The Minority in Parliament has appealed to the Speaker to direct the Business Committee to summon the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta to appear before the House to explain the status of the 2021 formula that Parliament approved.
Deputy Minority Whip in Parliament Ahmed Ibrahim last Friday raised concerns about the GH¢2.4 billion approved for the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) in 2021, which he said, has not yet been disbursed.
According to him, there has not been any transfer from the 2021 formula to the Administrator of the DACF account by the Minister for Finance
He pointed out that it is a new year and calls are mounting for the 2022 formula to be submitted to Parliament, and yet the 2021 disbursement is outstanding.
Mr Ahmed who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Banda raised the concern during presentation of the Business Statement for this week.
He bemoaned that three months after the 2022 budget was read, the formulas for the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) and the National Health Insurance and Service Fund are yet to be brought to Parliament.
According to him, by law, the formulae for these statutory funds have to be prepared and sent to Parliament for approval within three months after the reading of the budget.
“Mr. Speaker, it is not for nothing that these funds are called statutory funds. That is why I want to know from the Deputy Majority leader when the 2022 formulas will be programmed for the House.
“On 3rd March 2022, the President will be coming to this House with the State of the Nation Address, which will be debated and by the end of March this House will be preparing for adjournment.
“So, if we are within the three months and there is no indication as to when those formulas will be programmed for the House to consider, it is a worry,” he added.
He said the Ministry of Finance need to reconcile the accounts and show how much has been disbursed from the 2021 Formula before the 2022 formula will be presented to the House.
Disagreement on DACF payment
Meanwhile, a Deputy Minister for Finance, Mrs Abena Osei Asare has challenged the Deputy Minority Whip’s assertion and argued the Ministry has paid some amount to the Fund.
According to her, the 2021 1st and 2nd Quarter disbursement of the DACF has been done and only the 3rd Quarter is outstanding while the 4th Quarter will be due in March 2022.
“Mr. Speaker, this House is a House of records so let’s speak the truth. This is unbecoming, they go around and say all sorts of things but we don’t get the opportunity to comment.
“Ask your DACF administrator, and ask your MCE whether the whole of 2021 government did not release some money,” she stated.