Berbice River Bridge tolls…commits to dialog with companyGovernment will continue to engage the Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated (BBCI) to find, for the problems besetting its operation, alternatives other than an increase in tolls.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson made this disclosure on Monday, on the sidelines of the National Toshaos Council’s conference. “Government’s position remains the same…we do think the proposed cost by the Berbice Bridge [Company] is way in excess, and will be burdensome to the citizens of Berbice,” he noted.Minister Patterson said Government is not contemplating toll increases for the BBCI now or in the future; nor is there any consideration of bailouts or subsidies for the bridge company.Patterson is optimistic that the two sides can engage in dialogue and come up with appropriate solutions to the BBCI problems.More than a decade after a public/private partnership (PPP) agreement had allowed construction of the Berbice River Bridge, the bridge company is now facing bankruptcy following Government’s decision to drop the toll, and its subsequent refusal to allow for an increase as per the initial agreement when the company was formed.This is according to BBCI Chairman Dr Surendra Persaud during a press conference last week. Persaud is also Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which holds significant shares in the BBCI.According to Dr Persaud, BBCI officials have had several engagements with Minister Patterson. Following one such engagement, Patterson had informed the BBCI that a maintenance proposal would be taken to Cabinet.Dr Persaud has said that BBCI officials were subsequently informed that toll increases were not approved. In fact, the company had applied for a toll adjustment on three occasions — twice in 2015 and once in 2016 — to no avail. It has since made another such application, dated July 9, 2018. In that application, the company has requested that the toll increases take effect by August 1.But following the press conference, the Public Infrastructure Ministry issued a statement in which it said Government was not contemplating any fare hikes.SharesMeanwhile, based on the announcement made by the company with regard to the proposed increases in tolls, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told a media conference on Wednesday last that he was against the increases, but, moreso, he would encourage Government to buy more equity in the company.Jagdeo reasoned that Berbicians could not afford the steep increases that the company has proposed at this time. He said this was mainly so because the company is contractually obligated to maintain the Bridge. Instead, he is recommending that Government buy out other shareholders, so the Bridge becomes publicly owned.“Secondly, subsidise the increase that should take place in the toll, so they give an injection into the company so the rate remains flat,” Jagdeo has said.This formula, according to Jagdeo, would entail taking over the debt of the Bridge and securing greater equity in return.Jagdeo reminded that there was a financial model in place under the past Government, but he noted that he was unsure what had become of that under the coalition Government. He strongly believes that the financial model may have been interfered with, and this was something that had to be explained.The company is seeking increases in tolls as per the adjustment formula set out by the agreement between the BBCI and the Government of Guyana. It is understood that this tolling requirement was not applicable until 2014, after which the company made its first request just prior to the former Government leaving office. According to the toll policy, the increase is calculated based on “the level of traffic on and under the bridge for the two previous financial years.”According to the policy, “it takes consideration of the toll levels at the start of operations, any provisional toll level applied during the year, and the toll level at start of operations (is) adjusted for inflation.”The policy goes on to note that the toll level is adjusted by the use of the consumer price index of the most recent period and two years prior to that. The second part of the formula, it added, computes a provisional toll level to be used until near the end of the financial year.The ownership structure of BBCI is made up of ordinary share capital of $500 million owned by private investors, and preference shares of $950 million owned by NIS. The Bridge has a wide cross-section of investors, including various pension schemes, insurance schemes, local banks, as well as private companies and NIS.
An appeal has been launched to find a missing family dog in the Burtonport area. Barney went missing yesterday afternoon and has not been since.A friendly and hyper dog, the cockapoodle is a popular member of the Burtonport community. His owners are anxious to see him returned home safely.If you have any information to share please call 0892050744 or message Vincent Gallagher on Facebook.Missing Dog: Have you seen Barney? was last modified: May 8th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Agriculture ranks as one of the most dangerous jobs in the nation with approximately 1 in 14 farm families having to deal with a farm related injury every year. The Ohio AgrAbility Program is part of a national program that promotes independence for people in agriculture who want to continue farming after experiencing a disabling condition. Our goal is to provide education, resources, and technical assistance to those individuals and their families so they may continue to farm. The Ohio AgrAbility goal of trying to help those farmers and farm workers whom experience an injury is not limited to injuries just on the farm. The program also works with individuals injured off the farm, or experience work limitations due to an illness or other health problems.The goal at Ohio AgrAbility is to get these individuals to work on the farm in a safe manner and help them to resume their life and live as normally as possible. In order to best help, AgrAbility goes out to the farm and