue development goals thus by employing this factor; it ensured that districts receive a certain minimum amount of funds even if all other factors go against them.

With the need factor, the administrator considered availability or non-availability of health and educational facilities in a district and access to potable water as a determinant of how much money should go to that district.

The responsiveness factor considered assemblies approach to revenue generation outside the common fund allocation, while with the service pressure factor, urban areas should be compensated for the over-utilisation of their facilities and the maintenance of these existing facilities.

The Committee observed that under scenario B, only 67 districts had a negative increase as compared to scenario A which 72 assemblies and scenario C with 73 assemblies with negative increases.

It noted that even though provisions was made for 42 newly created districts in the budget statement and economic policy of 2012, it came out from the committee’s deliberations that 46 new districts have been provided for in the formula.

The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Administrator of the Common Fund should ensure the speedy release of funds to the members of Parliament’s constituency development projects.

It said that since the number of districts assemblies had increased significantly in the country, it would be appropriated if the Executive approved of 10 per cent of the total national revenue for the disbursement of funds to the assemblies.

According to the 1992 Constitution and the District Assemblies Common Fund Act, Parliament is mandated 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 the implementation of development programmes in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
Source: GNA

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