President Ali promises an audit of COVID-19 cash grant
Kaieteur News – President Irfaan Ali has promised an audit of the $ 25,000 COVID-19 cash grants currently being distributed.
This came after concerns were raised that there may be discrepancies in distribution.
In September, the President had announced that all households would receive the $ 25,000 cash grant, to mitigate the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subsequently, distribution began later in September with residents of Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo Upper) benefiting first. They were said to be given priority due to the fragile economic conditions of those hinterland regions.
On Thursday, the President indicated that he had instructed the Office of the Auditor General to conduct an audit that will check whether or not the money grants were distributed properly.
He further revealed that he had asked the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General to examine the concerns highlighted on social media and by Opposition members, about individuals not receiving their cash grants .
According to Ali, a two-tier system has been implemented for full transparency. “The RE [Auditor General] going back from house to house to make sure the houses match the payments made and the second tier, which will include checking the pink slip applicants to confirm the extra families in the home, ”says Ali .
He also noted that if any household did not receive their grant, they can contact the distribution team and many will also be published in the media so that members of the public can alert the relevant authorities in the event of loss of homes.
In the 2020 National Budget, the government allocated $ 4.5 billion for the COVID-19 relief program. Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) is the last region to receive the cash grant and about $ 3.4 billion has been set aside for distribution in that region.