Govt signs another loan agreement

first_imgFinance Minister Winston Jordan and World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Tahseen Khan…to provide technical assistance to oil & gas sectorThe Government of Guyana has inked another loan agreement, this time with the World Bank, which will be providing funds and support for Guyana to build its framework for overseeing the oil and gas sector.According to a statement from the Finance Ministry, the loan agreement was signed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan on Thursday with World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Tahseen Khan.“Minister Jordan noted the timely nature of the loan agreement as it sought to provide much-needed technical assistance to the emerging oil and gas sector,” the statement observed, adding that the money would build human resource capacity and strengthen institutional frameworks in the oil and gas sector.“Ms Khan said that the loan agreement will aid in building the capacity of key institutions, such as the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Finance, for prudent management of the oil revenues.”Jordan was accompanied by Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobind Ganga, Guyana’s Ambassador to USA Dr Riyad Insanally and Jason Fields from the Embassy of Guyana.Last year, a total of $333.2 million in capital funds was allocated by the Government for petroleum and energy management. The 2019 Budget estimates also detailed that current expenditure.This amount, among other things, which will go towards employment and other recurrent costs was $90.9 million. Specifically, wages and salaries were expected to cost the Treasury $20.5 million.With little over a year to go before first oil, Government has been criticised for the slow pace of preparation. For instance, critical measures like a national oil spill strategy; a constitutional agency to regulate the sector; a national oil company, a local content policy and a Sovereign Wealth Fund are either still in the planning stages or have only been discussed.This does not include several worrying fiscal indicators which have caused audit firm Ram and McRae to project reduced earnings from first oil for Guyana if these trends are allowed to continue.One such trend is the Government’s fiscal deficit, a case where monies are sourced more from loans than from revenue. According to the firm in its Budget Focus, Guyana risks less money going towards the Natural Resources Fund and more going towards making up for the deficit.When it comes to debt, it was only in February that Government announced it had signed two new loans with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), totalling US$31 million; monies that Government said will go towards areas of trade and energy.This was revealed by Minister of State Joseph Harmon during a press conference. Harmon revealed that Finance Minister Jordan signed the agreements on February 11.Part of the monies includes financing for a single window trade system which is meant to simplify transactions. Monies will also go towards improving service from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and other energy-related expenses.As of 2017, Guyana had a total public debt of $344.9 billion. According to the 2017 edition of the Public Debt Annual Report, this was an increase of 4.4 per cent in one year.Even though Guyana’s indebtedness to external creditors has increased, so has debt servicing (repayments). According to the Bank of Guyana Quarterly Report and Statistical Bulletin released last year, repayment of external debt grew by some US$24.3 million to US$85.3 million. This is a rate of 59.1 per cent when compared to the corresponding period of 2017.last_img read more

