Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, James Klutse Avedzi, has kicked against the possible review of the law to reduce the allocation of statutory funds.
Speaking on Eyewitness News ahead of the government’s first budget statement, Mr. Avedzi argued that, a likely downward review of allocations as they have gathered, would negatively impact development.
[contextly_sidebar id=”fXuTdAdu60VJG7PqiQC07oj9bPq32F5r”]There are currently eight earmarked statutory funds; the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Petroleum-Related Funds, Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, and the Road Fund.
Mr. Avedzi, as an example, explained that “if you want to reduce the Assembly common fund from 7.5 percent to 5 percent, what it means is that about one-third of what is going to the assembly will no longer go there. So if the Assembly had 1.5 million, this assembly will only receive 1 million.”
Development at district level to suffer
Development could also suffer at the district level, Mr. Avedzi cautioned, if the level of funding drops, thereby affecting the output of beneficiary institutions.
“We know that the money for development at the assembly level affects the masses, so if you are reducing this allocation to the assemblies, what it means is that, the development at the local level will suffer.”
He explained that “for instance, if you are not able to get enough school infrastructure at the basic schools; then the level of teaching; the quality of children that will be churned out at the basic schools will suffer. When they suffer, how do they end at the secondary schools.”
In defence of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, he said “the infrastructure funds are funds that are meant for infrastructural development. If you want to amend the laws so you can use part of that money for recurrent expenditure, you are going to ensure that the infrastructure sector suffers.”
“When the infrastructure sector suffers and we don’t have good roads that can propel economic activity, it will end up affecting the GDP so there are so many factors to consider. It is not just a matter of amending the law.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana