…advocates auctioning off available petroleum blocksPresident David Granger’s Petroleum Advisor, Dr Jan Mangal, has come out publicly in support of the calls by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, and has since called for the auctioning of the available petroleum blocks.Petroleum Advisor Dr Jan Mangal,Dr Mangal was at the time responding to queries raised and published by the Guyana Times and attributed to the Opposition Leader, who this past week raised the matter as a worrying case of cronyism evolving, wherein relatives, friends and associates of Ministers and senior Government functionaries have been incorporated into companies through complex shareholding arrangements, and are applying for exploration and production licences for oil and gas in the blocks still available.Speaking to the need for the available blocks to instead be auctioned off rather than having preferred companies apply, Jagdeo sought to point out that a premium must be considered.Jagdeo suggested that the world-class discovery of oil in Guyana could be compared to a ‘gold shout’, and said the moment oil was discovered, “there is a premium now to owning offshore blocks and getting an exploration or production licence”.The Opposition Leader has since found support in the utterances of Granger’s petroleum advisor, who in a public missive over the weekend said, “The process of one-on-one negotiation, or the open door method, where the Ministry of Natural Resources negotiates directly with the interested party, exposes the country to very real risks of corrupt activities.“There is a very serious risk of corruption with this method, due to the lack of transparency and accountability… Most countries have abandoned this method, as experts recommend against using it. Guyana should no longer be awarding petroleum acreage via one-on-one negotiations after the Liza discovery in 2015,” said Dr Mangal.According to the President’s Petroleum Advisor, as he echoed the sentiments of the Opposition Leader, “After the Liza discovery in 2015, Guyana was in a position to use the method of competitive bidding for the award of leases…The Liza discovery de-risked Guyana, and as a consequence, all the major oil companies recognise that there is oil in the country. Hence all the oil companies will be interested in bidding for leases in a transparent way, which ensures that Guyana incorporates market forces to maximise its share.”Dr Mangal used the opportunity to reiterate that, “the petroleum adviser’s position has consistently maintained that competitive bidding is indeed the best approach for Guyana.”He has since called the public’s attention to a direct correspondence from May 2017 with one such oil company attempting to acquire acreage via one-on-one negotiation.According to Dr Mangal, that company was advised by him that: “Now that Guyana is on the radar post-Liza, it is my personal view that all future acreage should be leased in a way which maximizes benefit to Guyana, hence in a market-orientated way by an open bid round, to ensure competition. And acreage should not be negotiated one-on-one between the Government and a prospective developer.”According to Dr Mangal, the risk of Government’s friends and family illegally obtaining leases will be significantly reduced if an independently managed and well audited competitive bidding process is used.“There is no rush to award more leases, since Guyana is already occupied with the developments in the Stabroek Block,” Dr Mangal said.Opposition Leader Jagdeo, in similar warnings to that of Dr Mangal – of Government friends and family illegally obtaining leases – had stated that several of the local companies applying for petroleum licences “have no means whatsoever.”According to Jagdeo, those companies he referred to as aligned to Ministers and their families, and some others, cronies, “have no means of finding hundreds of millions of US dollars to do the exploration work.”As such, he opined that the companies in question “will get these blocks and, weeks later, they will sell the blocks without any competitive process being followed”.Jagdeo suggested, too, that even some of the foreign companies that have been making applications had “unhealthy contacts with some Ministers and their surrogates”.The Opposition Leader posited that were these companies to secure licences, there is the possibility of them earning tens of millions of US dollars.He told members of the media that according to industry experts he has been in communication with, “the big companies will just buy these up (licences).”Jagdeo used the opportunity to suggest that were President Granger serious about transparency in the sector, he would shut down the application process and instead have the blocks auctioned off.“The process is not transparent now. They should look at the beneficiaries, the shareholders of these companies; they are very complex now. There are a lot of front people, and they should go to an auction, because now this is a valuable resource.”Jagdeo also reminded that, given the discovery of oil, the blocks could now be sold at a premium.“If you go to an auction, money that the middle men will make will come to the State…so if they auction off these blocks, the companies that will buy it, they don’t have to get middle men who will buy it and sell it to them without any tender in a secret process.”
