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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UN resolves to enhance ties with AU

first_img13 January 2012The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution to enhance ties between the UN and regional organisations, particularly the African Union.Resolution 2033, adopted in New York on Thursday, urges the UN and the African Union (AU) to work closely together in the areas of prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa.It was approved after an initiative by South Africa, led by President Jacob Zuma, who was in New York to oversee the country’s assumption of the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of January.Zuma said he was happy that other countries had heard the message and unanimously supported calls to strengthen the relations between the UN and regional bodies, particularly the AU.“While we are pleased with the current relations between the two bodies, we also feel that we can deepen them further for better co-ordination when it comes to dealing with issues affecting our continent,” Zuma said. “We want the views of the African Union to be respected by the UN.”Africa not a ‘playground’ for global interestsZuma chaired the Security Council summit debate on “Strengthening the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations, in particular the African Union, in the maintenance of international peace and security.”During the debate, Zuma strongly urged the Security Council to avoid a situation such as the one which transpired during the conflict in Libya last year, in which the 1973 Resolution of the UN Security Council was largely abused in some specific respects.Zuma further warned that Africa should never again be a playground for furthering the interests of other regions, as had happened during the Cold War.“Conflicts in Africa will be manageable if they are not promoted or aided from outside the continent,” he said.Call for Security Council reformHe also repeated his call for the fundamental reform of the UN Security Council to become more representative and legitimate.Earlier, Zuma co-chaired the 6th Session of the Global Sustainability Panel with President Tarja Halonen of Finland.The panel dealt with issues of sustainable development, a sustainable economy and strengthening institutional governance, as well as strengthening the panel as a means of accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.Outcomes adopted by the Panel will be released to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and also feed into preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in Rio in June.Zuma also held bilateral meetings with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on the margins of these high-level meetings.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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SA approves R33bn in renewable projects

first_img5 November 2013 The government has approved an additional 17 renewable energy projects, paving the way for a further R33.8-billion (US$3.3-billion) worth of investment that will add up to 1 470 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to South Africa’s national grid. The Department of Energy said on Monday that it had signed agreements with 17 new preferred bidders in the third window, or round, of its renewable energy programme for independent power producers. This follows the signing off of 47 projects in the first and second rounds of the programme, for projects already well under way provide South Africa with around 2 400MW of renewable energy, involving investments totalling around R150-billion. Announcing the new preferred bidders in Pretoria, Energy Minister Ben Martins said that most of the first- and second-round projects were currently under construction, with come expected to start delivering energy by December. Martins noted that a total of 93 bids (for solar photovoltaic, wind, concentrating solar power and landfill gas) amounting to 6 023MW had been received for the third round of bidding. No bids had been received for biogas, even though the department had a 12MW maximum allocation for this round. “The bids amounted to 6 023MW, while the available megawatts for allocation is only 1 473MW,” Martins said, adding that department had been pleased with the competitive pricing offered by the bids. According to Business Day, the average price offered for power generated from wind – which received the bulk of the third round allocation – had dropped from R11.43 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in the first round to R6.65/kWh in the third round. State electricity company Eskom will buy power from the new plants once they up and running, in terms of power purchase agreements signed with the producers and backed by the government. South Africa is presently rated as the 12th most attractive investment destination for renewable energy. “This bodes very well for South Africa, as the programme has achieved international acclaim for fairness, transparency and certainty of programme,” Martins said, adding that there had been a progressive increase in the local content and job creation numbers offered by the bidders. The department’s director-general, Nelly Magubane, said that some bidders had exceeded the local content requirement of no less than 40%, with some indicating that their projects would involve up to 56% local content. Martins said the energy sector was expected to play a major role in creating green sector jobs, developing skills and transferring technology into South Africa’s economy. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Jeremy Goyings, June 13

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It is a nice morning, but it would be a lot nicer if we had a little bit of rain. We are in dire need here of some rain pretty quick. A week ago Saturday we had seven tenths and that didn’t even fill the cracks. We were back in the field putting on anhydrous the next day. It was amazing how dry it was after almost an inch of rain. It had been close to two weeks since a major rain before that.We were just walking the wheat and it came through flowering very nicely. We don’t have any visible disease pressure yet. Time will tell when the combine gets to roll. I think we’ll be at least a week or so ahead. We’ll probably be rolling here in two weeks, if not a little before that. Hopefully we get some rain on Wednesday or Thursday and the rain may help finish it off. If you can believe it we are at 100% chance of rain on Wednesday.Everything is up and going and looking pretty good. In hindsight that stuff we planted on April 27 struggled and I replanted some of those beans. They are popped out of the ground but they need a rain or they are going to dry up.On May 31 and June 1 I did all of the replanting. That is probably my least favorite job to do on the farm. Out of the 400 acres I planted early, I redid about 200 acres. They are non-GMO beans and they yield well for us, but they are not as strong popping out of the ground.We finished up sidedressing on Friday. Everything went on well and the corn is looking pretty good. There is a stand everywhere but some of that early stuff does not have a picket fence stand.last_img read more

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