Proposal to scrutinise unemployment fund approved

BAHRAIN’S estimated BD500 million Unemployment Fund could be scrutinised by Parliament and the Shura Council under new financial governance measures.

A proposed amendment to the 2006 Insurance Against Unemployment Law, which was approved unanimously by the Shura Council yesterday during its weekly session, will be now drafted as a proper law by the Cabinet and referred to the National Assembly for review within six months.

The proposal was presented by five Shura Council members who believe that the fund’s administrative and financial affairs are a matter of public interest.

Under the proposal, the annual closing financial statements would be considered valid only if it is voted on and approved by both National Assembly chambers.

Rejection by both chambers would mean an automatic vote of no-confidence against responsible officials.

The Social Insurance Organisation had said that the fund was being monitored by the Finance and National Economy Minister and the National Audit Office.

The Shura financial and economic affairs committee recommended the go-ahead for the proposal despite the government calling for a rethink.

“Public money should be monitored by the legislative authority,” stressed chairman Khalid Al Maskati.

“It shouldn’t be any different to the Future Generations Fund which is also a saving fund that the government launched and is scrutinised by MPs and the Shura Council.”

Meanwhile, a statement on the Bahraini Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday was read out during the session.

Chairman Ali Al Saleh praised female legislators and highlighted their role in the development and progress of the country.




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