Emergency funding for Student Revolving Loan Fund
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Tuesday announced a cash injection of $5 million for the financially struggling Student Revolving Loan Fund.
Barbadian students seeking financial support from the state agency to pursue further studies were being turned down in what appeared to be a blanket rejection, with the Fund said to be broke.
Barbados TODAY was informed last week that all of those whose applications had come up for consideration were rejected without explanation.
In his presentation of the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposal this afternoon, Sinckler admitted that the Fund was currently facing some challenges while it awaited the receipt of funds through a facility from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
He said the unexpected delay in accessing the needed funding had created a situation where some new applicants were unable to receive the funding for studies in the upcoming academic year.
“Due to the urgency of the situation and so as not to disadvantage these students, the Retraining Fund Account which is managed by the NIS [National Insurance Scheme] will be invited to invest in a special Treasury Bill Issue of $5 million to provide an immediate injection to the Student Revolving Loan Fund,” he announced during the three-hour presentation.
The Minister of Finance explained that the Retraining Account was set up with initial financing of $10 million to provide grants for persons who had become unemployed and wanted to retool.
He said over the years there had been very little use of these funds and the account presently had $9.45 million in assets.
“The Treasury Bills will be retired and the account refunded when the expected funds are sourced,” he said of the monies expected from the CDB.