The state of borrowing from the bank

first_imgBy SASE Singh, M.Sc. – Finance, ACCAThe economy is struggling, that is an established fact. Over 30,000 jobs were lost since 2015, growth in real wages remains sluggish (just ask the teachers how the negotiations are progressing), and foreign exports accounted for only 40.3 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2018 (the worst performance since 1960). These signs indicate the state of an unhealthy economy.This article looks at the borrowing by the respective sectors from the local banking system, to ascertain who are investing and who are not. The data is sourced from the Bank of Guyana Report – Table 2.13.Overall, borrowing from the local banking sector went up by 6.4 percent as at the end of January 2019, compared to January 2018. This performance was supported by a massive G$3,622 million (11.5per cent) expansion in the distribution and trading sector to G$35,568 million. Sadly enough, this sector experienced the least job losses since Team Granger assumed power. It reflects an unfortunate situation wherein Guyana is now more a trading post than a mecca of value-added production of products. That is a strategy that will surely bring hardship to the people, since it exists at the whims and fancies of the major trading powers of the world, who will set the prices for all products traded. The nation is on a fast track to economic enslavement to the dominant producers of the world. And Guyana continues to import pigeon peas from Jamaica and plantain chips from Costa Rica. These are signs of this economic meltdown.On the production side, there is much to celebrate in the rice sector, and the borrowings from the commercial banks reflect this situation. The rice sector borrowings increased by G$1,868 million (22.9 per cent) more, to G$10,028 million as at the end of January 2019, compared to a year ago. Most of this borrowing occurring at the rice-planting end of the value chain, which means more people went back to the land compared to a year ago. This is good news for Guyana, since it points to a possibility that the rice sector is absorbing some of the employment fallout from the sugar sector, albeit seasonally, at lower wage levels, and without benefits like NIS. This begs the question, how active are the NIS inspectors in monitoring the rice sector to ensure that the seasonal workers are being covered?Another area that saw an expansion of borrowing was the housing sector, for the first time since Team Granger arrived. The Housing Sector experienced an increase in borrowing from the commercial banks of G$1,658 million (18.8 per cent) to G$10,482 million over the period under review (Jan 2018 to Jan 2019). Team Granger finally seemed to have gotten the message that the economy cannot grow without the housing sector doing better every year.On the flip side, the borrowings in the sugar sector declined by G$1,792 million (50.6 per cent) to G$1,752 million in the year under review. This reveals a reduction in the cash flow needs of the sugar sector as the operations contract and shrink. The third party impact across rural Demerara and Berbice is devastating, as I witnessed with my own eyes in Corentyne, East Coast Demerara and West Demerara. The economic energy in all the villages I visited illustrated economic degeneration as if they were in an economic coma. The worst of these villages appear to be in the Wales/Patentia and Canje/Lower Corentyne areas. But my biggest shock was on my visit to Buxton. It reflected an economic atmosphere in regression.The borrowing in the transport sector also declined by G$458 million (9.0per cent) to G$4,620 million over the review period to January 2019. This decline endorses the word on the street that the minibus people are not travelling as they used to in the past because they have less cash in their pockets. Plus there seems to be an oversupply of minibuses in the country. As people experience declining disposable income after rent/mortgage and food bills are covered, we now have a new cash-eating phenomenon, higher utility bills. There is not much cash left to spend on travelling.Lastly, the beverage, food and cigarette sector reduced its borrowing from the local banking sector by some G$447 million (8.7per cent) to G$4,720 million. This is a clear indication that the food and entertainment sectors are struggling as a result of the working class now having less cash in their pockets.The bottom line remains that, for the rest of 2019, the economy seems to be on a slow march as it stumbles along in this period of political uncertainty. The regime is forced to falsely prime spending by borrowing 25 per cent of the budget to artificially prop up Government spending. The Guyanese economy cannot progress without the non-rice agriculture, mining, construction, and manufacturing sectors firing up; and clearly, they are still in a coma. Wither Guyana under Granger!last_img read more

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CRC Report: Citizens Want President, Lawmakers’ Tenures Reduced

first_imgFormer Chief Justice, now head of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC), Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, said Liberians have recommended the reduction of the tenures of the president, senators and representatives.She said the recommendation was contained in a statement presented to the CRC recently during the national consultation meeting.The presidential tenure, they said, must be reduced to at most four years; senators to six years and representatives to four years.Regarding the academic and other requirements of presidential and vice presidential contenders, citizens have called for the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree qualification.Cllr. Scott made the disclosure yesterday at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.She said the CRC obtained a total of 56,729 suggestions which she described as “commendable” taking into consideration the country’s high illiteracy rate.   “Citizens also suggested that local officials, including county superintendents and district commissioners as well as commissioners at the National Elections Commission (NEC) be elected to avoid the headache a sitting president faces in selecting them,” Counselor Scott said.They recommended that an elected superintendent’s tenure be reduced to at least four years, while the NEC Commissioners should serve for a period of seven years.Cllr. Scott disclosed that the suggestion on the election of NEC Commissioners will help to make them independent in conducting elections in the country.She further reported that citizens also want the election of paramount chiefs and town chiefs, which will be conducted by traditional protocol and other means.”With regards to suggestions from the disabled community, they want a special seat allocated for them in the first branch of government.Cllr. Scott said, “There must be equal representation, that is 50-50 of both genders at all levels of government, elected and appointed and membership into any secret society should be at the age of consent which is 18 years and above.” “In addition to customary and statutory marriages, there shall be marriage by cohabitation and a man and a woman who have lived together for over two years, and who present themselves to the public as husband and wife, and doing all things appertaining except for a legal document, shall be deemed a married couple under the law,” citizens have requested.  “All forms of violence against women and girls should be prohibited, with capital punishment as recommended in the case of rape and sodomy, especially in favor of minor victims,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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That oligarchy at City Hall

first_imgDear Editor,As a property owner, resident and business owner in our capital city, I would like to enquire from the powers that be when they would relieve the citizens of Georgetown from the oligarchy that exists within the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown. This oligarchy was formerly known as the “Fantastic Four”, and is now known as the “Terrific Trio.”The level of venality, duplicity and mismanagement there is simply unbelievable, and it just keeps getting worse and worse. If there is an entity in the country that needs the examination of a commission of enquiry, it is the Georgetown Municipality. Could you imagine an entity receiving and spending billions of dollars each year and not being audited?It is complete anarchy at City Hall, where senior officials ‘buse out’ the Minister that is responsible for the Council, and ignore court rulings and the wishes of the Government. It is a serious affair when officers undertake major activities without the Council’s knowledge or fiat.And we cannot forget the numerous hair-raising scandals that have occurred over the last two and a half years at City Hall, from the parking meters’ ignominy to the stun gun fiasco, to the attempted cover up of the rape of a juvenile, to a firearm going missing, to inappropriate sexual conduct by a senior official in the Engineer’s Department, to the granting of permission to a vendor to build a two-storey structure without Council’s knowledge or permission — something that would change the aesthetics of the Stabroek Market — without consultation with the National Trust, to the building of model homes on the city’s reserves.Can the citizens be told what tangible benefits were derived from all of those many luxury trips abroad? Can the citizens be told why the City Police Training School was allowed to go to rack and ruin, even though it was totally rehabilitated during the term of the last Council? Can the Citizens be told when the Stabroek Market Clock would work again, having received foreign funding a long time ago? And when will works begin on the restoration of City Hall?Just look at the Stabroek Market wharf, which collapsed years ago. Rather than fix it, they hang some lights at the front for window dressing. Council has an administration that refuses to recognize or to engage the vendors’ union. This same administration has farmed out a part of the Farnum Field in Subryanville to a private individual, and has attempted to sell the Bel Air Park Playfield to a private developer, all against the covenants associated with these properties. The greed in this attempt is palpable, as at least one of those individuals owns multiple homes, and is attempting to grab more.Sincerely,Mark Roopanlast_img read more

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Discriminatory hiring practices at GECOM

