While the Government had estimated 5000 beneficiaries for the one-off grant for fisherfolk, officials are now finding that this number is almost double.
The current list shows that some 9000 persons have registered to receive this one-off payout and this number could still potentially increase as there have been reports of cases where persons were turned away from registering.
“When we plan it we had around 5000 fishermen but now we see the list is about 9000,” he said.
A verification process is ongoing to determine whether the 9000 persons are indeed supposed to receive this grant; however at this time, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha says he is hopeful the list actually reflects the legitimate beneficiaries.
"The verification process for the fishermen lasted for about three months because we did not want it to happen as the flood relief […] We hope that this here is the true reflection of fisherfolk across the country.”
At this stage, the Minister is depending on other fisherfolk to help remove persons who should not receive this benefit.
Minister Mustapha's call to the fisherfolk was also backed by Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo who told the gathering it is important that the rightful beneficiaries receive this grant, since it is no secret that the fishing community has been facing challenges.
The Government has continuously made it clear, it is committed to ensuring cash grants are distributed in a free and transparent manner.
In May, President Irfaan Ali announced the one off cash grant valued at $150,000.