Make IGF basis for disbursing DACF – Varsity Don

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), newsProfessor Eric Osei-Assibey has proposed to government to make Internally Generated Fund (IGF) the basis for disbursing District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

According to him, such a move would compel the MMDAs to develop better and aggressive strategies to improve revenue mobilisation in support of the government’s development plans.

 “I think the disbursement of the DACF should be based on how much the assemblies generate as internal revenue. Any amount an assembly generates, the government disburses same to that assembly as its Common Fund”.

“So it should be such that if you collect more revenue, you get more revenue from the government,” he stated.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement on the 2020-2023 economic policy and budget in Accra yesterday, he called on the government to review Article 252 of the 1992 Constitution, which set up and provides the basis of disbursement of the DACF.

This, he noted would make performance of MMDAs in mobilising internal funds the major factor for disbursement.

The event brought together government officials, trade unions, civil society groups, among others, to make inputs into the budget for the year 2020 to 2023.

Professor Osei-Assibey attributed government’s continuous revenue shortfalls to lack of well-designed revenue collection strategies and called for urgent measures to build the capacity of assemblies in revenue mobilisation.

In pursuit of effective revenue generation, he advised government to collaborate with local authorities to use local government structures to widen the tax net to include the informal sector which are yet to be captured.

The president of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Joseph Obeng, called on the government to engage Ghanaian traders on how they could take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCTA) to build local industries and grow the national economy.

He said the traders were prepared to partake in various levels of the supply chain, including manufacturing and remain competitive to tap the huge potentials in the new markets made available by the agreement.

Mr Cherry Emmanuel Executive Secretary of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana, advised government to initiate policies to clamp down on the ‘dollarisation’ of the economy, stressing that “that phenomenon was killing businesses.”

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, noted that, although the government’s revenue target for the past years have not been met, strategies employed so far have resulted in improved economic activities in various sectors of the economy which would ultimately bring about more revenue in the near future.

He said the government would not, in 2020, introduce new taxes but would review tax reliefs introduced in previous budgets to cushion businesses and the citizenry.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS and KIMBERLEY FREMPONG

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