Use banking system – Human Services Minister urges pensioners

-as Region Four senior citizens benefit from Govt’s $25,000 one-off grant

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, MP, is advising pensioners to utilise the banking system to remove the hassle of accessing their pensions.

The minister made the call on Monday, as she overlooked the distribution of the Government’s one-off $25,000 cash grant and distribution of the 2022 pension books in Region Four.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud and a pensioner during the launch of the one- off cash grant in Region Four

“I would like to encourage people to use the banking system because that takes away completely the need to go anywhere. Money is deposited within the first five days of the month, and if you are on the banking system your voucher money will be deposited as well, so for those people it is a very simple process.”

Pensioners can look forward to receiving their booklets early starting from this year onwards, Minister Persaud pointed out. 

“For the first time we are giving pensioners their booklet for the following year this early, and we plan to do this every year so just after mid-year people will be starting to get their booklet so they are ready for the new year in this year already.”

DPI, spoke to several pensioners who commended the government for the extra assistance.

Florence Pryce said, “I am very grateful to the Government of Guyana, the Human Services for this kind gesture to these old people who are sitting down here this morning. And I can see from the faces of these pensioners sitting here how grateful and appreciative they are for this little offering that the government and the human services is giving to us.”

“It benefits me because I have bills to pay, I don’t work, I am a pensioner and I have a family of five, my wife and three children and it will help in grocery line, other things. I mean it won’t do but it going to help me a great lot and I look forward for during the year we can get some more. We are thankful for the government and the PPP/C,” said Romel Sooknanan.

Pensioners following procedure to uplift the one-off cash grant in Region Four

Rocky Singh shared similar sentiments, “Well, I feel good because half a loaf of bread is better than none, and I am a pensioner and it is going to take me a long way. It will benefit in a lot of ways because of the COVID. Now I will get to do certain things and I will know how to spend it and take my time and know how to use it.”

“I feel good because the high cost of living right now with the COVID it will come in good to pay bills, buy food stuff, right now I am trying to pay off for my land so that is what it going towards,” said Annette Kendell.

Another pensioner, Cealia Kellam-Thomas told DPI, “I feel happy. That’s very nice at least we will know how to gather up, put together and do our little stuff what we have to do and to buy because we are pensioners, we are not working.”

Additionally, several measures are being taken to improve the payments of pensions to the elderly, such as home deliveries for shut-ins, who are unable to visit distribution centres.  Minister Persaud also urged the senior citizens to take advantage of this system.

The $25,000 one-off grant initiative is the brain child of President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, which will see 65,000 old age pensioners benefitting. In an address earlier this year, the President said the initiative will place more than $1.6 billion in the hands of pensioners.

The grant is also extended to persons living with disabilities and public assistance recipients.

The distribution for public assistance will commence in November. Pensioners are also advised to cash their grant before November, 30. 

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