Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik issued Royal Decree No. 2/2024 establishing the National Fund for Emergencies (NFE).
Article (1) stipulates that an independent fund named “National Fund for Emergencies (NFE)” shall be established in the Ministry of Finance, with the prime aim of addressing emergencies and natural disasters, like climatic conditions, floods, earthquakes and other risks that might impact the country or cause damage to public utilities and public infrastructure.
The NFE will undertake the following missions:
1. Lending support to the realization of the general policy related to procedures necessary for tackling emergencies.
2. Providing essential funding in accordance with actual needs to secure the restoration of normalcy to public life after the occurrence of an emergency.
Article (2) states that the resources of the NFE shall consist of the following:
1. Allocations dedicated to the NFE in the State’s General Budget.
2. Donations and contributions accepted by the Minister of Finance.
3. Revenues of investments of the NFE. 4. Any other resources approved by the Council of Ministers.
Article (3) states that the Minister of Finance shall issue the decisions necessary for regulating the NFE and that the minister shall possess all powers to run the fund and achieve its objectives, notably the measures listed below:
1. Devising and following up the implementation of the general policy of the NFE.
2. Managing the funds of the NFE, approving its investment plans within the context of established investment policies and endorsing the rules that regulate the investment of the NFE’s funds.
3. Forming the NFE’s permanent committees and ad hoc panels in a manner that achieves the fund’s goals.
4. Drafting rules and determinants for awarding projects necessary for achieving the fund’s objectives.
5. Endorsing reports on the NFE’s fiscal position.
6. Drafting an Emergency Report after the emergencies are over and their related missions accomplished, while at the same time liaising with the departments concerned to conduct research and studies to gain insights on limiting future risks of such emergencies.
7. Regulating the reception of cash donations from companies, establishments or individuals during emergencies and in the aftermath of emergencies or natural disasters.
8. Opening one or more accounts for the NFE in banks within Oman and abroad, with the aim of directing the depositing of funds allocated to the NFE from the State’s General Budget and donations, in addition to disbursing from the same.
Article (4) stipulates that the NFE shall have an independent annual budget whose surplus shall be carried forward, year after year, but not to the State’s General Budget.
Article (5) states that the NFE’s funds are deemed public funds subject to the provisions of the Penal Law, State’s Financial and Administrative Audit Law, the system for collecting taxes, fees and other dues to which the units of the State’s Administrative Apparatus are eligible.
Article (6) states that, without prejudice to the provisions of Article (5) of this decree, the decisions issued by the Minister of Finance and the contracts that the minister concludes within the framework of immediate and direct handling of the emergency situation — in order to achieve the objectives of the NFE — are exempt from all general and special provisions stipulated in the laws and Royal decrees.
Article (7) stipulates that it is not permissible to spend money from the NFE for purposes other than those for which the fund was established.
Article (8) cancels all that contravenes this decree or contradicts its provisions.
Article (9) says that this decree shall be published in the Official Gazette and enforced from the day following its date of publishing. -ONA
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