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– Jagdeosays only some GT residents left to receive COVID grant
Though Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said that over GYD$7.8 billion has been pumped into the country through the COVID-19 cash grant, there are still many Guyanese who have not received their entitled $25,000 or the pink slip (forms) issued when there is a challenge and distributor has promised to return.
The Opposition and the media have been highlighting these shortcomings to the point where President Irfaan Ali has called on the Auditor General, Deodat Sharma to conduct an audit into the administering of the grants.
However, this call was made since December 2020 and the Opposition has stated that the Auditor General is yet to indicate whether he intends to commence such.
On Tuesday at a press conference, Jagdeo acknowledged that some persons have been given the ‘pink slip’ which suggests that they faced some issue but he said that these challenges will not be addressed until after the ongoing distribution is completed.
Also, according to the Vice President, everywhere else but all of Georgetown has received their grants amounting to some 314,000 persons.
“Georgetown is now ongoing. All of the other areas — East Coast, East Bank, all the other regions – have been completed except Georgetown. That will go to the end and then we will look at still the pink form. For many people, remember there was one cheque per household and then others in the household were given a pink form to fill up. We would go back and investigate whether those were legitimate separate families and they too will get their grant once they complete the first round of the process,” he said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon claimed just weeks ago that, from reports received, the distribution agents are primarily political activists and appear to be working under instruction to skip over certain communities or households.
“Thousands of households are being denied [and] bypassed. Guyanese who are suffering and who are entitled have been complaining that they have not received the grant even though, in many instances, the distribution agents have visited their areas and some of them actually live to next to these agents who are distributing the grants,” the Opposition Leader reported.
However, though he has called for the audit, President Ali has stated that he has not received any formal reports of persons not receiving the cash grant.