assesses the limitations of the farmer. From this assessment, Ohio AgrAbility aims to provide safe and practical solutions for the farmer. The amount of assistance provided by the program varies greatly. Help can range from suggesting simple changes in the farm worker’s routine, to providing assistive equipment necessary for them to continue safe farming and living, despite their limitations. Ohio AgrAbility also works to prevent secondary injuries through educational programs and by providing other safety awareness resources to farmers. Peer-to-peer programAn important part of the Ohio AgrAbility Program is the Peer-to-peer program. This program provides networking support between farmers. This program aims to provide a useful system of giving and receiving help for clients with similar injuries or limitations. This enables farmers to not only share ideas on farming with injuries, but also gives them the opportunity to help each other cope with their limitations. The Peer-to-peer program’s aspiration is to provide hope and a bright future for new and potential members who fear their career and lives are over following a traumatic injury or illness.A good example of the purpose and success of the Peer-to-peer program can be seen through the story of an Allen County farmer. Jeff Austin grew up on the family farm, working with his father and great-grandfather. After graduating from high school, Jeff went on to The Ohio State University, graduating from OSU ATI with a degree in Ag Business and Swine Management. After graduation, Jeff married his wife Kristi and continued to work on the farm with his father. Jeff and Kristi have four children and like a lot of other farmers, Jeff supplemented his farm work with another job at the Lima Refinery. Jeff, along with his family, bought a farm of his own to add to his father’s operation.On July 25, 2013, their lives changed forever. Jeff had been struggling with severe back pain for the prior month and experienced a searing pain down his back and side, and even started losing feeling in his legs. A trip to the local emergency room ended with a life-flight to The OSU Medical Center in Columbus and a diagnosis of cancer on his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Jeff spent the next 6 months in and out of the hospital trying to rebuild his life and learning how to live as a paraplegic. A friend of the family, a retired OSU Extension educator from Allen County and a local Cooperative elevator, referred Jeff to the Ohio AgrAbility program.After meeting with AgrAbility’s Rural Rehabilitation Coordinator, a plan was started to help make Jeff’s life easier on the farm and get him working again. Initially, there seemed to be some apprehension in Jeff and his family’s mind about him being able to work on the farm again. A Peer-to-peer meeting was set with Bill Wilkins, a current AgrAbility member who is also a paraplegic and has been farming from a wheelchair for over 40 years. The two families met at the Wilkins farm and spent much of the day discussing farm work as an impaired worker. Jeff and his family were given hope and saw that while there were adjustments to be made, there was in fact a farming future at the end of the tunnel. Ohio AgrAbility was able to supplement resource sponsorship funds from an Ohio Attorney General grant to purchase a trailer mounted lift to help Jeff transfer from his chair to the cab of the tractor or combine. A meeting with the Austin family after the lift was delivered and installed allowed Ohio AgrAbility to see the appreciation and necessity of the Peer-to-peer Program. The program aided Jeff in his road to independence. This meeting also showed the importance of the peer program immediately after the injury and during rehabilitation. Ultimately, it allowed both Jeff and his family to adapt to a new life style. Jeff’s wife, Kristi, expressed that there is a need to be able to talk with someone whom has been through similar life changing experiences in order to learn how to cope with the new lifestyle. Peer-to-peer panel at Farm Science ReviewFind Ohio AgrAbility program at this year’s Farm Science Review, located in OSU Central. Learn more about the Peer-to-peer program, view Assistive Equipment on display, and talk to current members! There will be two panel discussions held each day of the Review: the first session will be at 10:00 a.m. and the second session at 1:00 p.m. Members of the AgrAbility and Peer-to-Peer program will be available to talk about their injuries and the support they have gained from their involvement in these programs. Come join us at the Farm Science Review to learn more about the program and support our members with a wide range of injuries and limitations.More information on the AgrAbility program can be found online at agrability.osu.edu or by calling Ohio AgrAbility at (614) 292-6008.
The Opposition parties will approach Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu to protest against his decision to fast-track the disqualification process of Janata Dal (U) rebel leader Sharad Yadav. Leaders of six parties, who met at the office of Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House on Monday, decided to take up the battle on behalf of Mr. Yadav and another JD(U) rebel MP Ali Anwar. Mr. Yadav himself was at the meeting. Recently, Mr. Naidu decided to determine the question of disqualification on his own instead of sending it to the ethics or privileges committee, breaking away from tradition. In the Rajya Sabha, there have been nine cases where parties have moved disqualification petitions against their members. Out of these, seven were referred to the privileges committee and two members resigned before the pleas could reach that stage.According to sources, the Vice-President has based his decision on the time taken by the committee to dispose of the cases. He has argued that none of committees did anything substantial. He has called Mr. Yadav for a personal hearing on October 30. On Tuesday, Mr. Naidu is hosting his first lunch meeting with the Council of Ministers and floor leaders of both the Houses since he took over as Vice-President.
Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on Sunday flayed the government’s stand to keep the prime minister out of the purview of Lokpal till he demits office, pointing to the possibilities of evidences being destroyed and also wriggling out by citing “error of judgement” in such cases.”That (keeping PM out of Lokpal) will not serve the purpose of having an effective investigation because there will not be any trails of the misconduct,” Hegde, a member of the Lokpal drafting committee, told PTI in an interview.If Lokpal were to conduct investigation after prime minister demitted office, there are possibilities of evidences being “swept clean” before that and there could be arguments that it was “error of judgement” (on the part of PM) and it is not a case of corruption, he said.Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, was responding to questions on the government making clear its opposition to bringing the post of prime minister within the ambit of Lokpal till he demitted office.”Within the government, we feel prima facie, the prime minister should not be covered (under the Lokpal). But at the same time we want to make sure that if he demits office, he should not be exonerated from prosecution,” HRD minister Kapil Sibal, who is part of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal, had said yesterday.”Prime Minister was never out of it (Lokpal). Constitution never contemplated prime minister to be out of it,” Hegde said, adding that the Constitution never contemplated anybody in the country, except the President, out of the purview of the Prevention of Corruption Act.advertisementArguing that corruption is a crime against the country, Hegde said one cannot ignore acts of corruption. In a democracy, “every one is the same” and corruption was like any other offence in the Indian Penal Code, he said.”…why do you want to keep a class of people in office under government outside the purview of anti-corruption legislation?”, he asked.He also sought to know why an exception should be made (in case of prime minister) with regard to corruption that too at a time when it is “at a higher level” and major scams are coming out.The Karnataka Lokayukta saw Congress core group’s suggestion to the government to convene an all-party meeting on Lokpal bill as “delaying tactics”.Hegde said all parties had been given questionnaires by the government on the proposed legislation. In addition, all parties are represented in Parliament, where they would speak on the issue anyway, he said.Saying the all-party meeting would not serve any purpose, he said even if one assumed that parties held one view or the other, “can it be a law by itself ? It can’t be a law”.”It (all-party meeting) is not necessary because it’s going back to them only (in Parliament),” Hegde noted.He agreed with the government that the conduct of MPs inside Parliament should not come under the Lokpal but added that for him, vote for cash and asking questions for cash are all offences outside the House (and hence, they should come under Lokpal) “as nobody will take cash inside the House”.Hegde made light of the government statement that there is an agreement on 34 of the 40 points raised by the civil society members, saying these 34 were largely related to objects, procedures, clauses and things of nature on which there could be no dispute.He criticised the government stand against bringing defence deals under Lokpal investigation, saying corruption in such deals are like any other criminal offences.Hegde disagreed with Sibal’s remark that covering 40 lakh-odd central government employees under Lokpal would require a massive infrastructure independent of the government.”It’s not so,” Hegde said, adding that only Lokayukta need to be empowered in states and districts to nominate officials to take up investigation and report to Lokayukta, who would take the final decision.Hegde also opposed the government’s stand against bringing CBI and CVC under the Lokpal.He argued that once the anti-corruption wing of the CBI is transferred to the Lokpal, that wing would become redundant in CBI. “Their experience and expertise will be helpful to the Lokpal in the investigations.”Similarly, the CVC, which also investigates certain misconduct of central government employees, also need to be merged to let it work under Lokpal. “Why should they (CBI and CVC) work under government?”, Hegde asked.- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.advertisement
zoom Teekay Offshore Partners (TOO) has entered into conditional contracts with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to construct two Suezmax-size DP2 shuttle tankers, with options to order up to two additional vessels.Upon delivery in 2019 and 2020, the 154,000 dwt vessels will provide shuttle tanker services in the North Sea under Teekay Offshore’s existing master agreement with Statoil ASA (Statoil).As informed, the new vessels will be constructed based on TOO’s new Shuttle Spirit design which incorporates technologies aimed at increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, including LNG propulsion technology.What is more, Teekay Offshore revealed plans to transfer its shuttle tanker business into a new subsidiary, Teekay Shuttle Tankers (ShuttleCo).This follows a contract signed between Teekay Corporation, Teekay Offshore and Brookfield Business Partners as well as its institutional partners to enter into a strategic partnership. The deal includes a USD 640 million investment in Teekay Offshore. Following the investment, Brookfield will own approximately 60 percent share in Teekay Offshore.As part of the formation of ShuttleCo, a majority of Teekay Offshore’s shuttle tanker fleet will be refinanced with a new USD 600 million, five-year debt facility, and two 50 percent-owned vessels will be refinanced with a new USD 71 million, four-year debt facility.In addition, an existing USD 250 million debt facility secured by the three East Coast Canada newbuildings and an existing USD 143 million private placement project bond financing secured by two vessels, will be transferred from Teekay Offshore to ShuttleCo, the company said.Separately, Teekay Offshore informed that Teekay Shuttle Tankers has completed an offering of USD 250 million of new senior unsecured bonds in the Norwegian bond market. The new bonds will have a coupon of 7.125 percent and mature in August 2022.In connection with the bond issuance, and Teekay Shuttle Tankers’ acquisition of the shuttle tanker business, Teekay Offshore will repurchase approximately NOK 199 million of its TOP02 bonds maturing in November 2018 at a price of 101 percent of par value and approximately NOK 512 million of its TOP04 bonds maturing in December 2018 at a price of 101 percent of par value.