Cash grant for Hinterland and Riverain areas – President Ali
–Announces measures to aid homebuilding and farming
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali this afternoon announced several new measures that are expected to aid Guyanese in different areas, including through financial support; fertiliser support to farmers, home construction assistance to landowners and the removal of VAT on certain construction materials.
In a live broadcast on social media, the Head of State stated that a special one-off grant of $25,000 will be given to every single household in riverain and hinterland areas, which will place an additional $800m in total at their disposal.
This grant, the President noted, will aid many families who have been severely affected by recent rises in the cost of living.
He also announced that the Government will purchase $1b worth of fertiliser to be distributed to farmers to use in their planting and replanting activities. This initiative, he emphasised, will “significantly reduce input costs and help ensure scaled-up production and adequate supply of output which is critical to maintaining price stability”.
The two measures, he noted, will be financed from the special $5b allocated in Budget 2022 for the purpose of easing the impact of the rising cost of living, and will cost a total of $1.8b.
In addition to this, the President stated that Guyanese with house lots, who are having difficulties building, will soon be able to benefit from a new programme for homeowners. He pointed out that the Government is proposing to launch a Home Construction Assistance Facility, which is geared to aid home construction.
At the time of registration, the applicant will also select their preference from amongst three standard pre-designed model homes at a cost of $7m, $9m, and $12m, depending on the applicant’s income level.
The Government, the President explained, will support the applicant through the process of applying for bank financing to meet the cost of constructing the home, with the title to the house lot being pledged as collateral.
Additionally, the Government will undertake the construction of the home on behalf of the applicant and deliver to the applicant a completed home in accordance with the option selected.
“We expect that this measure will help to dramatically accelerate the capacity of Guyanese families to own and occupy their own home on house lots that they already own or that they have been allocated, but on which they are currently having difficulties managing the complex process of homeownership and access to financing.”
The President also announced the removal of VAT on additional construction materials.
“Most recently, we removed VAT on cement to reduce the cost of this critical input into home construction. We are now proposing to extend the removal of VAT to sheetrock and concrete board until the market stabilises. This measure is expected to cost $100m annually, but will provide critical additional relief to persons constructing their homes, in keeping with our Government’s strong commitment to making homeownership affordable to every single Guyanese family.”
He noted that the new initiatives represent just the latest instalment of measures that his Government is proposing to implement in an effort to improve the lives of all Guyanese.
“We will, of course, continue our close engagement and consultations with communities across the country, and we remain committed to addressing the needs and concerns of all the people of this beautiful country of ours.”