(GuyanaChronicle)PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Wednesday, officially confirmed that members of the joint services will be receiving their one month tax-free bonus this year, and also informed the ranks that they could also access on-the-spot home loan approvals at a special joint services housing assistance event that will be held at Camp Ayanganna on December 28.
During the housing assistance event, ranks who already own lands, will be able to get free assistance with their house plan designs, sign up for the ongoing government cement and steel assistance programme, and meet with various lending institutions including the New Building Society, where their loan applications will be processed on spot.
The President made those announcements during the Guyana Defence Force’s (GDF) Annual Christmas Luncheon at Camp Ayanganna. The President lauded the ranks for their commitment and love for their country and people.
“We had some difficult years when your one month annual bonus was taken away. You remember that? So, in keeping with our commitment to our men and women in uniform again I wish to announce your one month bonus for this year,” the President said to resounding applause from the ranks.
The one month tax-free bonus for the joint services will be in addition to the eight per cent increase that ranks benefitted from along with other public servants. This is also an added benefit to the adjusted salary scales that will take effect from January, 2023.
“We are not building a divided Guyana, we are building a singular Guyana in which the aspirations of every Guyanese must be realised with personal and collective commitment to our country and our communities,” Dr. Ali said.
The President reassured persons that prosperity is coming to all of Guyana, and the members of the Joint Services in particular, will not be left out.
“You are committed to giving your all, living your life in sacrifice for this great country we call Guyana, and we all collectively salute you and your family. You and your family will enjoy a better life in this country of ours. This I assure you,” the President pledged.
Assisting the ranks with getting much closer to home ownership is one way the government believes will greatly contribute to the benefit and upliftment of persons in uniform.
“In the New Year, you can move to owning your own homes and developing your own homes for your family. This is how we’re committing ourselves to your development. This is not only for you, this will be across the board for all your men and women in uniform… all our men and women across the joint services,” the President said.
The President noted that he was particularly proud of the GDF, and the performance of many of the ranks when participating in overseas training and learning programmes.
According to the Head of State, over the past year, Guyana has sent more than 500 men and women in uniform for international exposure in countries such as the US, India and Brazil. He noted that due to the high performance of the ranks, the countries have increased the number of training spots that they give out to Guyana.
“Training in the US and Brazil has more than doubled, in the case of India it’s more than tripled. This is a tremendous accomplishment,” the President said.
He went on to relate: “These are new opportunities that come because of our commitment to working with our international partners in creating opportunities for you.
But more importantly building our international image and international partnership so that our men and women in uniform can benefit from the experience of the international stage.”
The President highlighted that over 45 per cent of the GDF officers have attained an undergraduate degree, while more than 82 per cent of the majors have some level of postgraduate education.
The GDF, the President said, had been undergoing much rebranding over the past two years, and he is pleased to see how the Force has evolved.
“These are things you don’t find in any other military and this is because we believe strongly in giving you an opportunity to educate yourself. An opportunity to build a career outside of the military. To give you an opportunity to enhance your personal capabilities and competence. This is important in your own lives,” the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces said.
Dr. Ali affirmed that the government is making moves to continue to enhance the structure of the military, in all of the various departments.