Some 2,225 workers in the National Reforestation Programme will be paid $22 million in wages for August and September, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat told Newsday yesterday.
He said these workers are employed by 65 contractors working across the country to re-plant forests on State lands.
Rambharat said that after some delays in payment in August, Cabinet had approved funding to the end of September that his ministry will access through the Ministry of Finance.
He said the programme’s structure had led to problems every other month for workers to get paid.
In past years some reforestation workers had not been paid until October, that is, after the National Budget. “We try to avoid that now. They’ll be paid up to the end of September and then we go int a new Budget cycle.”
A ministry statement said recent delays every month in the payment of wages were due to a shortfall in the funding of the programme.
It said the settlement of all outstanding wages will be treated with a matter of urgency. The statement added, “Senator Rambharat expresses sincere apologies ‘for the delay in the payment of wages’ and he thanks them for their patience.”