Cash-strapped NIS will go “belly up” as GuySuCo crumbles – Opposition advisor

first_imgThe National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is the next large-scale institution in Guyana that will “go belly up” – a direct result of the current management of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), which for all intents and purposes is being sold off.This dire prediction was outlined by Economic Advisor to the Opposition, Dr Peter Ramsaroop.“The President or his Finance Minister clearly did not think through the long-termEconomic Advisor to the Opposition Peter Ramsaroopimpact of shutting down an entire industry placing thousands on the breadline at the same time.”According to Dr Ramsaroop, “NIS is already in trouble, no way near to being a fiscally solid institution with its expenditure outstripping revenue in recent years along with some bad investments.”He explained that the institution currently spent more than it earned and has had to regularly tap into its reserves to make basic payments. “So, I am extremely worried that when the euphoria of the part severance payment wears off and life sets in, what the long-term economic effects will be.”Dr Ramsaroop said the prevailing social circumstances were ripe for a large number of the laid-off sugar workers and their dependent family members in the near future – say three to five years – to make claims on the NIS, since they are of the belief that their contributions would have been made by GuySuCo.“Remember, we are talking about medical benefits that these now sick and unemployed sugar workers will be looking to claim,” the financial analyst said, as he predicted widespread chaos in the near future when thousands of workers turn up to NIS only to realise they have “nothing to get”.He told Guyana Times, based on available data, GuySuCo owes NIS in excess of $1.5 billion in contributions from sugar workers.This, Dr Ramsaroop noted, is compounded by the fact that GuySuCo would have been deducting as statutory payments NIS contributions but never actually making payments – something that ought to be criminal if not already in the statute books.“Imagine you are a sugar worker who has been toiling in the sun for 30 years and every fortnight or month GuySuCo takes out a certain sum from your salary to go towards NIS, so that in the future when you become sick and the decades of working the cane fields begin to take effect and you turn up to NIS only to be told there are no contributions.”The advisor told this publication it was inconceivable that the Finance Minister could not have known of this repercussion.“Why do you think the PPP (People’s Progressive Party) continued to subsidise the industry … it is not about votes, the then Finance Minister (Ashni Singh) and the then Presidents understood the implication of shutting down that industry and its ripple effect on the other industries nationwide. The goal was to diversify the industry to expanded value added chain. Sugar on its own was in trouble, sugar cane as high-end crystals, energy source to the national grid, ethanol production and other diversification as proposed for this five-year period by the PPP would have seen Guyana growing more sugar cane not shutting down an entire industry,” Dr Ramsaroop said.He questioned what the real state of affairs was at NIS, since that organisation according to recent reports was being buoyed only by its investment in the Berbice Bridge – an investment that was roundly criticised by those now in high offices and in charge of the management of the national economy, Dr Ramsaroop reminded.The economic advisor to the Opposition noted that Finance Minister Winston Jordan has “time and time again demonstrated he has no clue as to what is happening in his Ministry and the knock-on consequences of their ad-hoc decision making which continues.”Dr Ramsaroop added, “One only has to look at the raft of measures that they had put in place only to have them removed when the people cried out and they realised that it was making things worse, think of the VAT on education which had to be removed, think about the tributors’ tax on miners which had to be revisited.”“These people are really clueless,” Dr Ramsaroop declared, as he chided the Administration over its handling of GuySuCo and has since warned that “things will only get worse as those now dependent workers will continue to put a strain on social services, another cost that have to be borne on the backs of taxpayers as a result of this government’s ‘card trick type’ attempts at managing a country and its economy.”last_img read more

Photo library: Buildings and structures 9

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Buildings & Structures contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Western Cape province:Waterford Wine Estate near Stellenbosch.Photo: Stellenbosch Wine Routes » Download high-res image Western Cape province:Wine cellar at Annex Kloof Wines in the Swartland region.Photo: Swartland Wine Routes » Download high-res image Western Cape province:Org de Rac Domain wine farm in the Swartland region.Photo: Swartland Wine Routes » Download high-res image Kimberley, Northern Cape province: The eye-catching architecture of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature in Galeshewe. Kimberley is the capital of the province. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Kimberley, Northern Cape province: The eye-catching architecture of the NorthernCape Provincial Legislature in Galeshewe. Kimberley is the capital of the province. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Kimberley, Northern Cape province: The eye-catching architecture of the NorthernCape Provincial Legislature in Galeshewe. Kimberley is the capital of the province. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Kimberley, Northern Cape province: The tourist area surrounding the famous Big Hole, a former diamond mine and the largest hand- dug open-cast mine in the world. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Kimberley, Northern Cape province: An exhibit at the tourist area at the famous Big Hole, a former diamond mine and the largest hand- dug open-cast mine in the world. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image Kimberley, Northern Cape province: An exhibit at the tourist area at the famous Big Hole, a former diamond mine and the largest hand- dug open-cast mine in the world. Photo: Graeme Williams, » Download high-res image BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES 9: {loadposition bd}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about the image library? Email Janine Erasmus at read more

