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15.07.2006 General News

No More Funds For Waste Management - Minister

By Ghanaian Times
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THE government will not release any money to municipal and district assemblies to cater for their waste management needs, the Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has said.

Rather, he said, the assemblies should be able to generate revenue on their own to deal with their waste management challenges while government channels resources into other developments projects in the districts.

"Any fund that will be provided by government would rather be for new development projects," he stressed.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng was speaking to journalists on Tuesday at Mankesim. The visit was part of a five day official tour of the Central Region.

He therefore called for a revamping of the revenue mobilization structures in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in order to accelerate development.

"The potential for increased revenue mobilization exists and we have to push ourselves a little harder," he said.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng, who had earlier met the Mfantseman District Assembly and visited markets in the district, noted that with well established structures, the assemblies could generate enough revenue for development without relying on central government for funding.

Many of the lapses, he said were in the collection of levies including property rates, market and lorry park tolls, provision of services and the utilization of resources, particularly farm lands.

He said a study of the budget and operating results of many assemblies showed clearly that more could be done to generate more revenue.

For instance, he said the metropolitan and municipal assemblies in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tema and Tamale could generate more revenue from the markets, lorry parks and property rates.

He said that some of the property rates paid on houses especially the luxurious ones in the cities are too low, and should be reviewed

"Some mansions in Accra pay as low as ¢10,000 in property rate for the whole year.

"This is not enough for all the refuse they generate," he stated.

According to him, when the assemblies in the cities are able to generate more, the pressure on funding from central government would be reduced, and more resources could be allocated to the less endowed district assemblies for development.

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