Govt continues to plunder nation’s coffers – Ali

first_imgRising debt levelsWeeks after declaring that Guyana was on its way to amassing exorbitant debt levels, Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Irfaan Ali has once again condemned the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration’s handling of the economy, contending that Government is continually plundering public funds. “Since taking up office in 2015, the APNU/AFC Government continues to plunder the nation’s coffers [by] outstripping private investment to satisfy their growing budget deficit and unruly profligate spending habit,” Ali highlighted on Tuesday.He also contended that market securities were in decline, noting that these were critical sources of foreign currency. Market securities are debts which can be redeemed within a year and can be in the form of stocks or bonds. Ali, a former Minister under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government, stressed that his party’s successor was leading the country on a downward trajectory, which could cause the collapse of the nation’s financial system.Ali further observed that even private enterprises were continuing to record large deficits, coupled with shrinking contributions to net domestic credit. It was pointed out that from a fiscal point of view, Government deficits and total debt continue to proliferate.“When assessed, growth in total debt outstripped [Gross Domestic Product] GDP by more than 119 per cent points,” he stated.Ali had observed last month that based on estimates, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio, using the 2018 GDP forecast of 3.8 per cent, would now be 73 per cent. He noted then that Government was increasing the country’s total debt by more than 28 per cent. It was observed then that the Administration was refusing to adhere to calls by international observers for the country to reduce large-scale borrowing.Highlighting the threats to job creation and supporting sectors such as forestry, agriculture and construction, the PPP executive pointed out a range of outcomes if these industries continued to suffer a decline.Finance Minister Winston JordanFrom rising non-performing loans, there could be a high tax burden, low growth rate and low disposable income. According to Ali, the economic decline will see high unemployment as businesses will opt to downsize their operations owing to high interest rates and low demand, coupled with depreciation of foreign exchange.At the end of December 2017, the Finance Ministry’s Public Debt Annual Report showed Guyana’s total debt, inclusive of external and domestic debt, stood at US$1.66 billion or 45.2 per cent of GDP. Earlier this year, Government secured a US$900 million line of credit from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to develop the areas of agriculture, banking and finance, human development, energy, and rural development.The funds are also expected to go towards developing new co-generation capacity for the sugar estates’ operations and for the national electricity grid. Finance Minister Winston Jordan had explained that the IsDB financial arrangement has a resource envelope of US$900 million that is potentially available, from which the Government can borrow.However, some observers, including Ali, were of the opinion that these decisions will lead to a “massive” increase in debt.In April 2018, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo opined that Government was, in fact, “pawning our futures”.last_img read more

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Yankees Jump On Royals, 5-1

first_imgNEW YORK — Mark Teixeira failed to get in on the fun on May 25. He made up for it a night later.Teixeira homered and drove in four runs, Adam Warren pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and the New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 May 26 to send the AL champions to their first three-game skid this season.Teixeira was the only Yankees’ starter without a hit during their 14-1 rout of Kansas City on May 25, which stopped a six-game losing streak. He had two important extra-base hits as New York won consecutive games for the first time since May 10-11.“You want to back up a win like yesterday with another good performance,” Teixeira said. “Fourteen runs is nice, but if you lose the next night, you’re kind of back to where you started. Getting two in a row was big for us.”Warren (3-3) was perfect until Mike Moustakas beat out a hit to second baseman Stephen Drew on the outfield grass in right-center with one out in the fourth. The only other hit he allowed was Paulo Orlando’s first major league homer in the sixth.Lifted after 6 1-3 innings, Warren struck out five without walking a batter in the best of his 12 big league starts. He’s pitched at least 6 1-3 innings in each of his last three starts.“I feel like I’m getting more comfortable in this role,” Warren said. “I feel like I’m starting to get on a roll a bit, and I’m starting to get more confidence out there and I feel like I can get deeper in games.”Teixeira connected off Jason Vargas (3-2) for a two-run shot in the first — giving the Yankees 10 first-inning runs against Kansas City in the series — and doubled in two more in the fifth against Joe Blanton. The switch-hitter has more homers (14) than singles this year (13).Teixeira advanced to third on the double when center fielder Lorenzo Cain bobbled the ball for an error and scored on Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly, caught by Gold Glover Alex Gordon with a tumbling catch on the sinking liner.Cain made a leaping catch in front of the wall for the third out of the inning, and Teixeira stood in the dugout with his hand on his head and mouth agape, stunned.Vargas was activated off the disabled list to make the start, taking the spot of Danny Duffy, who went on the DL May 25 with biceps tendinitis.Vargas was on a 75-pitch limit and Manager Ned Yost stuck to it, pulling the left-hander after four innings, one pitch over the set ceiling. He struck out six and gave up four hits in his first outing since May 5.I thought coming back off the DL, he was pretty darn sharp,” Yost said. “Just one pitch, he tried to go down and away and it kind of ran back middle-middle to Teixeira. But six punch-outs in four innings, he threw the ball really well.”Vargas has not beaten the Yankees in eight starts and nine appearances, dropping to 0-5.Yankees reliever Dellin Betances extended his streak of not allowing a hit to 31 batters by striking out the side in the eighth. He’s walked two and yielded a sacrifice fly in the run.(HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Baseball Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Stratford Festival explores painful chapter of Canadas past in The Komagata Maru

