–Vice-President Jagdeo says workers involved in ‘unscrupulous acts’ will be fired
THE government has established a mechanism which would allow persons who suffered losses as a result of flooding to verify their names, persons who were left off of the list to have their names added, and pave the way for an investigation into discrepancies related to the distribution of the flood-relief grants.
This programme will run for a month, and will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, according to Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo, during a meeting with stakeholders at the Rose Hall Estate Community Ground, on Monday.
As part of the investigation into the matter, members of the public with information on persons who did not qualify for the grant but benefited, are advised to contact the Agriculture Ministry to aid in the process.
Vice-President Jagdeo said that this programme is a direct response to “unscrupulous acts” by a few persons to undermine the successful rollout of a carefully thought-out support programme, which was announced in July 31, 2021, for farmers who were hard hit by flooding during the period of April to June this year.
Jagdeo said that assessments, with the aid of regional organisations, were done and a support programme valuing $8 billion was carefully crafted to help some 60,000 in various categories of households and farmers.
A no-hold barred Jagdeo made it clear that government employees who are found to have engaged in corrupt and unscrupulous activities will have their services terminated.
“We hired people to look out for our (the government’s) interest to verify it (the compilation of names of proposed beneficiaries),” he said.
On July 31, 2021, the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led government made available almost $8 billion to assist persons severely affected by flooding – a measure that was in response to a commitment made.
Cash of $100,000 was to be issued to homestead farmers, $50,000 to those with kitchen gardens and $50,000 to affected households; this amounted to over $3.5 billion.
There was a ceiling of $10 million in compensation for rice farmers. Those farmers who lost rice, which was ready to be harvested, were to receive $80,000 per acre.
Those with rice sowed were to receive $65,000 per acre and those with land prepared were to receive $45,000 per acre. In addition, to this support, 60,000 bags of seed paddy were to be made available. Aggregately, this initiative cost $3.2 billion.
Affected livestock farmers were to receive $600 million. Subsistence farmers, small farmers, medium farmers, and large-scale farmers were targeted for support.
In addition to these direct transfers, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) were to assist through genetic improvements, drainage and irrigation works, technical support, and extension services to the approximate value of $500 million.