Need to revise social aid criteria stressed


The government must reconsider the federal decree that banned some categories, including women, children and elderly people from availing of the social support, exhorted the Council yesterday during its second session of the 16th Legislative Chapter chaired by Abdullah Al Masood, NCC Speaker.


The House debated the concept of social aid and its role in protecting the social fabric of the society, and the best criteria that must be adopted in selecting nationals who deserve the financial aid.


Since 1999, the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) has rejected a total of 5,026 applications for receiving social security for various reasons.


Residency outside the UAE, obtaining UAE nationality (non-national woman married to a national) and forging official documents or providing incorrect information were the reasons pointed out by MoSA for depriving some nationals of the government support.


The nationals who are entitled to get the social aid must be exempted from fees levied for various government transactions and other general services, recommended the NCC.


NCC member Ghaith Al Hamili suggested that a social fund be established to provide support and assistance to needy nationals.


“A social fund must be founded to support this category of nationals. It should be financed by businessmen and the private sector,” proposed Ghaith.


The MoSA has already decided to set up a social fund to focus on important social issues, financing social developmental projects and tailoring training programmes to rehabilitate needy people and mix them with the society.


The proposed body is part of the social ministry’s plans for 2007 and is expected to be functional within this year. The House raised yesterday an important issue about fixing a minimum wage for less skilled labourers.


“There should be practical solutions to the problem of unskilled labourers who are found in the country in great numbers. Authorities concerned must reconsider recruitment of unskilled labourers and their minimum wages,” suggested a group of members.

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