Opening up SA’s heritage

first_imgThe eye-catching Open SA! logo. (Image: Open SA!) Documents such as this 1949 immigration form belonging to a Dutch immigrant, are an important part of South Africa’s history. (Image: Wikimedia)Janine ErasmusA new project titled Open SA! aims to make South African historical and cultural material widely accessible, by allowing ordinary people as well as professionals to share their heritage online and make it available for republishing and remixing, for the benefit of all.“We believe that getting ordinary people involved in sharing their history on the internet with artists, historians, students and researchers is a great way to keep local history alive and accessible,” said the Open SA! team in a statement.The Open SA! project is an initiative of popular positive-themed blog SA Rocks and the African Commons Project, a Johannesburg-based non-profit organisation that works to empower communities towards innovation, creativity and wisdom through the internet and other new technologies.African Commons is working closely with the Alexandria Archive Institute, which is building a collection of open access, internet-based resources for archaeology and world history.Using the principle of public domain – those works that the public may copy, adapt and share without limitation – Open SA! gathers, tags and manages relevant submissions from contributors from all facets of society, and makes them freely available online.The Open SA! team has another mission, and that is to reach out to young creative voices in South Africa, with a view to teaching them how to find open content that they may freely and legally adapt and share.Finally, for those whose material needs to be digitised first, Open SA! plans to arrange digitisation drives, with the help of volunteers, to transfer collections into the correct format.Shared heritageSouth Africa’s national Department of Arts and Culture, the custodian of the country’s rich and diverse heritage, has long held that shared heritage is an important tool in social cohesion and nation building.The Encyclopaedia of South African Arts and Culture, currently in beta testing, defines nation-building as the fostering of a sense of pride and knowledge in all aspects of South African culture, heritage and the arts.An additional aspect of nation building is the encouragement of mutual respect and tolerance and inter-cultural exchange between various cultures and art disciplines, which in turn facilitates the emergence of a shared cultural identity based on diversity.  Open SA! takes advantage of new developments and publishing platforms, such as blogging and citizen journalism, and online publishing of photographs, videos and music, which it views as vital components of a new form of democratic speech. This, it says, should be nurtured, and one of the best ways to do that is to provide easy access to quality resources and materials.Citing examples such as the speech former president Nelson Mandela delivered on his release from prison in 1990, or his successor Thabo Mbeki’s rousing “I am an African” speech, the Open SA! project says that these priceless resources should be available to more than just the professional journalists, filmmakers and researchers who were traditionally authorised to re-publish them.To this end, the public is encouraged to submit their material or material belonging to friends or family, provided that contributors either own the copyright to the materials or have written permission from the copyright holder.Leading the field One of the first contributors to Open SA! is new media specialist and photographer Gregor Rohrig, who has made available a classy selection of his photos taken around Johannesburg.All photos are licensed under the Creative Commons concept and may freely be shared and remixed, provided that proper attribution is given, images are used for non-commercial purposes, and any adaptation of the works is distributed under the same or a similar licence. These conditions may be waived with permission from Rohrig.Commenting on the wealth of historical and cultural material held by South Africans, Rohrig asked, “What good are these materials if they cannot be used and reused creatively?”The talented photographer expects the local creative industry to be even more inspired and encouraged with the unlocking of local resources that have previously been inaccessible.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at linksOpen SA!Open SA! photo collection on FlickrDepartment of Arts and CultureEncyclopaedia of South African Arts and Culture (beta)SA RocksAfrican Commons ProjectGregor RohrigAlexandria Archive Institutelast_img read more

