Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, December 22, 2020:
1. Emphasizes need for timely processing of claims and payments of benefits.
2. Notes level of work needed for financial viability to return to Scheme.
The recently-announced new National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Board yesterday held its maiden meeting at the NIS complex, Carifesta Avenue where Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh was in attendance advising the Scheme’s board of the level of work needed and the challenges ahead in relation to the various problems to be addressed at the Scheme.
The Minister first thanked the Chairman, Mr. Ramesh Persaud and Board members in attendance for accepting the appointments as he also outlined some of his Government’s expectations in terms of the work necessary to return NIS to financial viability.
Over the last several years, we have seen the progressive decline of the Scheme. The NIS faces a number of challenges at the macro level and has come under severe threat. It is therefore going to take a lot of work to return the Scheme to long term financial viability,” the Senior Minister reiterated.
He also emphasized the level of importance his Government has placed on NIS, reminding the Board that pensioners and retirees look forward to their pension in a timely manner while current contributors expect to receive their benefits promptly.
Minister Singh related the Government’s grave concern at the number of complaints received from contributors about delays in receiving their benefits and entitlements, sometimes as a result of incomplete records of their contributions to the Scheme. As such, he tasked the Board with addressing this problem immediately, with a view to ensuring that public satisfaction with the level of service provided by the NIS improves urgently. Just over a week ago the Minister announced the appointment of former Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman, Mr. Ramesh Persaud as new Chairman of the NIS Board. Mr. Persaud is also currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED) and also serves as a member of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) Board. The other members of the Board are Ms. Holly Greaves (ExOfficio), Mr. Faizal Jaffarally, Ms. Yvonne Pearson, Mr. Maurice Solomon, Mr. Satanand Gopie, Ms. Kathleen Jason, Mr. Seepaul Narine and Ms. Jillian Burton-Persaud.