Intensive training programme Mohoebi said successful candidates would undergo an intensive training programme, based on needs identified during the induction, and would receive a monthly stipend for the two-year duration of the programme. Potential candidates seeking more information about the programme can contact the department’s toll-free number 0800 007 095 or visit the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform website. Sustainable rural communities The National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSC), recently launched by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, will target people in South Africa’s remotest rural areas, including those living with disabilities, who are between the ages of 18 to 35 and who have passed Grade 10. The department’s head of communications, Eddie Mohoebi, said the NARYSC is a two-year programme aimed at empowering rural youngsters from each of the 3 000 rural wards across the country. Mohoebi added that the job creation and skills development programme was in line with the department’s rural development mandate to create vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities throughout South Africa. “The recently developed NARYSC will complement the department’s job creation model, which targets and ensures that at least one person per household in the rural areas where the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) is being piloted, gets employed for two years with an employment linked to skills training,” he said. 19 July 2010 The South African government aims to create up to 10 000 job opportunities in the country’s rural areas through the National Rural Youth Service Corps, which will see unemployed youngsters being put to work in their communities after undergoing an intensive two-year training programme. He said the programme is expected to create job opportunities for at least three youths in each of those identified rural wards. After the completion of the two-year training programme, candidates will work in their communities providing services in local socio-economic development. Source: BuaNews
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The #5 story in 2015 was: Advice from grandpa keeping many farms in business As tough times continue for agriculture, there is much to be learned in sage advice from yesteryear. Multi-generational farm operations have some inherent challenges, but there are plenty of benefits to having grandpa around for advice. For Niese Farms in Richland and Crawford Counties, having the experience of three generations is paying dividends as the farm navigates these challenging times.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We have gotten little bit of rain but it has been awfully spotty. We got just over an inch and a half in August. If you go to the north edge or the south edge of our farm it has been more like a half-inch or three-quarters.Last week there were tornadoes about three miles to the north and seven or eight miles south. Then another storm brewed up and there were two more tornadoes on either side of us. They took out some houses and barns in the north part of the county. We sat on our front porch and watched the tornado in Cecil about two miles from us. That was plenty close.The three-quarters of an inch we got that night was the most rain we have gotten at one time. Up until that rain, things were just hanging on. The crops were doing better than I thought they should be based on the amount of rain we had. After that three-quarters of an inch, stuff perked up. The beans opened back up and have a full canopy again. I hope now they will fill the rest of those pods that they hadn’t dropped. Beans will probably be 10 to 15 bushels off of trend line. I’d be pretty happy to see beans in the 45- to 50-bushel range.Corn is a huge guess yet. You can walk a field and grab ears that look like 175 and you can grab ears that are more like 130. If I am being optimistic, I’d put corn in the 160- or 165-bushel range. We are getting a little tip-back in the corn, but not as much as I would expect for as dry as it has been. The kernels seem like they are going to be small and we were also hurt early by the cold weather that will pull yields back.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This week on the podcast, brought to you by AgriGold, Dale Minyo and Ty Higgins talk about how the new changes to Dodd-Frank will help local, community banks and Matt visits Green Valley Growers in Ashland!
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Karen Mancl, Professor Food, Agricultural & Biological EngineeringIt is a shame to get sick on vacation. Camping and hiking spots in remote areas may have unsanitary water supplies. Most importantly traveling outside the United States poses a risk to travelers, since water treatment is not as reliable in other countries. What can you do to protect yourself and your family from getting sick?Boil water before drinking is the standard recommendation. Boiling water for just a minute is extremely effective at killing bacteria and parasites that can make people sick. When is doubt – drink boiled water! Any heat source – electric or gas range, camp stove, wood fire and even a microwave oven – heats water to boiling temperatures and kills disease-causing microbes.What if you can’t boil the water? If boiling water might not be feasible. Other disinfection options are available.Disinfection tablets containing chlorine or iodine are available for campers and travelers to disinfect a small volume of water. Many different companies market disinfection tablets that can be easily added to water bottles. Always follow the directions on the package. Remember adding chemicals will change the taste of the water.Sunlight is an amazing disinfectant and is the key to solar disinfection (SODIS). The ultraviolet light in sunlight kills pathogens on contact. To use sunlight to disinfect water, the water must be very clear and placed in the sun in clear containers. Clear plastic water bottles and plastic bags can be used for solar disinfection. The water should be exposed to sunlight for at least 4 and up to 10 hours to kill microbes.So remember to be safe, boil water for 1 minute before drinking. If boiling is not possible, adding disinfection tablets works to clean water. However, adding chemicals to water changes its taste and while safe, may not be palatable. Disinfecting batches of water in the sun is a low energy, non-chemical solution when traveling or camping.To find out more about water testing and disinfection check the website for the Ohio State University Soil Environment Technology Learning Lab at setll.osu.edu.
