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Fund-Raising Amendment Bill Under the Spotlight

June 10, 2021

Parliament

Parliament has been briefed on the Fund-Raising Amendment Bill.

The bill was tabled in parliament in October 2020.

The bill’s explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 43801 in the same month.

According to the explanatory summary, the bill aims to rationalise the Fund-raising Act by consolidating the Disaster Relief Fund, the Refugee Relief Fund, the Social Relief Fund and the State President’s Fund into the Disaster Relief and National Social Development Fund in order to focus on proactive mitigations of disasters and promote the social development of communities.

The explanatory summary added that the consolidation of the Funds will streamline administrative processes and enable more efficient services to poor communities and reduce costs.

Cabinet approved the bill in August 2020 for tabling in parliament.

The bill aims to amend the Fund-raising Act, 1978, so as to:


• amend certain definitions;
• effect certain textual amendments to provide greater clarity;
• provide for the discontinuation of certain funds and for the dissolution of any boards responsible for those funds;
• establish the Disaster Relief and National Social Development Fund and to transfer any amounts remaining in the discontinued funds to the Disaster Relief and National Social Development Fund;
• empower the Minister to make regulations in respect of the financial year of a fund; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The social development department called for comment on the bill in 2017.

In the briefing, the department pointed out that the newly established National Social Development and Relief Fund should be empowered to raise funds from the public and private sectors including international donors to address short term intervention and also impact on long term developmental issues.

The amendments will also align the Fund Raising Act with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Public Finance Management Act and other related financial frameworks.