NIS outreach extremely productive – Minister Singh

-over 60 per cent issues addressed

Over 100 persons on Saturday left the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) outreach in Region Two, with a number of their age-old issues resolved.

Minister Singh having one on one discussion with resident

The outreach was led by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.

Minister Singh said the exercise was extremely productive, noting that the entity was able to address over 60 per cent of the cases, either on site, or by determining a course of action that would be brought to conclusion before the end of the year.

The minister said he also noticed significant improvement in the handling of cases by the insurance scheme.

“Of course, there is still a lot more work still to be done, and I would have explained I would ideally like to get to a point where these outreaches are no longer needed because the scheme is able to establish structures to be able to address these matters. But, until we get to that point, I do not mind, and I am happy to do these outreaches time and time again if they are necessary,” Minister Singh stated.

The minister explained that government will continue to work until the inherited stock of delayed matters are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.

To date, the NIS has conducted outreaches in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten. The minister said the outreaches will continue and expand to other regions.

Luciani Abrams

Abdool Azaad Sattaur was one of the persons who benefitted from the outreach exercise. Sattaur said he had been running ‘back and forth’ to NIS for nine years to address his missing contributions. He was one of many who had a one-on-one discussion with Minister Singh, who listened and made an on-the-spot decision.

“The minister tell me that he will help me to get all the things, so I am hoping that he gets something for me,” Sattaur said.

“The process was so good and I feel really happy. The minister came and I am satisfied with what he told me because other people did not give me that satisfaction and it is very good that the minister came and he had a frank discussion with me, listen to my story. So, hopefully I will get something… I am a poor man and I need that little small piece every month to buy something or pay bills. I am hoping somebody helps me get my record straight and put me in order,” Sattaur explained.

Six years ago, Luciani Abrams lost her husband to an accident. Since then, Abrams said she has been trying to get survivor’s benefit from NIS but was unsuccessful on every occasion. The widow said it was only recently she began making headway and was able to receive her pension book from Minister Singh.

On Saturday, apart from receiving her book which will now see her receiving a monthly pension, Abrams also received all the money owed to her over the six-year period.

“I feel good and happy, really good… many days I used to cry because I did not have nobody to help me,” Abrams said.

Robin Persaud said he was employed at General Engineering Supply and Repairs for 13 years, but the company failed to pay any contribution on his behalf.  Following Saturday’s interaction with Minister Singh, Persaud is one step closer to receiving the money owed to him.

“He never paid any money, so the people are trying to make some adjustments to see what they can do and they said they will carry him to court… they asked me if I want to be paid as self-employed and they will waive all the interest. At least that is reasonable and they told me I have to write a letter so somebody is doing that right now,” he said.

As it relates to how Minister Singh handled the matter, Persaud said “he is doing a reasonable job. The way he talked is justified. He was not one sided, he was fair on both side.”

Muneshwar Samaroo

Meanwhile for Muneshwar Samaroo, the seven years of trying to get his pension are finally over.

“I was getting a lot of push around with NIS with my contribution. I worked from since 1986 with GUYSUCO to 2008, and they are not finding all my contributions, but thank God I was keeping my pay slips, is that help me out today, and I will get through with my contributions… today’s process was the best, I feel satisfied than all the rest of years I used to come and get push around,” Samaroo explained.