GEORGETOWN, Guyana–December 12th 2020–President Mohamed Irfaan Ali said that members of the Guyana Defence Force will get two weeks tax-free bonus in their next pay check.
The Head of State made this announcement on Friday, as he shared Christmas lunch with GDF ranks in the border community of Kaikan, in Region Seven (Cuyuni- Mazaruni).
“Even with the difficulties of the pandemic, the slope of the recovery expenditure, the reorganizing of the budget to facilitate resources to mitigate issues surrounding the pandemic…we are still going to deliver to our men and women in uniform. I have asked to be included in your next pay slip, two weeks of tax-free bonus for all of our men and women in uniform.”
The President was however swift to assure the soldiers that it was the first of many such opportunities on the horizon for them. He said that his Government will ensure that the quality of life of the ranks and their families improve.
“This is the start of many opportunities that will come your way…. I assure you that we are not only concentrating on a bag of goodies at Christmas time, but we are concentrating on lifetime change, lifetime opportunities. And I assure you that during my tenure in office, your life and your family’s lives will be better and you will be better equipped for the future.”
President Ali told the ranks that come next year, the Government will also be making available 20,000 new scholarships, which will be done online. He said that this will give persons, including the soldiers stationed in far-flung areas, equal access to educational opportunities.
“Importantly, many of these diplomas, degrees and certificates will be achieved through distance or online training… And I assure you all in this location; our health workers, our teachers that these opportunities will meet you and you will be able to achieve your educational goals even in these locations, even with the difficulties of the pandemic.”
The President also challenged the officers present to find consensus and to select three most eligible ranks from amongst themselves for University of Guyana scholarships.
He reiterated that as the economy expands so too will salaries and opportunities. He emphasized though that it is only through unity and strength that citizens will be able to collectively appreciate and enjoy the benefits of the prosperity ahead.
He said that the time for hope is over and that now is the time to achieve. “The task is ours to look ahead, not with optimism, not with hope and dreams, but to look ahead with the commitment to achieving those dreams and aspirations.”