Parliament considers bill to allow govt redirect statutory funds to Finance Ministry

Parliament will on Monday consider for approval a bill that will allow the government to redirect money from various statutory funds to the Finance Ministry for the financing of government priority projects.

The GETFund, NHIS fund, District Assembly Common Fund, among others will be affected by the bill passes into law.

A cap will also be placed on spending of internally generated funds by various MMDAs for the remainder to be sent to the Finance Ministry.

The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament is likely to oppose the bill.

Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Ato Forson, says the Earmarked Funds-Capping and Realignment Bill (2017) will have dangerous consequences on the country’s economy. 

“If care is not taken we are going to a see a new scenario where the banks are saying a lot of government contractors not getting paid and therefore they, [contractors] are not servicing their debt,” he said.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who laid the bill before Parliament argues that the bill is part of the current government’s desire to address the rigidities and imbalance in public expenditure adding that if not passed into law, it ramification on revenue is a clear indication that the rationalisation of statutory funding in annual budgets has the tendency of affecting governments’ financial plan.

But Minority Members in Parliament who argued to the contrary noted that the bill if passed into law will channel usage the internally generated funds state own enterprises to the sole prerogative of the Finance Ministry, hence dwindling the resource available for the government agencies to run effectively.