first_imgDear Editor,It is appalling to note that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) seems to be engaged in widespread discriminatory employment practices in this postmodern era. Persons were invited to attend training on October 12 and 13, 2018, but when those who believed that God’s Sabbath is still binding on mankind turned up on October 13 to participate in the training, they were prevented from attending the sessions for that day.How can this be fair? Many persons studied the manual, which was distributed about a week beforehand, knowing it was impossible to attend training on day one. I am sure if they were given a chance they would have done exceptionally well on the remaining evaluations, especially the final one.It is indeed sad to note that in a country like Guyana, where the Constitution clearly prohibits the discrimination of individuals based on their religious affiliation, the rights of persons are still being blatantly violated.The Constitution under the Prevention Of Discrimination Act 1997 clearly states that, “It shall be unlawful for any person who is an employer or any person acting or purporting to act on behalf of a person who is an employer, in relation to recruitment, selection or employment or any other person for purposes of training, apprenticeship or employment, to discriminate against that person based on their religious affiliation….” The training officials seem to be more powerful than the laws of Guyana.One GECOM officer even mentioned that if persons cannot put GECOM first, it makes no sense you attend the training. In the same manual used by the GECOM to train polling day staff, it is noted that no person should be prevented from voting based on their religious affiliation, hence the use of the various holy books for taking oaths on Election Day.Then how can persons be prevented from training and working based on their religious affiliation? Seems like double standards to me. Reading the article by an aggrieved citizen in Wednesday’s KN, I realised that the problem was not confined to one centre. Persons at Cumberland, Vrymens Erven and All Saints were all turned away for the same reasons. More persons need to come forward and let the public know about what is taking place at these training centres.I think the Leader of the Opposition was right when he pointed out that GECOM employs unfair and discriminatory hiring practices.The only thing left for GECOM to do is to state pointedly that Seventh-day Adventists are not welcome to be trained as polling day staff. But you know what; they cannot because that would be illegal.Sincerely,Victim ofdiscriminationlast_img read more

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Hamilton wins F1 Hungarian Grand Prix

first_imgHamilton’s win was his second of the year and the 19th of his career.Raikkonen pushed hard to find a way of passing Hamilton in the closing laps, but the Englishman resisted despite having to fight to preserve his worn tyres.Raikkonen finished a strong second ahead of his Lotus team-mate, Frenchman Romain Grosjean, and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.Current world championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari came in fifth, with Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button finishing sixth.Alonso stays on top of the drivers’ standings, but Hamilton closed the gap and his victory in the much improved McLaren boosted his team’s hopes of mounting a challenge for the title in the second half of the season following the annual summer break.After 11 of this year’s 20 races, Hamilton is back in fourth place with 117 points behind Alonso on 164, Webber on 124 and Vettel on 122.As they climbed the podium, a grinning Hamilton said to Raikkonen: “It’s just like old times, Kimi.”Hamilton added: “An amazing day, fantastic work by all the team and the fans have been fantastic. Thank you for having us.“I am looking forward to the continuation of the championship. There’s a long way to go and a lot of work to do but we have shown we can compete. It is very, very close but we are going to give it all we can.”A less than ecstatic Raikkonen said that a problem with his car’s kinetic energy recovery system (Kers) was partly to blame for his inability to catch Hamilton.“We came second, it’s not enough, but we had some problems with the Kers,” said the Finn.“We had some speed and we’ll try to win the next race. At least we are up there all the time and we put ourselves in a good position but we are not happy until we win.”His teammate Grosjean added: “It was a fantastic race and we were fighting for the win but we wanted to get back onto the podium with the two cars and that’s what we did.”On another hot day at the Hungaroring, where the air temperature was 32 degrees celsius and the track temperature 45 degrees, Hamilton had stayed cool at the start when, after one aborted effort because Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes failed to start, he pulled away from pole position and into the lead.Behind him, with the race reduced from 70 laps to 69 because of the aborted first start, Schumacher started from the pit lane and collected a drive-through penalty for speeding when he came in for an early tyre change.Schumacher ended a dreadful day in 24th and last place, seven seconds adrift of compatriot Timo Glock of Marussia.Hamilton went on to build up a lead of 2.1 seconds ahead of Grosjean, but that lead was cut down to less than a second as the Frenchman, on used softer tyres, closed on Hamilton, running on harder medium tyres.In the searing heat, tyre-wear and management was a major factor and Hamilton’s teammate Button made a second pit stop after 35 laps to change to soft tyres.McLaren had changed to a “plan B” for Button, understood to be a three-stop strategy instead of two, although Hamilton stuck to a two-stop plan.As Hamilton pitted again, Raikkonen enjoyed a spell in the lead before making another stop of his own in the hope that his fresher tyres would give him an advantage in the closing laps.Hamilton’s lead increased to 4.4 seconds from Raikkonen and Grosjean with 20 laps remaining and, although the rapid Finn ate away at that gap, Hamilton battled successfully to preserve his tyres and win the race.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000BUDAPEST, Hungary 30th July – Lewis Hamilton delivered a flawless drive from pole position to the chequered flag to win Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren and revive his challenge for this year’s Formula One drivers’ world championship.The 27-year-old Briton took control of the race from the start and stayed in front, pit stops apart, as he resisted strong late pressure to come home ahead of Finland’s Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.last_img read more

