…And not the Minister of Finance, as is currently defined in the bill ”The Fund to Manage the State`s Income from Tax on Gas Profits.” The change would prevent a situation where the same body responsible for the state budget would also control the fund`s profits.
This came up at a first discussion of the Science and Technology Committee, headed by Knesset Member Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) that discussed the clauses of the bill.
Below are the main points that came up during the meeting by the chair or by other invitees. The government`s representatives were asked to attend the next discussion on the matter after having discussed the issue of their approach to the same points:
• It would be right to change the name of the law so it also consists of the term ”gas”.
• Change the demand that the minister of finance will stand at the head of the fund, and instead have the prime minister as the head of the fund, to avoid a situation where the minister responsible for the state budget will also be responsible for the fund.
• It is important to be clear on the law that the money of the fund will not be a substitute to the state budget, unless there is a very severe situation.
• To prevent a situation where every government will have its own interpretation of the words ”severe situation,” according to its political needs, it is needed to specify in the law what exactly is considered a ”severe situation.”
• In every case when money will be taken out of the fund to solve a severe problem for which the government does not have a budget source by law, it will be specified that the government has, after solving the problem, to return the money to the fund.”
• In the clause about the representatives at the fund council, it would be right to let also representatives who don`t come from the financial field to become members of the committee.
• On the clause that says those representatives should be elected by the prime minister, the minister of finance and the governor of Bank of Israel, there should be a reference to what happens when there is a disagreement between the three.
• On the understanding that the money in the fund originate from the state`s natural resources, it would be right to examine the idea of using at least a part of the financial investments of the fund in the environmental field, even if it doesn`t bring to a maximization of the profits.
• Apart from the public representatives and the financial advisors and the fund council, there should also be a legal advisor who will support the committee on legal matters.