Finance Ministry moves against tardy student-loan debtors
- only $23M of $1.9B repaid so far

Stabroek News
January 18, 2000

Cabinet is considering an application by Minister with responsibility for Finance, Saisnarine Kowlessar, to temporarily withhold the loan certificates of graduates of the University of Guyana (UG) pending an investigation to single out delinquent student-loan debtors.

The minister also proposed that loans should only be granted to those students who have not accessed any for previous courses of study, except where the earlier course led to a diploma being attained and the follow-up programme would lead to a first degree. Students who register for the Masters programmes and are over the age of 45, or are special students will only be considered for loans upon direct application to the secretary to the treasury, who may determine an appropriate repayment plan.

This was revealed in a press release from the Guyana Information Services (GIS), which also said that out of a total $1.9 billion in loans disbursed only about $23 million was repaid. This represents about 0.012% of the loans disbursed.

Graduates, the release indicated, who are no longer registered at the university invariably do not honour their contractual arrangements.

The release disclosed that former students are uplifting their certificates by presenting a clearance form to the University's Administration. On this form, the Students' Loan Agency is asked to certify that the student has completed a loan agreement. Consequently beneficiaries under the Students Loan Arrangement received their certificate whilst they have not yet arranged to commence repayment of the loans disbursed to them.

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