GPL subsidy for pensioners to be implemented by September – Webster

The subsidy to assist pensioners to pay for their Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) electricity bills is expected to be implemented by September this year.

According to a release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), on a National Communications Network programme, Minister of Human Services and Social Security Jennifer Webster indicated that the ministry has been working with GPL to have all pensioners entitled to the government subsidy placed on the GPL data base. She explained that the system will use the same mechanism that was used for the water subsidy.

The minister explained that the subsidy of $20,000 annually will be paid to GPL and credited to the pensioner’s account to offset electricity bills up to that value. GPL will use the listing of names provided by the ministry and match it with their own data base in order to compile a data base for the persons to benefit from the subsidy.

GINA said that GPL recently reported that it had identified more than 6,000 pensioners on its customer base who will benefit from the government’s annual provision of $20,000 as assistance for the payment of electricity charges. The company has so far received from the ministry a list of 12,000 pensioners from Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Minister Webster encouraged pensioners to make contact with the ministry, the Probation and Social Services office in their region or the GPL office in their region in order to benefit from the offer. Pensioners are to take along their national identification card, their pension book and their GPL bill.

She was quoted as saying, “We are working to ensure that the process is concluded as soon as possible in a coherent manner.”

GINA said that the sum of $590M has been allocated in the 2013 Budget for this annual benefit afforded to pensioners.

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