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Ministers giving $$ to Children’s Life Fund
Ministers have been making the promised donations to the Children’s Life Fund but the funds are only now being collected from their ministries. Chairman of the fund Varun Maharaj said yesterday since June 1, the respective ministries have been forwarding the donations to the Children’s Life Fund Authority (CLFA).
All ministers and parliamentary secretaries give five per cent of their salaries to the fund, except the Prime Minister, who gives ten per cent. Between June 2010 and May 2012, Maharaj said, the deductions were put in a deposit account at the Treasury which fell under the purview of the Finance Ministry.
The CLFA expects to receive that money —an estimated $1.2 million—by the end of the year. Before this can be done, the Finance Ministry must reconcile each deposit with the respective government official from whose salary it was deducted. “The CLFA does not know exactly how much each ministry contributed,” Maharaj explained, “which is why the ministry has to reconcile each donation before the Children’s Life Fund can get that money. “
Before June 2012, he said, salary deductions were made on the basis of a Cabinet note dated June 10, 2010 but because there was no legislative framework in place at the time, the money could not be directly deposited to the CLFA. That was why the sums were deposited in a Treasury deposit account, of which the Ministry of Finance has records.
To date, more than 40 children have received medical treatment overseas through the fund, at a cost of $12 million. The fund assists children with life-threatening conditions for which no treatment is available locally. An initiative of the Prime Minister, it was set up in 2010.
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