President Ali announces 50% increase in stipend for toshaos

─ Senior and regional councillors to also benefit from the increase

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Monday, announced that Toshaos and Deputy Toshaos will get a 50% increase in their stipends, moving from $30,000 to $45,000, and $20,000 to $30,000 respectively.

The head-of-state was speaking at the opening ceremony of the five-day National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (NTC), Liliendaal.

Additionally, senior councillors of Amerindian communities will also benefit from an increase from $15,000 to $25,000, while the stipend for regional councillors from the 10 administrative regions will move from $10,000 to $30,000.

“These are commitments we have made and commitments we have fulfilled,” the president said, while reaffirming the administration’s commitment to the development and enhancement the living standard of Guyana’s first people.

President Ali noted that successive PPP/C governments have always believed in dialogue with indigenous leaders, as a means of identifying issues and devising solutions on how to advance the lives of the once marginalised group.

“…Not just because we want to do it, but because you are no different from the rest of the population, and you must be treated in the same respect with the same dignity and honour like all of the population. Those are the fundamental principles that we adhere to, that we support.”

This, the president said, is demonstrated in the continuous outreaches being held throughout the regions. He stated that so far, 97 per cent of Amerindian villages were reached by government ministers, along with other heads of agencies and departments.

He said village leaders have also supported government’s quest to meet every community. 

 “You are pushing together with us in breaking down the barriers, and the walls that separate development from you and the people of your community.”

The PPP/C Government, has invested more than $50 billion in the advancement of Amerindian communities and its people over the past two years, to improve health and education, water delivery, community infrastructure, agricultural support, tourism, youth, education and training, and social assistance for residents.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and toshaos participating in the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference

After a two-year hiatus, toshaos and other leaders from over 212 Amerindian villages are meeting in Georgetown to engage with the president and ministers, and other officials from various government agencies.

This year’s conference is being held under the theme ‘Good Governance and Fast-tracking Amerindian Development.’ Prime Minister, Hon. Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, M.P and other Ministers of Government and members of the diplomatic corps were present at the opening of the NTC.