Government increases budget allocation for MMDAs

Government has increased budgetary allocation for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) for the 2013 financial year to GH˘50.343 million compared to GH˘5.0 million in 2012. The budgetary allocation is to support the assemblies to implement developmental projects. Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, made this known at the opening of a two-day validation workshop on the review of intergovernmental fiscal framework at Akosombo on Wednesday. The workshop is to help focus on fiscal policy component necessary to empower, enable and facilitate District Assemblies to assume their mandated role and responsibilities for enhanced governance and improved service delivery. The framework will also help outline the policies and visions for fiscal decentralization as well as the strategies to meet the vision. He said the framework covers the critical aspects of expenditure, revenue and service delivery arrangement between the national and sub-national levels of governance. “It is also to provide the intergovernmental fiscal policy framework needed to enable District Assemblies to support the central and local level social and economic development priorities in Ghana,” he added. He said the implementation of the composite budget was a major step towards an effective fiscal decentralization and for improving the efficiency and accountability of MMDAs. Mr Obeng said government has initiated the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to generate growth and employment by leveraging Information Communication Technology. GIFMIS is to establish and use public financial management functionality to government treasuries to improve macro-fiscal discipline and financial management. Mr Seth Tekper, Minister of Finance, said a stable and meaningful decentralization requires unambiguous and well-defined institutional framework in the assignment of expenditure responsibilities among the different levels of governance. He said there was the need for a comprehensive institutional framework to provide a road map, which has broad based support for the vision of fiscal decentralization. “We need an intergovernmental fiscal framework which will be the road map for strengthening the financial arrangement with local government to enable them perform their roles and responsibilities and improve service delivery,” he added.