Fee likely on transactions to boost Marriage

ABU DHABI — The government is contemplating a levy on commercial transactions to boost the Marriage Fund’s budget, an official has said.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sat 12 Feb 2005, 9:23 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:29 PM

“The idea of imposing a fee comes as part of the directives of Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka’abi, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Chairman of the Marriage Fund’s Board of Directors, to get the private sector to support the fund, especially in the light of the budget deficit it faces,” Jamal bin Obeid Al Bah, the Director-General of the Fund, told Khaleej Times, in response to a question on plans to involve the private sector in the fund.

He said the fund tabled the idea during a recent meeting with officials at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce to devise effective mechanisms to increase businessmen’s contribution to support the fund’s social programmes.

“The proposal won’t be endorsed unless it got the approval of the Chambers’ Board of Directors,” said Bah.

He underlined that the Ministry of Finance has turned down the fund’s proposal to increase its budget to Dh300 million from the present Dh250 million to meet the growing demands on marriage grant.

The official revealed that Dr Ka’abi intends to approach the banking sector to allocate a certain percentage of its profit to serve the initiatives and programmes of social institutions and organisations.

“In line with this move, the fund’s board of directors has opened an account for donations,” said Bah.

He added that the minister has also addressed the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Awqaf to allocate part of Zakat in support of nationals who apply for the marriage grant and are entitled for Zakat.

The Marriage Fund is a brainchild of late president Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to encourage and facilitate marriage among national men and women.

The social organisation generates its revenues from the fund’s investments, in addition to donations and financial grants from public welfare institutions and societies.

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