New Delhi: The Department of Telecom has given approval for the merger of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) with Bharti Airtel, subject to the condition that the Sunil Bharti Mittal-led firm furnishes Rs 7,200 crore worth bank guarantee, a government official said. On April 9, telecom minister Manoj Sinha gave a conditional nod for the merger, the official said. Subsequent to the minister’s approval, the official said, that DoT has asked Airtel to furnish bank guarantee totalling Rs 7,200 crore. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”Both companies also need to submit undertaking on matter related to court cases before merger is taken on record,” the official said. The merger will be taken on record after Airtel submits bank guarantee of about Rs 6,000 crore for one-time spectrum charges and another Rs 1,200 crore for the spectrum that would be acquired from TTSL. There is also a “very small amount” of dues that has to be cleared by TTSL before consummation of the deal, another official said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAs part of the proposed agreement, Airtel will absorb Tata consumer mobile business (CMB) operations in 19 telecom circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd ). It also agreed to take over a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata. The merger will bolster Airtel’s spectrum pool with significant additional 178.5 MHz spectrum in 1800, 2100 and 850 MHz bands, all widely used for 4G. The proposed merger will include transfer of all the customers and assets of Tata CMB to Airtel.
Sonipat: Rohit Yadav of Uttar Pradesh stole the limelight with an under-18 national record throw of 81.75m in the boys preliminary round of the second Athletics Federation of India National Javelin Throw Open Championship here Monday. The 17-year-old from Jaunpur improved on the national record of the 79.29m for boys under-18 set by Mohammed Hadeesh Apia in September 2015. Yadav had also recorded a throw of 79.83m in the SGFI National School Games in Nadiad, Gujarat, in February. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe final will be held on Tuesday. Haryana women trio of Poonam Rani, Monica and Shilpa Rana swept the medals with efforts of 49.53m, 42.46m and 39.89m. Poonam Rani, the 24-year-old from Jhajjar, has a clutch of All-India Inter-University crowns and has thrown over 50m. With national javelin coach Uwe Hohn and biomechanics specialist Dr. Klaus Bartonietz keenly watching the proceedings, it seemed natural that the intensity of competition was high and that there was an eagerness to showcase raw talent. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterMeanwhile, in the second AFI National 400m Open Championships in Lucknow, it was a teenager sprinter Vikrant Panchal (Haryana) who took the spotlight with a time of 48.06 seconds in the boys under-20 preliminary semifinals. It was the second time in the day that he breached the 49-second mark, having clocked 48.40 seconds in the preliminary heats. Haryana’s Pankaj Malik, 21, clocked the fastest time in the men’s semifinals. His time of 48.54 seconds was better than the 48.97 clocked by M Ramachandran (Tamil Nadu), in the other semifinals heats. Gujarat’s Vishal Chaturbhai had set the pace in the preliminaries with a time of 48.66 seconds.
Gurdaspur: Actor-turned politician Sunny Deol escaped unhurt after his vehicle was involved in a collision with three cars here on Monday, police said. The mishap occurred after one of the tyres in Deol’s sports utility vehicle burst near a ‘Gurdwara’ in Sohal village here, Gurdaspur Deputy Superintendent of Police (rural) Manjit Singh told PTI. A total of four vehicles collided with each other in the accident. Deol’s cavalcade was going towards Fatehgarh Churian where the BJP candidate had to campaign, the DSP said. “Out of four, one vehicle belonged to a villager, rest other vehicles were part of Deol’s cavalcade,” he said. Nobody was hurt in the accident, he said. After the accident, Deol resumed his journey to Fatehgarh Churian for poll campaigning, the DSP said. Deol is pitted against Congress candidate and sitting MP Sunil Jakhar from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI left this afternoon Morocco, heading to Bamako for an official visit to Mali, first leg of an African trip that will take the Sovereign to Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea-Conakry and Gabon.The royal delegation includes the Sovereign’s advisors Taib Fassi Fihri and Fouad Ali El Himma, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, Economy and Finance Minister, Mohamed Boussaid, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Aziz Akhannouch, Equipement, Transport and Logistics Minister, Aziz Rebbah, Industry, Trade, Investment and Numeric Economy Minister, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Health Minister, El Houceine El Ouardi, Energy, Mining, Water and Environment Minister, Abdelkader Amara, Tourism Minister, Lahcen Haddad and Youssef Amrani, chargé de mission at the Royal office.A business and economic executive delegation and other civil and military figures are also part of the Sovereign’s delegation.