NIS payments no longer a condition for UG student loan write-off

Last Updated on Friday, 17 May 2024, 0:54 by Writer

The Guyana government on Thursday announced that National Insurance Scheme (NIS) contributions would no longer be required for write-offs of student loans to University of Guyana (UG) graduates, three days after the announcement.

“We want to make this easy for our people and other students who have outstanding loans. We don’t want to put in conditions that will create or minimise the impact of this initiative which we believe will benefit a lot 0f people,” Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo told a news conference.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that the first phase of the student loans debt write-off would amount to GY$11 billion.

Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh had on May 13 said the write-offs would have been linked to a minimum of 156 NIS contributions as evidence that graduates were employed or self-employed in Guyana for at least three years.

But, Mr Jagdeo said government took into consideration that employed graduates might not have paid NIS, might have worked three years in Guyana or been unemployed and remained in Guyana. “You will still be eligible for that write-off so you don’t have to provide that evidence of 156 contributions to the NIS,” he said.

He said government would be considering how to deal with student loans that had been borrowed from commercial banks and relatives to pursue studies at UG.

Both the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic and the opposition coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change had promised at the 2020 general and regional election campaign that they would reintroduce free university education.