The Karnataka Public Trusts Bill 2011 tabled in the Legislative Council on Tuesday seeks to bring non-religious trusts like those involved in alleviation of poverty, education, medical relief and social welfare under its purview.
Previously, charitable trusts in Belgaum, Dharwad, Haveri, Gadag, Bijapur, Bagalkot and Uttara Kannada came under the purview Bombay Public Trust Act 1950.
However, the Act was repealed following the enactment of the Karnataka Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act, 1997, resulting in a vacuum.
The bill provides for setting up of a district registration office in every district headed by a Deputy Public Trust Commissioner (DPTC). All trusts have to register with their jurisdictional DPTC.
Trustees of a public trust with an annual income exceeding a prescribed limit (yet to be stipulated) will have to submit their annual budget with the DPTC.
Medical facilities for poor
The new legislation will enable the State to direct trusts running hospitals and getting aid from the government to earmark beds and essential medical facilities to the poor either free of charge or at concessional rates. The government can direct the trusts to reserve 10 per cent of operational beds for the poor.
The provisions of the bill provide for seeking the permission of the government for alienation of property of the trust besides inspection and supervision of trusts.
There will also be provision to file an appeal on decisions taken by the DPTC with the Public Trust Commission, headed by a a retired high court judge.
According to official sources, the State has over 5,600 non-religious charitable trusts.M ost of them run educational institutions or hospitals.