More money approved for GuySuCo, expanded ‘Because We Care’ cash grant

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A sum of more than $3.8 billion was approved by the National Assembly on Thursday to offset the out-of-crop expenses for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and to finance the one-off $250,000 cash grant paid to severed sugar workers.

The one-off grants have been provided to more than 5,200 severed sugar workers and total $1.3 billion; the out-of-crop support totals $2.3 billion. A sum of $236 million was also allocated for drainage and irrigation works.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha stated that the out-of-crop support for GuySuCo includes monies for wages and salaries, fuel, pension and other needs.

While responding to questions from members of the opposition, Minister Mustapha stated that these supplementary funds are being sought because a number of emergency works were done throughout the year. Those works, he explained, required the use of the sum budgeted in the 2021 National Budget.

The $3.8 billion is part of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill No. 2 of 2021.

Additionally, the National Assembly approved an additional $285.1 million for the provision of the ‘Because We Care’ cash grants to private school children.

This year, this cash grant was pegged at 19,000 per child since it is a combination of a $15,000 grant and a $4,000 uniform voucher. Initially, a sum of $3.2 billion was allocated to adequately cater for the total cash grant distribution to all public school children.

But, when that distribution commences, many families with children in private schools called for the grant to be extended to them. And so, it was.

An additional total of $31 million was requested for cash grants to nursery school children, $175 million to primary school children, and $77.9 million for secondary school children.

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