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Wrong to call Cameroon favourites, says Finke

first_img0Shares0000MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 25 – Cameroon coach Volker Finke claimed that Saturday’s 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations draw with Guinea proved that his side should not have been considered favourites in an extremely tight Group D. “I have never said that we are the favourites in this group,” said the veteran German after his side failed to hold onto the early lead given to them when Benjamin Moukandjo struck direct from a corner in Malabo.“I knew that with the new players coming in that it would take time.“Guinea are in front of us in the FIFA rankings, so I am just a bit surprised that people think we are the favourites.”After two draws in two games, the Indomitable Lions now face a decisive final match against the Ivory Coast in a group that remains wide open.“Now it’s the last match that counts. We came here to win of course, but we are building a new team,” said striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.“I think we could have won it, but we didn’t, and now we just need to win our last game. Everything is possible.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Cyclists gear up for trail event

first_imgALTADENA – Altadena was once an international destination for hikers and tourists drawn by the Mount Lowe Railway. The hiking trails remain, but the crowds and the tourist dollars are long gone. Some hope they can be restored. Such is the desire of David Smith and Ken Marshall, who have assembled Altadena’s first public bicycling event – the Altadena Naked Crow Mountain Bike Challenge. “We thought this would be a great event to bring people to Altadena, for business purposes, but we didn’t realize it would take us almost seven years,” Marshall said. elise.kleeman@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Marshall and Smith dreamt up the event when they were president and vice president of the Altadena Chamber of Commerce, but didn’t get the support of the board, they said. Instead, they decided to strike out on their own – and spent years wading through red tape. “I was just tenacious,” Marshall said. “Every time we got a no, we just waited a little bit until they changed somebody.” “We were finally able to end up with the right people, the right decision makers,” Smith said. “About a year ago, we finally acquired the contacts that we needed.” Forest Service permits in hand, they set the date – Aug.5 – and planned the route through the San Gabriel Mountains. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House at Huntington Hospital, Altadena Meals On Wheels and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. last_img read more

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How Barcelona could line-up without Neymar, but with Hazard and Coutinho

first_img 11 Defensive midfield: Sergio Busquets 11 Barcelona’s transfer window is set to get very interesting with Neymar completing his £200million move to Paris Saint-Germain.The Brazilian star’s switch to the French side leaves a huge hole in Ernesto Valverde’s team, but also fills their coffers with cash to spend.Rather than just sign one star to replace Neymar, it’s being reported by some outlets they could launch a raid for TWO top Premier League stars.Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has long been linked with a switch to the Nou Camp, while Chelsea star Eden Hazard is on their wishlist now.So how could Barcelona line up with the duo in their team? Click the right arrow above to find out… 11 Right-back: Nelson Semedo – fgfgfg Centre forward: Luis Suarez Left-back: Jordi Alba Right forward: Lionel Messi Centre-back: Gerard Pique 11 11 11center_img Left forward: Eden Hazard Centre-back: Samuel Umtiti Central midfield: Ivan Rakitic Central midfield: Philippe Coutinho 11 11 11 Goalkeeper: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – Click the right arrow above to see how Barcelona could line up next season with Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard… 11 11 getty images last_img read more

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Busway woes seemingly run deep