Sweet Taste for Bee Farmers in Western Jamaica

first_img It will directly benefit 36 bee farmers who are registered members of the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society and 190 bee farmers from the adjoining parishes. Story Highlights The 1,500 square-foot facility was officially handed over to the cooperative society by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) during a recent ceremony held at its location at the old Rural Agricultural and Development Authority (RADA) Parish Office Complex in Lucea, Hanover. Life should get a lot sweeter for more than 200 bee farmers in the western parishes who now have access to a new $27-million state-of-the-art honey-extraction and bottling facility – the first of its kind in Jamaica.By improving market access and increasing their earnings from the sale of honey, bee farmers in Hanover and the adjoining parishes of St. James, Trelawny and Westmoreland should enhance their livelihood significantly from the use of the plant.It will directly benefit 36 bee farmers who are registered members of the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society and 190 bee farmers from the adjoining parishes.The 1,500 square-foot facility was officially handed over to the cooperative society by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) during a recent ceremony held at its location at the old Rural Agricultural and Development Authority (RADA) Parish Office Complex in Lucea, Hanover.It has been outfitted with modern equipment, including frame honey extractors, stainless-steel storage tanks, settling tanks and honey strainers.Expressing his gratitude for the plant on behalf of the beneficiaries, Manager of the Cooperative Society, Winfield Murray, notes that it will serve to develop the local apicultural industry in the target parishes, by equipping bee farmers with the right tools to remain sustainable.He points out that the facility will provide proper storage, supply and logistics services and reduce waste by farmers in the use of other outputs from the hives, such as beeswax, propolis (bee glue), and pollen.“This, in turn, will enable bee farmers to access local and export markets and earn greater incomes for their effort,” he says.Mr. Murray tells JIS News that he is pleased that the facility will offer packaging services for bee farmers, which will ensure that honey and its by-products are prepared according to international agro food-processing safety standards.The facility has attained Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and related international food-safety certification.In addition, a series of comprehensive agro-processing training, including food safety, sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOP) and equipment maintenance, have been conducted with select community groups.Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, says the facility will provide a further boost to the fast-growing beekeeping industry, which provides direct employment for 3,000 families.He notes that the opening of the facility is in keeping with the Ministry’s emphasis on moving primary production of agricultural produce along the value chain towards full commercialisation.“This is my vision, where I want to see us move from just growing the raw material and exporting it. We have to move into the value chain; that is where the money is,” he says.JSIF’s Managing Director, Omar Sweeney, explains that the construction and equipping of the facility was facilitated under the Fund’s Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Project, which has the overall objective to improve market access for micro and small rural agricultural producers.He notes that the facility also affords bee farmers greater competitiveness, attracts new buyers, and allows entry to international markets as well as the opportunity to earn additional revenues from the production of high-quality by-products.The Government, through JSIF, provided funding for the project amounting to $23.3 million, while the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society contributed $3.7 million. Life should get a lot sweeter for more than 200 bee farmers in the western parishes who now have access to a new $27-million state-of-the-art honey-extraction and bottling facility – the first of its kind in Jamaica.last_img read more

Redknapp on Premier League title battle Its a three horse race

first_imgFormer Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes that three teams are in the running for this season’s Premier League titleAfter suffering shock back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City this month, Manchester City have slipped from top spot to third in the standings.Pep Guardiola’s side, who won the league crown in such dominant fashion last season, now find themselves seven points adrift of unbeaten leaders Liverpool.Redknapp’s old club Spurs aren’t doing badly either in second-place after beating Everton 6-2 at the weekend and Bournemouth 5-0 on Wednesday to extend their winning run to five matches.“I think it’s a three horse race,” Redknapp told talkSPORT. “Liverpool are the favourites now which is a big turnaround.“But Tottenham are in great form at the moment and they are genuine title contenders.“Spurs are still in it, you can’t write them off. They are bang there, the way they are playing at the moment.”Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.As for Chelsea and Arsenal, Redknapp doesn’t see how either of them can be considered contenders.“I can’t see anybody else getting into it,” added the 71-year-old.“I watched Arsenal yesterday and they are nowhere near in my opinion.“I know they’ve had injuries, but at the back they are still very poor.“And Chelsea are just so reliant on Eden Hazard. Without him you couldn’t really see them challenging, they’re still short of a frontman.“So really, I think there are three runners and I think it will be very tight.”Meanwhile, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher tipped his old club to take home a first league title in 28 years.last_img read more

