Parliament passes COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill

Parliament yesterday passed the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill under a Certificate of Urgency.

The COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill, 2020, was laid in Parliament under Certificate of Urgency by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo on Wednesday in accordance with Article 106 of the 1992 Constitution.

Consequently, the bill was referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report, pursuant to Order 179 of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Presenting the report of the committee to Parliament, the Chairman of the committee, Ben Abdallah Banda said in recognition of the threat COVID-19 posed to life and its potential to escalate in the country, the President introduced certain measures to effectively manage the situation.

He said some the measures included the passage of the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), which gave the President the power to impose certain restrictions and other measures by Executive Instrument intended to stop the importation of the virus, contain its spread, provide adequate care for the affected and limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life.

Mr Banda said in specific terms, the measures included the declaration of COVID19 as a public health emergency, the closure of borders, mandatory quarantine for fourteen days, treatment of persons who tested positive for COVID19 and other restrictions of movement of persons, including partial lockdown.

He said in his address to the nation on Wednesday, the President mentioned the establishment of a COVID-19 Trust Fund to galvanise support from individuals, international and national organisations, adding that since the proclamation by the President, organizations and individuals had been donating to the government to support the fight against the pandemic.

Mr Banda said the bill, therefore, established a fund to properly receive and regulate the donations for the intended objectives.

He said the committee found it laudable that individuals and organisations were responding to the clarion call by the President in contributing towards the efforts at combating the pandemic.

Mr Banda said the committee was also cognizant of the cost being borne by the government in the fight to contain and reduce the spread, provide adequate care for the affected and limit the effect on the socio-economic life of the Ghanaian.

He said considering the “irrevocable factuality” of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic exigencies of the country, the committee appreciated the fact that the bill sought to establish a Fund to properly receive and manage contributions and donations for its intended purpose.

By Lawrence Markwei

                         

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