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Govt to stamp out social services fraud

Monday, March 28, 2011

Government is moving full speed ahead to reduce the level of fraud plaguing its social services programmes. This announcement was made by Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh, the Minister of the People and Social Development, when he toured the Freeport area on Friday. Ramadharsingh said a system using fingerprints of a beneficiary on a biometric data card would be introduced in six months. He said this would prevent fraudsters from registering for similar benefits under various social benefit programmes offered by his ministry and other state agencies.  Ramadharsingh said he estimates that fraud takes a bite as much as 15 per cent of revenue from the system, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.

Ramadharsingh said more people are graduating from the conditional cash transfer programme or TT card.  This programme gives a food grant to beneficiaries. The Minister said several beneficiaries have found jobs or have become self employed. As much as 503 people are expected to come off the grant this month. Ramadharsingh said he plans to put HIV/ Aids on the front burner when he starts his tour of depressed communities.  He said HIV was on the rise, with a 40 per cent increase in cases among women.


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