Report Social Media Impacting BtoB Buying Process

first_imgA recent study by DemandGen Report is indicating that b-to-b buyers have changed the way they research and engage in the buying process. The budget creation, solution criteria and RFP distribution phases are being supplemented with a more peer-oriented approach that’s occurring through the use of social media and networking.The study, released earlier this month, was underwritten by Genius.com, a marketing automation services company. According to the study, which collected responses from more than 100 b-to-b solutions buyers, 78 percent of respondents who were involved in a purchase in the last 12 months said the process did not follow a “traditional path.” Instead, buyers are closely monitoring what other adopters in their markets are doing. Almost 60 percent of respondents said they engaged with peers who had already “addressed the challenge and learned more.”While vendor Web sites and search (70 percent each) are significant sources of influence for product research and selection, buyers are also counting Webinars (43 percent), whitepapers (54 percent), and social media (26 percent) as heavily-used resources. Among those using social media, discussion threads are a significant source (43 percent) of education. Respondents also indicated that they post questions on social networking groups (38 percent) and like to connect directly with vendors via social networking (21 percent).”Often, even before a buyer is really looking for a solution, they are looking for topical information to help solve business challenges and they want to know how their peers are addressing the challenge,” says Scott Mersy, vice president of marketing and products for Genius.com.An overview of the report is available here.last_img read more

Diversion of 1B to Border Wall Could Impact Future Budget Flexibility

first_img ADC AUTHOR Lawmakers warned Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan that Congress may limit DOD’s future flexibility in moving its funding between budgets following DOD’s decision to reprogram $1 billion of military personnel funding to spend on a U.S.-Mexico border wall without asking Congress first.The Pentagon notified Congress of the funding shift late Monday. The money comes from the recruitment budget of the Army, which did not use all its appropriated funding after falling short of its recruitment targets. It is being funneled to the Department of Homeland Security through DOD’s counterdrug account.The result of not asking Congress first “is likely that the Appropriations Committee in particular will no longer give the Pentagon reprogramming authority,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told Shanahan at a hearing Tuesday. “And I think that’s unfortunate, because you need it.”Shanahan said that was weighed as a risk even before the president declared the national emergency directing construction of a border wall.Smith and other Democrats are trying to block the $1 billion move, as Military Times reported.DOD will also be taking money from some military construction projects that have not yet been awarded, “but we don’t know what the next increment of funding will look like,” Shanahan said.Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class TaWanna Starkslast_img read more

Ariana Grande Families Of Manchester Victims Receive Support

first_img Manchester Concert Victims Receive Support ariana-grande-families-manchester-victims-receive-support Ariana Grande: Families Of Manchester Victims Receive Support The fund was initiated immediately following the terrorist attack, raising more than $23 million from the public and via Grande, who hosted the One Love Manchester benefit concert on June 4. With performances from Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, and Pharrell Williams, all proceeds from the One Love concert were donated to We Love Manchester. “The city and the world responded with such extreme kindness, generosity and solidarity in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack,” said Sue Murphy, the fund’s chair. “We will now spend some time looking at how we will distribute the rest of the funds. This will be a complex and sensitive process as we will need to assess the long-term impacts of the attack. We will issue an update as soon as we know more.”Grande also personally contributed to the cause through her music. The GRAMMY nominee re-released her Top 15 hit “One Last Time” and issued a cover of The Wizard Of Oz classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” with proceeds from both tracks benefiting victims of the concert attack.Hunter Hayes Celebrates Boys & Girls Club Recording Studio Twitter News Email NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Feb 17, 2016 – 4:25 pm Ariana Grande: 58th GRAMMY Fashion Cam Families of the people killed at May Manchester concert receive financial support from the We Love Manchester Emergency FundTim McPhateGRAMMYs Aug 16, 2017 – 9:03 am GRAMMY.comThe We Love Manchester Emergency Fund has announced that the families of the 22 people killed during the tragic May 22 Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, will each receive $324,000, according to a Billboard report. Facebook last_img read more

