Assemblies Asked To Be “Sensitive” To Taxpayers

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister has called on Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to be “sensitive” to taxpayers and “plough back” rates and levies they collect into district level development.

“We need to be sensitive to the tax payers of an Assembly and demonstrate that the rates and levies we collect from them are ploughed back into District level development. To this end MMDCEs should note that the policy of using at least 20 per cent of total IGF on capital investment is still in force”, he said.

Dr Letsa, who was addressing this year’s Regional Budget hearings in Ho, said many MMDAs’ Internally Generated Funds (IGFs) were spent on goods and services without “giving back” to the community and called for a reverse of the trend.

He said though the Assemblies have the option of borrowing, they must do so responsibly to avoid instances of loans becoming “contingent liabilities” to the state.

Dr Letsa said some MMDAs have refused to resource decentralized departments under them with IGFs and appealed for all sectors to be supported to fully implement their programmes to stop burdening government with overheads.

He said government would be keen on managing “inefficiencies and waste” in budget spending and would ensure “strict” application of the new Public Financial Management Act, pursue sound economic policies including accountability and transparency, towards reducing fiscal deficit.

The MMDAs, during the five day meeting under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council, will present their 2018 to 2021 composite budgets.

The budget hearing, in its sixth year, is a major component of the Finance Ministry’s efforts at fast-pacing fiscal decentralization through the Public Financial Management reforms.

The budgeting process employs a Programme-Based Budgeting format in the preparation of MMDAs’ Composite Budgets to improve among others, the efficiency of resource allocation and utilization.