x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Bounced cheque laws under scrutiny at FNC

Policies which often land offenders in jail will be scrutinised following long-standing demands for reform.

ABU DHABI // The country's policies on bounced cheques will come under scrutiny at a Federal National Council (FNC) session tomorrow.

It follows long-standing demands for the reform of the rules governing bounced cheques, which often land offenders in jail.

A high-ranking member of the FNC's finance committee said the country should avoid jailing bounced cheque offenders and called instead for a restriction of their ability to carry out bank transactions.

After a set number of violations, the individual should have his account closed and the Central Bank should be informed to bar him from setting up new bank accounts elsewhere, the FNC member, Yousef al Neaimi, said.

Critics often say that bounced cheque rules that result in jail time are unforgiving and those who fall afoul of the rules often cannot pay back their obligations and choose to flee the country rather than contend with the rules.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, is expected to outline the UAE's policies in a written response to the FNC.

Sheikh Saif is also expected to address concerns over the UAE's demographic imbalance, outlining the country's strategy to deal with lop-sided population figures in which UAE citizens are a minority in their own country.