BREAKING: Cash grant for hinterland communities; free fertiliser for farmers; home-ownership assistance

Last Updated on Monday, 16 May 2022, 17:26 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Monday announced that there would be a special one-off cash grant of $25,000 to households in riverain and hinterland communities as well as the purchase of GY$1 billion in fertiliser for free distribution to farmers.

The cost of the one-off cash-grant would amount GY$800 million because they have been “particularly affected by the cost of living,” he said.

He said that would be financed from the GY$5 billion allocated in the National Budget to cushion the impact of rising cost of living due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “In order to cushion the impact of the rising cost of fertiliser on farmers and to limit the pass-through to food prices, my government would be purchasing $1 billion worth of fertiliser for free distribution to farmers for use in their planting and replanting activities,” he said. With fertiliser accounting for 15 to 30 percent of operational costs, Dr. Ali said the free fertiliser initiative would significantly reduce input costs and help scale up production and adequate supply “which is critical for maintaining price stability.”

He also announced that government would work with house-lot owners, whether house-lots were allocated by government or privately acquired, to secure financing, construction and delivery of predesigned houses worth GY$7 million, GY$9 million and GY$12 million. He explained that house-lot owners would have to register at a unit to be established after which they would assist them to apply for bank financing.

The President indicated that government would examine the possibility of “releasing resources” for the initial phases and would also construct complete homes. “We expect that this measure will help to drastically accelerate the capacity of Guyanese families to own and occupy their own home and houselots that they have already owned or they have been allocated but on which they are currently having difficulties managing the complex process of home-ownership and also having access to financing,” he said.

The President also announced the removal of Value Added Tax from sheet rock.