USDA Moves PP Haying Date

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorOMAHA (DTN) — Farmers who plant cover crops on prevented planting acres will be able to hay or graze that ground starting Sept. 1 without facing a penalty on their crop insurance indemnity.USDA’s Risk Management Agency on Thursday announced it changed the haying and grazing restrictions on prevented planting acres. The change allows farmers who plant cover crops on prevented planting acres to hay, graze or chop those fields on Sept. 1, rather than the traditional restriction date of Nov. 1.Haying or grazing on or after Sept. 1 will not affect a farmer’s eligibility for the full 2019 prevented planting indemnity, RMA stated.“We recognize farmers were greatly impacted by some of the unprecedented flooding and excessive rain this spring, and we made this one-year adjustment to help farmers with the tough decisions they are facing this year,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “This change will make good stewardship of the land easier to accomplish while also providing an opportunity to ensure quality forage is available for livestock this fall.”RMA reiterated that the agency was just making this change for 2019 and would announce any possible permanent adjustments later.USDA has tried to encourage farmers to plant cover crops on prevented planting acres. On June 10, USDA released a question-and-answer on trade aid and disaster aid. A farmer who plants a cover crop on prevented planting acres will be eligible for a Market Facilitation Program payment on those acres, but land left bare on a prevented planting claim would not be eligible for an MFP payment.Several lawmakers from both parties pushed for the change, as did state Farm Bureau and cattle organizations in upper Midwest states. They had argued Nov. 1 is too late in the year to get quality hay or pasture out of those cover-cropped fields.Cover crop seed right now is in high demand and in short supply because of the high volume of acres that moved into prevented planting this spring. As DTN reported earlier this week, seed supplies are getting tight (… ).Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., posted a video on Twitter saying he got a call early Thursday that USDA was making this common sense move.“You don’t have to talk to more than two producers in South Dakota to realize that waiting until Nov. 1 to allow them to either graze or mechanically harvest cover crops without an indemnity reduction on their prevent-plant acres is far too late, particularly with South Dakota’s uncertain fall and winter weather,” Thune said. “It’s arbitrary and it sets an inequitable standard that puts some states at a greater advantage than others based simply on their geographical location.”Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., had introduced legislation last week with Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., that would have created an emergency waiver and had 27 co-sponsors. “I’m glad to see the administration announce this critical decision that will give farmers and ranchers the flexibility they need during this wet planting season,” Craig said. “Minnesota farmers and ranchers deserve security in their feed supply, and I am grateful that the USDA has taken this step to ensure they have the relief they need.”Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Google Brings the Power of the Pie Chart

first_imgIf you’ve ever sat around mulling over different parts of an interactive map after an election or studied the New York Time’s “How Different Groups Spend Their Day” graph, then you know the value of a good chart. They can suck users in and really engage them. They can take a complex concept and make it simple.Google’s latest release, the Google Chart Tools, will make it easier for sites to show their users data in a meaningful, visual and interactive manner.These tools are broken down into two parts: image charts and interactive charts. The image charts work off a simple URL structure, defining all of the necessary characteristics through URL parameters. The interactive charts, while still relatively simple compared to custom creation, use a slightly more complicated Javascript library. Interactive charts will allow for showing extra data on mouseovers and simple animation. There are 30 different chart styles available, from interactive maps to pie charts, line charts to Venn diagrams.According to the Google Code Blog, “Interactive charts trigger events, providing tool-tips and animations. In addition to a rich gallery of charts, this tool can also read live data from a variety of data sources such as Oracle PL/SQL or Google spreadsheets.”We’re hoping these take off and we see more interesting visual data sets to play with around the web in the very near future. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Tags:#design#Google#news#web#Web Development last_img read more

The Storage Issues That Come with Desktop Virtualization

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Desktop Virtualization#solution-series#Virtualization Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img alex williams A huge issue with desktop virtualization is the storage question. How do you best allocate storage when potentially thousands of people are working on virtualized desktops?It’s a different world. Before, people kept their data on their own desktops and laptops. Now the data sits in shared storage environment. George Crump, an analyst with Storage Switzerland, writes in Information Week that in many respects it comes down to thin provisioning and image management.He writes that you can take advantage of thinly provisioned volumes so you do not have to allocate all the potential capacity, thus saving resources that you may need later. Thin provisioning limits the allocation to the initial storage. It means you do not have to use the full storage capabilities. In turn, that frees storage can be used when needed.Crump:“Additionally the amount of virtual desktop storage that is going to be needed is often difficult to predict, since so many optimization techniques will be applied. Having that space allocation dynamically eases this burden.”The second part has a lot to do with what is known as the “boot storm.” A boot storm occurs when there is a sudden surge in demand across a virtualized network. This can happen, for instance, at the beginning of the work day when everyone logs in at about the same time.The solution may be in creating master images that can manage hundreds of virtual desktops. The question becomes what is most efficient? Space needs to be optimized. And that means it’s important to eliminate as much duplication as possible.Crump maintains that by following these principles, a company can decrease its capacity requirement as much as 90%. That’s a considerable reduction.Boot storms lead to a number of complex questions. Storage on a desktop or laptop is pretty inexpensive. It can lead to questions about why to use virtualization at all. That’s a good question but the overall reasons for adopting desktop virtualization are far more numerous, especially in terms of security.Photo by RobinUtrac 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Greek Cup Postponed, Again

first_imgATHENS— Risking sanctions from FIFA, Greece’s government has postponed Saturday’s Greek Cup final, citing security concerns.Stavros Kontonis, a deputy minister for sport, announced the decision Friday, noting that the final between champion Olympiakos and AEK Athens would be delayed for “at least 10 days.”Fans had already been banned from the game at the 69,000-seat Olympic Stadium.Kontonis canceled the cup competition in March following fan violence at a semifinal match, but later reversed the decision facing the threat of an international ban by FIFA.On Thursday, AEK accused the Greek soccer association of favoring its opponents with the “underhand and infuriating” selection of match officials for the final.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more