September 28, 2016

Govt yet to act on recommendations to recover billions

Though there are a number of recommendations before them, Cabinet is yet to meet and discuss a way forward to recover loansthe billions of dollars owed by students to the University of Guyana (UG).
This is according to Finance Minister Winston Jordan, who during a news conference on Wednesday, disclosed that Cabinet has not extensively discussed the matter.
“There are a plethora of matters before Cabinet that have wide implications and they cannot be addressed in a couple of hours,” he said, reminding that Cabinet only meets once a week.
He noted that there are several recommendations but declined to elaborate on the proposals.
According to Jordon, Cabinet is yet to comprehensively discuss those recommendations. However, the Minister said Government is considering setting aside time to host special sessions in order to deal with the matters that keep piling up.
In Budget 2016, Government did not allocate any monies for student loans. According to the Minister, the student loan will continue as a revolving fund.
“Last year, the student’s loan agency had accumulated enough money for the fund to now revolve so the fund is revolving, so there’s no need for Government contribution at this time,” he had stated.
In a 2015 post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Jordan had announced that the revolving student loan fund had sufficient cash flow and could stand on its own to facilitate loans for students at the university. This, he noted, could have been done since its inception in 1994.
When the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change coalition was in Opposition, they had slashed $450 million from the student loan budget that was allocated that year. However, this move was challenged in the High Court by former Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh and was restored by Chief Justice Ian Chang.

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