Taapsee Pannu takes a jibe at Kangana Ranaut using Rangolis sasti copy

first_imgKangana Rananut, Taapsee Pannu, Rangoli ChandelInstagramTaapsee Pannu may not want to indulge in any kind of argument with Kangana Ranaut or her sister Rangoli Chandel who had called her a ‘sasti copy’ of Kangana. But the Manmarziyaan actor couldn’t stop herself from taking a sly dig at the Ranaut sisters when a news publication termed Taapsee as the real queen of Bollywood.As soon as Taapsee came across the article which featured a juxtaposed image of her and Kangana, she replied to the tweet saying, “Arre arre! Aise mat boliye. Queen unhi ko rehne dijiye nahi toh phir copy kehlaugi, main ek actor his sahi hu bas aise hi mera sath dete rahiye. dhanyawad (Please don’t say like that. Let her [Kangana Ranaut] be the queen or else I’ll be called a copy again. I am happy being an actor. Just keep supporting like this. Thank you).”It all started when Taapsee took to Twitter to laud the trailer of Judgemental Hai Kya and didn’t mention anyone’s name (especially Kangana Ranaut’s name) in her appreciation tweet.”This is so cool!!!! Always had high expectations out of this one n this looks so worth it ! #JudgementallHaiKya,” Taapsee had tweeted.However, Rangoli had shot back at Taapsee for not praising Kangana in her tweet and went on to call her a ‘sasti copy of Kangana’.”Kuch log Kangana ko copy kar ke he apni dukaan chalate hain, magar pls note, they never acknowledge her not even a mention of her name in praising the trailer, last I heard Taapsee ji said Kangana needs a double filter and Tapsee ji you need to stop being a sasti copy (sic),” Rangoli had tweeted.While Taapsee chose to remain calm and quiet, director Anurag Kashyap had jumped to her defense. He told Rangoli that her tweet was in a very bad taste and looked really desperate for people’s appreciation.Later, when Taapsee was asked to comment on Rangoli’s insulting words, she said that she has decided not to react on Rangoli’s demeaning statements against her adding that she genuinely had no time to spare for it.last_img read more