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Twitter Written by Sharon Pollock, the play is based on the 1914 incident involving 376 passengers, nearly all Sikhs, travelling aboard the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru.The Indian immigrants arrived off the coast of B.C., only to be denied entry into Vancouver, which at the time was the country’s most diverse city. Immigration regulations back then required migrants to arrive in Canada directly from their country of origin — a journey that was virtually impossible in 1914.With the exception of 20 passengers who had previously lived in Canada, officials refused to allow the Indian immigrants in, even though they were British subjects just like every other Canadian at the time. The vessel returned to India, where 19 of the passengers were killed in a skirmish with British authorities and dozens of others were imprisoned or forced into hiding.The Komagata Maru was forced to return to India, where some of the passengers were killed in a clash with police.The Canadian and B.C. governments have both issued formal apologies for the incident.The Indian-born, Canadian-raised Ahluwalia was a 19-year-old university student when she first learned of the Komagata Maru. The vocalist and composer revisited the story a few years ago when she composed a song for Alik Khazni’s Continuous Journey, an award-winning documentary about the incident.In the play, she portrays The Woman, serving as the voice for the people aboard the steamship.Actress Kiran Ahluwalia sits for a portrait at the Avon Theatre during a June rehearsal for The Komagata Maru Incident, in Stratford, Ont. (Hannah Yoon/The Canadian Press)Actress Kiran Ahluwalia sits for a portrait at the Avon Theatre during a June rehearsal for The Komagata Maru Incident, in Stratford, Ont. (Hannah Yoon/The Canadian Press)Ahluwalia was asked by the director to compose lyrics in Punjabi and the melody based on a Punjabi fable that mirrors the storyline.“Parts of this song are interspersed throughout the play,” she said. “It’s one song, but it has different arcs and different emotions in it as it runs through the play.”Indigenous actress and playwright Quelemia Sparrow makes her Stratford debut as T.S., playing the role of a master of ceremonies.“I just think it’s so important to have that presence in the piece, with the 150-year birthday for Canada, that we’re acknowledging the First Peoples of this land, and that we’ve been on this land for thousands and thousands of years,” said Sparrow, who is from Vancouver and a member of the Musqueam Nation. “I was saying to Keira… that on some level my presence in the piece is like I’m welcoming her people to the land in the way they should have been welcome.”The Komagata Maru Incident is onstage at Stratford’s Studio Theatre until Sept. 24. Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Actress Quelemia Sparrow sits for a portrait at the Avon Theatre during a June rehearsal for The Komagata Maru Incident, in Stratford, Ont. (Hannah Yoon/The Canadian Press) The Stratford Festival is revisiting a painful chapter in Canada’s history with The Komagata Maru Incident, but the show’s stars say it is vital to continue addressing the issues at the core of the century-old story.“I’m super excited that Stratford decided to tell this story because it is such an important story, and a lot of minority histories in Canada are forgotten — not just in Canada but the world over,” said Juno Award-winning artist Kiran Ahluwalia, who is making her debut at the festival.“It’s a wonderful recognition that this is part of Canadian history.”last_img read more

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