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29.04.2007 General News

Public funds going waste

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The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Anthony Evans Amoah has said public sector institutions are not accessing funds allocated to them in the budget.

He was speaking at a day's workshop on the 2007 budget organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for district finance, budget, planning and development officers at Sekondi.

Mr. Amoah said, "The rate of absorption of funds for development by public sector institutions is low".

He said great development cannot be achieved if these institutions fail to utilize such funds.
Mr. Amoah hoped the workshop would sharpen the skills of the participants to enable them assist to solve this problem.

He said many companies want to assist in the development of the region but are unable to do so because they are sidelined in the planning and implementation process.

Miss Eva Mends, Head of Budget Development Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said the district assemblies are not accessing the ¢138 billion allocated in the 2007 budget for industrial projects in the districts.

She said each of the 138 district assemblies is supposed to access one billion cedis for the development of an industry of their choice but is not been made use of.

Miss Mends said one reason for this is that the assemblies are not acquainted with the budget and are not aware that such provisions exist.

She said the funds allocated for development in the budget would also be released on request from the assemblies.

Miss Mends said one trillion cedis have been earmarked for the National Youth Employment Programme, which aims at creating about 200,000 employment opportunities.

She said funds have been allocated in the 2007 budget for the rehabilitation of government bungalows, the procurement of more buses for the Metro Mass Transit and construction of more roads.

Mr. Kwabena Sarpong of the office of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said the government spends ¢83 billion a month on fuel for the emergency high-speed diesel power plant at Tema.
He said the government is to spend 215 million dollars to increase the capacity of the Aboadze Thermal Plant near Takoradi by 110 megawatts.

Mr. Sarpong said Osagyefo barge would be powered to produce electricity when the West African Gas Pipeline becomes operational.

He said a team of engineers is examining the barge to ascertain whether it is in good condition.

Mr. Sarpong said the country's energy problems would be solved once and for all by August or September this year.

Source: GNA

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