Finance Minister encourages Baroda to seek out further opportunities to expand
Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, March 17, 2021:
During a simple ceremony today at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, the Bank of Baroda was designated as a Mortgage Finance Company which will allow the financial institution to also offer home loans to prospective borrowers as well as provide another choice to those considering applying for a loan to construct homes. The event formed yet another aspect of Government’s housing drive and signaled its intention to ensure that its manifesto promise of providing 50,000 house-lots and assistance in providing homes for Guyanese is fulfilled.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal welcomed the bank on board as he also encouraged other financial institutions to join in the current development process while noting that investor confidence in the country is at an all-time high.
Minister Croal also spoke of the positive trickle-down effect investment in the sector would have on employment, the business and construction sectors.
Managing Director of the Bank of Baroda, Mr. Arun Kumar Gupta reflected on the Bank’s interest in participating in Government’s housing drive. He also noted that the bank has its historic presence in Guyana dating back to 1966.
Today is a special day for us after being in Guyana for the past 55 years….Bank of Baroda (Guyana) being registered as a Mortgage Finance Company, this is one of our greatest milestones,” Mr. Gupta stated.
While commending Guyana’s Government on their promise of distributing 50,000 house lots within the next five years, the Managing Director said the main reason the Bank joined in the drive was to assist in increasing access to mortgage financing for prospective home owners.
This will not only benefit home owners, but it will also boost the construction sector. Bank of Baroda looks forward to working hand in hand with the Government of Guyana to make its people comfortable homeowners and to continue with the development of the housing sector,” he added.
Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, His Excellency Dr. K.J. Srinivasa recalled that the Bank of Baroda had recognized Guyana becoming a growth and development story and that India decided that it could not miss the opportunity of playing a role in this process.
The High Commissioner posited that the countries would continue to work on various bilateral projects as he listed a wide range of projects for which his country is working closely with Guyana on implementing. Only recently India donated 80,000 Covid-19 vaccines to this country.
In the meantime, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said the designation of the bank as a Mortgage Finance Company proved to be another important step aimed at improving access to financing by Guyanese households for the purposes of acquiring and/ or constructing their own homes.
These various elements amongst others …form the parts of a comprehensive policy agenda articulated by this People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government with the objective of ensuring that Guyanese families can afford their own homes, can afford to have access to a plot of land, can afford to access the financing for the purposes of constructing their home and can therefore construct and occupy their own home. …we remain convinced that the acquisition of one’s own home is perhaps the single biggest achievement for any family,” the Senior Finance Minister noted.
Minister Singh expressed gratitude to the Bank and to the Indian Government for ensuring that it played a role in Guyana’s development process which will be moving ahead at a rapid pace.
I am pleased that High Commissioner took the time to also speak of the plans that are being rolled out in India with a similar objective to promote home ownership because this serves to demonstrate the universality of recognition given to how important it is for a family to own their own home. This is not something that we whimsically came up with. This is not something that we chose to do by chance …this is a carefully studied position,” the Senior Finance Minister explained as he reminded that there was a time when communities like Eccles, Diamond, Parfait Harmonie, Good Hope, Onderneeming…. ‘did not exist’.
Minister Singh concluded that those communities were a testimony to what can be achieved with ‘the right Government policies along with effort at the personal and individual or household level’ while adding that the financial institutions have played an important part as well.
Alluding to the housing drive events most recently at which Bank of Baroda officials were present, the Senior Finance Minister said, “we are pleased to know that the Bank of Baroda banner was present at those events….the Bank of Baroda has a special place in the Guyanese economic and financial landscape….it came to Guyana before Guyana gained independence and the bank stayed in Guyana throughout all of those years.”
Dr. Singh summed up his remarks by encouraging the bank to ensure that it continued to seek more opportunities to expand and participate in the vast development course being experienced currently in the country.
The Bank of Baroda’s designation as an approved Mortgage Finance Company was done in accordance with Section 15 of the Income Tax Act, Cap. 81:01 of the Laws of Guyana.