Rashidul Hasans pen seal and memories

first_imgRashidul HasanMartyred intellectual Rashidul Hasan was picked up from his home 46 long years ago by the collaborators, the razakars, but the memory of that day remains fresh in the mind of his daughter Rokaiya Hasina. She was a student of class six then, in 1971. She is now in her fifties, but those last moments with her father seem just yesterday.Rokaiya had grasped her father’s right hand. One of the khaki-clad persons at the doorway had asked, “Are you Rashidul Hasan?” When he replied “yes”, they simply grabbed him and dragged him away.A pen and a signature seal of Rashidul Hasan remains preserved at the fourth gallery of the Liberation War Museum. Below these items it is written that this teacher of Dhaka University’s English Department was picked up by razakars and Al Badr from his home on 14 December 1971.Eldest daughter of Rashidul Hasan, Rokaiya Hasina, is a Rabindra Sangeet artiste. Speaking to Prothom Alo, she said, her father had been moved by the dream for freedom nourished by the Bangalis during the turbulent days of 1969. He was a great admirer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was not directly involved in politics, but would join the public meetings and gatherings. He would inspire his students with the spirit of independence. He would keep in contact with the freedom fighters in various ways during the liberation war and extend his assistance in any way he could. The Al Badr members reported this to the Pakistani army officers.Rokaiya was sitting in her Dhanmondi residence, sharing memories of her father.Rashidul Hasan earned his BA (Hons) degree from the English department at Dhaka University in 1958. That same year he began teaching at Narsingdi College. Then he joined Edward College in Pabna. Next, in 1967, he joined Dhaka University as a lecturer.Rokaiya Hasina said that her paternal family roots were in the village Boroshija of Birbhum district in West Bengal, India. Rashidul’s education till the higher secondary school level was at Boroshija. His elder brother lived in Dhaka due to government service and so Rashidul was admitted to Dhaka University. He did not return to India after completing his education. He married Begum Rokaiya in Boroshija and they had three children – Mahmud Hasan, Rokaiya Hasina and Suraiya Amina.During the liberation war, Rashidul Hasan would live in the Dhaka University teachers’ quarters, at building no. 23, next to Sergeant Zahurul Huq Hall. There was a sprawling slum along the road next to that building. On 25 March the Pakistani armed force went on a killing spree at the slum. They also entered the teachers’ quarters and carried out killing and torture.Rokaiya Hasina said, the Pakistani soldiers broke down their door, entered their home and began breaking things in their drawing room. Everyone in the family was hiding under the beds. Many people that night were dragged from the slums and from the university and killed on the roof of that very building. The next morning 32 bodies were found on the roof.Rashidul Hasan and his family left that house two days later and went to stay with acquaintances in Rayer Bazar. They returned to the campus after a month. This time they moved to house no. 28 on Savage Road (now known as Isha Khan Road). Professor Anwar Pasha of the Bangla department lived in the house next door, no. 30. Anwar Pasha and Rashidul Hasan were both from the same area in Birbhum and so had developed a close friendship. Their families were close, too.Rokaiya Hasan related, on 20 September the Pakistani soldiers took her father way from the university and kept him in custody at the Ramna police station. He was accused of motivating students to join the liberation war. Rashidul Hasan’s family would visit him every day at the police station. He was released after 12 days.When air raids began in December, there were blackouts every night in Dhaka. Everyone was scared. Anwar Pasha told them to go to their house. Rokaiya recalls, “We would go to Anwar uncle’s house after dinner every night. Then every morning we would move back home after a cup of tea.” They were preparing to go back home on the morning of 12 December too when Anwar Pasha told them to have breakfast. Rashidul Hasan’s favourite meal of khichuri and omlettes was being prepared and hence the delay.Breakfast was almost ready when suddenly there was a loud knocking on the door. Anwar Pasha opened the door and about seven or eight men in khakhi oufits with their faces covered in black cloth burst in. They asked, who is Anwar Pasha? When he identified himself, they tried to push him towards the door. Rashidul Hasan went and stood in front of the door, trying to block the way.With a tremble in her voice, Rokaiya recalls, “I was so scared and I grasped abba’s hand tightly. Anwar kaka was staring at abba, as if pleading that he do something. Abba kept asking the men where they were taking Anwar Pasha. One of them was in the verandah with a paper in his hand. He asked abba’s name. When abba told them his name the man indicated the paper, telling the others, ‘His name is on the list too. Bring sir along.’ They took them both away. From the verandah we saw them being blindfolded and taken away in a minibus.”The bodies of Rashidul Hasan and Anwar Pasha were found 22 days later. The bodies of the intellectuals had been buried in two holes in a jungle area of Mirpur. Relations of the dead persons identified the bodies by their clothes. Rashidul Hasan and Anwar Pasha’s bodies were there too. After their janaza at the university central mosque, they were laid to rest by the mosque.Rashidul Hasan’s relations live in West Bengal and they wanted Rashidul Hasan’s wife and children to go back there. But they did not. “Mother would say, my husband gave his life for this land. I will not leave. She brought us up with great difficulty. We received no special help at all,” said Rokaiya.They had to leave the university quarters. When she first came to power in 1996, the prime minister Sheikh Hasina issued directives to allot a house for them, but that did not materialise. Rokaiya Hasina said they have no regrets. Their father gave his life for the country and that was their pride.*This piece, originally published in the Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir.last_img read more

2 motorcyclists killed in Hatirjheel

first_imgThe accident probably took place around 3:00pm, police said, adding that the motorcycle hit a roadside tree, which caused the deaths. Police recovered the bodies in the morning when passersby informed them. The deceased were identified as Hedayetullah, 26, and Habibullah, 25, both diploma engineers. However, the motorcycle belonged to one of the former’s relatives. Hatirjheel. File PhotoTwo motorcyclists were killed in a road accident in the city’s Hatirjheel area early Tuesday.center_img Enayetullah, elder brother of Hedayetullah, said both the deceased had graduated from Cumilla Polytechnic Institute. He said his brother worked for Marium Group while his friend came to Dhaka from Gazipur to look for a job.last_img read more