first_imgFive months before the Orange Line was up and running, stretches of its roadway were found defective, according to a report prepared for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority by a consultant hired to test the pavement after some cracks appeared in May 2005. Those cracks led to a dispute for the transit agency, which has since discovered more trouble with pavement and has withheld $5.8 million from its contractor until the problems are resolved. “It wasn’t even finished and we saw the cracking,” Rick Thorpe, MTA’s chief capital management officer, said Thursday. “We didn’t know if it was isolated or across the whole line.” Thorpe said testing will continue today on the 14-mile line’s pavement, an interconnected puzzle of base material and varying layers of asphalt, depending on the strength of the soil below. About three miles is rubberized asphalt, installed mainly in residential areas to quiet passing buses. As part of its contract with the MTA, the Ventura County-based contractor, Shimmick-Obayashi Joint Venture, can offer no comment to the media. Thorpe said the contractor disputes the methodology of the testing. The construction company’s $165 million contract with the MTA for the line includes its pavement, construction, landscaping, lighting and bike path. Roadwork began last week on two areas along the bus route east of L.A. Valley College and is expected to be complete next month. One portion, near the 170 Freeway, where soil beneath the line is weak, is being dug up and solidified with layers of sand and gravel. Meanwhile, rubberized asphalt on the east side is being ground out and replaced with regular asphalt in certain pockets along the bus route because bus tires began squashing into it. Those problem became noticeable in June in areas where the buses hit their breaks, said Roger Dames, MTA deputy executive officer and project manager. Doug Carlson, executive director of the Rubber Pavements Association, said he has never heard of problems before with rubberized asphalt and buses sinking into it, known as rutting. In Arizona, for example, hundreds of city streets are paved with the product and there haven’t been problems. He suspected the troubles on the Orange Line stem from the rocks used in its composition. “I haven’t heard of any other pavement problems made of rubber in California having a rutting problem, ever,” Carlson said. MTA officials don’t know if these repairs are the end of the Orange Line’s woes or if there’s more to come. “Is that going to be the total fix? We don’t know,” Thorpe said. “We’re still testing.” The MTA and its contractor have each set aside $750,000 for the repairs and are splitting the price for now. Both have reserved the right to challenge the costs once they figure out who’s to blame. Samples are being taken from the road and dirt to see if problems come from the soil or material used in the asphalt. Results are expected in January. About 22 buses shuttle commuters during peak hours along the Orange Line, which runs from North Hollywood to Warner Center. It’s the first busway the MTA has built and the only one MTA officials know of that uses rubberized asphalt. Dames said rubberized asphalt is better used on freeways, where traffic usually travels at a constant speed, unlike the Orange Line, where buses stop and go. Given the chance to use it again, Thorpe was noncommittal. — Sue Doyle,(818) 713-3746 sue.doyle@dailynews.com AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d see160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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England star calls Arsenal fans ‘disgraceful’ for abusing Arsene Wenger

first_img 4 getty “When they report a murder of a white male, it’s a teenage boy from a loving family in the suburbs, brutally murdered. When it’s a black boy murdered, he was ‘wearing a hoodie’.“It’s the same in punditry – a lot of the time when they describe black players they talk about athleticism, their power, their speed. They don’t talk so much about their skill, their deft touch.”Itoje says he encountered no racism while studying at Harrow and had ‘not really’ experienced it on or off the pitch as a player, but he has caveats.“My experience is not the typical experience of a black man in London because sport is one of the few disciplines or institutions based on merit – (it) should be anyway.” Maro Itoje claims he would not take his children to football games after witnessing the ‘disgraceful’ behaviour of Arsenal fans towards former boss Arsene Wenger.The Saracens lock also took aim at the media for their coverage of black players and praised Raheem Sterling for standing up to abuse this season.A member of Harrow School, Itoje played football alongside rugby as a youngster and used to go to watch the Gunners. This season has seen several incidents of racist behaviour at home and abroad in football, with Sterling finding himself involved twice.The England forward stuck his fingers in his ears in an act of defiance against racist Montenegro supporters and was widely praised for his actions.But former European Player of the Year Itoje believes the root cause is much closer to home.He added: “This is not just about sport. This covers how black people are portrayed in any kind of news, there is always a difference. 4 4 The Manchester City star has regularly been praised for his approach to dealing with racist abuse And, though he ‘can’t easily recall’ direct racism from opposing fans, he added: “Racial abuse on the field I have not personally had but I have friends who have, in county rugby growing up.“I know someone who was abused racially in the Under-20s World Cup, so that problem is not fully stamped out.”Asked if he would ever consider walking off the field of play if he did encounter the kind of abuse Sterling had, Itoje said: “I am caught between two minds – nobody should be made to play in front of abusive fans.“But I am also thinking one, show them; and two, do they win if you walk off?”Itoje was speaking in a candid podcast interview with Alastair Campbell, the ex-Downing Street Press Secretary, and his daughter Grace, a comedian and activist.The podcast, titled ‘Football, Feminism and Everything in Between’, is available on Wednesday. getty 4 Maro Itoje lifted another Premiership trophy with Saracens last season The 24-year-old is seen as one of the most complete players in modern rugby Wenger left Arsenal after 22 years and was replaced by Unai Emery getty getty But the 24-year-old was so appalled by the etiquette of the supporters, he has admitted it would be hard to take his children to watch a game in the future.“I was taken aback by the way the fans behaved, towards each other, towards the players,” Itoje said.“If I had children, unless I had a box I would not take my child because the behaviour was disgraceful. I saw little kids, 12-year-olds, watching their parents swearing, abusing Arsene Wenger, abusing the players.“This small boy sees his father do it and so he does it, starts spouting abuse at players, at opposing fans. Horrible.”last_img read more

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