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22.10.2005 Regional News

Ministry blamed for decentralisation failure

Ministry blamed for decentralisation failure
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Jasikan, Oct. 22, GNA - Mr Fred Kamel, MP for Buem, has blamed the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) for the inability of Local Government sub structures to function properly under the decentralisation programme.

He said the statutory deductions including the poverty alleviation fund, which were being effected at source by the Administrator of District Assemblies Common Fund and the MLGRD, were compounding problems at the district level and called for correction.

Mr Kamel, who was speaking to the GNA in an interview on Thursday, said due to the mandatory 20 per cent poverty alleviation and other deductions, only 800 million cedis out of the 1.2 billion cedis allocated to the Jasikan Assembly was received.

He pointed out that this and other impositions by the authorities defeated the spirit of the process of decentralisation had a negative impact on development.

According to the MP such functions could be handled effectively at the district level through guidelines to enable members of the Credit Approval Committees to disburse such funds instead of the present "top-down" procedures.

Mr Kamel questioned the essence of lodging the funds into separate accounts and later disbursed through "cumbersome applications", which defeated the mandate and principles of decentralisation.