Parliament yesterday approved budget estimates for two Ministries and one Department for the 2009 fiscal year. They are the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD), National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development got a total sum of GH ¢179,102,552.00 for the 2009 fiscal year. Personal Emolument (PE) came up to GH ¢43,056,551.00 while allocation for administration was GH ¢472,085.00. Investment also took a total of GH ¢82,507,173.00 which was 46.07 percent of the total amount. Amount for HIPC was GH ¢41,427,000.00 having a percentage value of 23.13 and MDRI had 10,000,000.00 attracting a percentage value of 5.58.
According to the Chairman of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Dominic Azimbe Azumah, under the delivery of the Local Government Service the Local Government and Rural Development would establish a District Works Department in selected Ministries, Municipal Departments and Agencies (MMDA).
On National Decentralization Action Plan (NDAP) the LGRD aimed at improving local level service delivery and accountability mechanism through support for the on going process of decentralization.
The Ministry, according to him, intends to rigorously pursue enforcement and compliance programmes on sanitation aimed at the reintroduction of “Sama Sama,” concept and to promote cost effective and innovative Waste Management Technologies through private sector initiative in the area of Waste and to Energy Recycling and Biogas.
The report stated that the Ghana School Feeding Programme would be increased to benefit one million and forty thousand (1,040,000) pupils by the end of 2010.
A plan to reduce urban poverty was also considered under the budget to provide institutional support to the Ghana Network of Micro Finance Institutions.
Other areas to be given attention were Community based Rural Development Project, Northern Regional Poverty Reduction Programme (NORPREP), Accra Sewage Improvement Project (ASIP), Department of Community Development, Birth and Death Registry and Municipal Finance and Management Initiative Project.
The committee, therefore, stated that despite the intention of the Ghana School Feeding Programme to increase its coverage base to 800,000 pupils at a cost of GH ¢63,823,980 .00, the ministry allocated only GH ¢17 million and therefore recommended to the Ministry that the total amount of the programme should be sourced from HIPC or MDRI funds for 2009.
For a reliable source of funding for the school feeding programme, the committee recommended that Ghana School Feeding Fund be established from proceeds from the National Lotteries, the use of Nutrition Component of the National Health Insurance Scheme and the use of portions of either the Communication Service Tax (Talk Tax) or the GETFund.
The National Development Planning Commission, a body that advises the President on national development policies and strategies for the effective implementation of approved national development plans also received its budgetary allocation.
For the year 2009, a sum of GH ¢3,083,056.00 (three million, eight three thousand and fifty-six Ghana cedis) has been allocated to the commission. Personal Emoluments for the year stood at GH¢ 722,986.00, administrative cost would be at GH¢124,703.00 service was allocated a sum of GH ¢429,740.00 and total of GH¢1, 805627.00 was allocated for investment.
The committee which was chaired by the Hon. James Klutse Avedzi, recommended that GH ¢2,0 16,997.00 should come from the Government of Ghana (GoG) whiles the remaining 1,066,059.00 was expected to come from donor sources.
The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) was also approved a total sum of GH¢9,570 786.00 ( Nine Million Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Six Ghana Cedis) for the 2009 fiscal year. Personal Emolument within the 2009 stood at GH¢1,302,879.00, administration attracted an amount of GH¢243,881.00 while service for the year had a total of 339,894 and finally investment for the year would be GH¢806122.00
The Chairman of the Committee for MOWAC, Hon. Sampson Ahi, recommended that the budgetary allocation for MOWAC was inadequate and appealed that it should be increased for the Ministry to be able to fulfill its mandate of empowering women.