By Lawrencia Annan/Famiyeh Eshun, GNA
Sekondi, Sept. 10, GNA - The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has encouraged metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and regional ministers to lead the crusade of improving internally generated revenue to enhance development.
He said the revenue should, however, be utilised effectively so as to filter to all levels of the decentralised system for sustainable development.
The Minister of Finance said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Western Regional Minister, Mrs Eugenia Gifty Kusi, at the opening of the 2019 Regional Budget Hearing for the preparation of the 2020-2023 Composite Budget of MMDAs in Sekondi.
He said the Ministry was particular about revenue generation and was willing to support all efforts at improving it at the grassroots.
He said budget hearing was a critical aspect of the economy, which is consistent with the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act and Regulations to introduce innovations to improve internally generated revenue.
It is also to ensure judicious use of scarce resources for the implementation of government's priority programmes for 2020 and to facilitate, participatory, budget processes to enhance transparency and accountability.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the President's vision of Ghana Beyond Aid was contingent on enhanced revenue generation, however, many assemblies were unable to meet their targets.
He, therefore, entreated MMDAs to device more efficient strategies to increase their internal revenue to complement government's transfers.
He urged them to enhance, particularly property rate mobilization, as that remained a potential avenue to harness more revenue.
The Minister said all financial transactions must be processed on the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform, which is the legal financial platform for all government businesses.
This was a requirement under section 25(6) of the PFM Act, he said, and that failure to comply came with corresponding sanctions as stipulated in section 98(1) of the Act.
He called on the MMDAs to make the 2020 Budget "growth driven" and address poverty related issues in the various assemblies.
Mr Gilbert Asmah, the Municipal Chief Executive of Tarkwa-Nsuaem, in an interview with Ghana News Agency, said he was positive that revenue in the Municipality would increase with the introduction of community mining.
He explained that based on the Performance Agreement between the Assembly and the mining companies, employees from all the mining firms would now pay taxes.
“With one mining company having about 5000 employees and requesting all of them to pay tax, it will be a great source of revenue for the Assembly,” Mr Asmah said, adding that provision of social ammenities for the various communities would also encourage the payment of property rates.
Mr Ofosu Adjei, the Regional Budget Officer, urged the MMDAs to critically examine the budget and make good suggestions and contributions to enhance development.