Parliament on Thursday approved the report of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee which recommended the passing of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill, 2020 under a Certificate of Urgency.
The Bill was laid before Parliament on the night of Wednesday, April 01, 2020, by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin who was presiding over proceeding subsequently referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the House.
The Committee immediately convened a meeting after the Bill was submitted to the House and came to a determination that it was of urgent nature and thus approval procedures can be rushed, Power FM’s Princess Arita Anim reports.
The Bill was subsequently read the second time at the plenary and taken through the consideration stage on Thursday, April, 02, 2020.
The Chairman of the Committee Ben Abdallah, who is also the MP for Offinso South, moved the motion for the second reading seconded by the Ranking Member of the Committee, Fuseini Inusah Abdulai Bistav, MP for Tamale Central.
The Bill, when assented to by His Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo into law, will give legal backing to the establishment of the COVID-19 National Trust Fund to complement the efforts of government in the fight against the disease.
The Fund will receive donations for disbursement to individuals who have been negatively impacted by the disease and also make provisions for how the Fund should be managed.
Prior to the passage of the Bill, Chairman of the Committee Ben Abdallah moved the motion for it to be read the third time which was seconded by the Ranking Member Inusah Fuseini.
The Committee submitted its report to the plenary on Thursday, April 02, 2020, and urged the House to pass the Bill under a Certificate of Urgency as requested by the Government.
The Chairman of the Committee in submitting the Report said the Committee found it laudable that individuals and organisations are generously responding to the clarion call by the President Nana Akufo-Addo in contributing towards the effort at combating the pandemic.
He said the Committee was 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 to limit the effect on the socio-economic life of Ghanaians.
Ben Abdallah stressed that the Committee, in considering the irrevocable fact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the economic exigencies of the country, appreciated the fact that the Bill sought to establish a Fund to properly receive and manage contributions and for its intended purpose.
The Committee, therefore, recommended to the House to adopt its Report and to pass the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill, 2020.
The House unanimously agreed that the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill, 2020 was urgent in the light of the threats posed by the pandemic and the urgent need to pass the Bill to give effect to the establishment and management of the Fund.
Members by a massive bipartisan effort to provide relief to the Ghanaian economy passed this stimulus package known as the COVID-19 National Trust Fund Bill to complement the efforts being made by the Government in catering for the poor and vulnerable as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.