Saudi Shoura okays draft law to regulate fund-raising

The law contains rules and regulations with regard to launching a charity campaign

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The Shoura Council approved on Tuesday a draft law to regulate collection of donations and their spending within the Kingdom.

Fahaad Al-Hamad, assistant president of the council, said that the approval of the law comes as part of the efforts by the Kingdom to ensure that donations reach only real beneficiaries and prevented from reaching terrorist networks, which operate under the cover of charity work.

The session was chaired by the council President Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The law consists of 15 Articles that specify various aspects of fund raising and their utilization.

According to the law, only licensed agencies can collect donations. They will have to issue statement about their revenues and expenditure as well as about the volume of their collections in cash and kind.

The law also contains rules and regulations with regard to launching a charity campaign.

Al-Hamad said that the council endorsed the law after making several amendments in the draft by the Shoura committee for the social, family and youth affairs in line with the views and suggestions of the council members.

He praised the efforts being made by the Kingdom to confront terrorism in various domains.

The council also discussed the annual report of the Public Pension Agency (PPA).

Taking part in deliberations, one woman member proposed linking pension with the percentage of inflation so as to meet the increasing cost of living.

Another member suggested raising the period of early retirement from 20 to 22 years in line with the proposal, which is under the study of the council to raise retirement age to 62.

Two members called for giving representation to women in the board of directors of PPA.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.