November 28, 2014 By
November 28, 2014 By
Distribution of Guyana’s airwaves…
– as cost for services would be prohibitive
BY JOMO PAUL
Alliance For Change Leader (AFC) Khemraj Ramjattan has refused to budge on his position that the Government should employ the use of an auction in the sale of airwaves instead of its presently used method, whereby licences are granted for a fixed price.
The auction would involve a process in which Government employs an auction system to sell rights or licences to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign spectrum resources.
Developing countries, including the Caribbean, have however not gone the route of public auction.
Depending on the specific auction format used, a spectrum auction can last from a single day to several months from the opening bid to the final winning bid.
Despite the apparent success of spectrum auctions in developed countries, disadvantages include collusive bidding, in which the information and flexibility in the process of an auction can be used to reduce auction prices by tacit collusion.
When bidder competition is weak and one bidder holds an apparent advantage to win the auction for specific licences, other bidders will often choose not to the bid higher prices, hence reducing the final revenue generated by the auction.
Ramjattan speaking to Guyana Times on Thursday made it clear that he has no intentions of going back on his word, even when asked about the implications his proposed method may have for those who cannot afford to participate in an auction.
The auction of airwaves can fetch hefty prices, and in the carrying out of an auction, a simple businessman may not have the chance to buy a radio operating licence.
In addition, frequencies for companies such as the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) and Digicel would have to be auctioned, and the cost of cable television, internet, radio broadcast and telephone usage could become prohibitive, with large multi-national companies dominating the market, much to the disadvantage of smaller or local companies.
One observer has noted that if such a method is employed regardless of a man’s experience in the broadcasting industry, he may not be able to buy a licence given the fact that a person with more resources to spare may outbid him in the process.
Historically, auctions have never been conducted in favour of poorer classes of people, but rather those who had the money and could afford to spend.
Despite this, Ramjattan said he was standing his ground on the issue. He maintained that had the Government auctioned off the licences, more money could have been made by the Government.
Another news report stated that some observers are not particularly fond of this recent stance adopted by the politician.
It was noted that developing countries rarely employ the use of auctions for spectrum licences, thereby ensuring affordability on the part of investors, while making room for a more broad-based participation in the communication sector.
November 28, 2014 By
Machinery Corporation (MACORP) on Wednesday expanded its operations by formally opening shop in Bartica.
The store will be of great benefit to contractors, farmers and a number of businesses, bringing the company closer to its goal of being the sole supplier of machinery equipment.
MACORP’s General Manager Jorge Medina told reporters that the company has made a wise move in establishing roots in Bartica as the economy is growing and the demand for their products is great and continues to grow.
He informed that the demand was great in Bartica and customers have complained of being unable to get the parts they needed for their machines.
Medina said the new branch has taken the company a bit closer to their goal of being the leading supplier of machinery in Guyana, adding that “sustainability” is the way to accomplishing such a goal.
MACORP has been providing the people of Bartica with top of the line equipment for the last 10 years.
Product Support Manager Guillermo Escarraga explained that the company does not only supply machinery to its customers, but also offer technical support to customers.
He noted that customers need advice on the right machinery for their businesses, but many of them are unaware of how these machines operate or can be used advantageously.
Escarraga stated that these services are necessary for the survival of mining businesses, and the success of the customer is the success of the company.
“Our customers are hardworking people that undertake a mission to be successful in their various endeavours, so MACORP’s only wish is to help with this.”
Parts and Production Manager Asif Sahid said the new branch will contribute to the economic boom in Bartica, noting that three persons are stationed there.
They are expected to train a number of Barticians who have recently graduated or have passed through the Labour Ministry’s training programme.
Acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali had boldly proclaimed Guyana a country that is unquestionably moving forward, this being indicative in the number of investors that continue to show interest in Guyana’s market and steadily growing economy.
Minister Ali was in attendance when the technical equipment provider, Machinery Corporation (MACORP) officially opened an all new branch within the bustling town of Bartica.
The Minister was elated with MACORP’s decision, stating that Guyana is “a country that is on the move” when it comes to development, opportunities, jobs and growth.
November 28, 2014 By
Rain or sun, King’s annual Duck Curry competition is set to tantalise your taste buds this Sunday, at the Everest Cricket Club.
Thus far, several teams are already hyped and exited to compete in the cook off including the Guyanese, Surinamese, Trinidadians, Americans, Jamaicans and St Vincentians. They all have one aim and that is to be “the best duck curry chef in the Caribbean”.
Last year’s competition was won by a Surinamese team who blew the judges’ minds with their tasty and well-cooked duck meat. It was the first time a foreign team had won the competition in Guyana. The Surinamese team will be coming again with their contingent in the hopes of defending their title.
However, Team Trinidad is desperately seeking victory as they will once again be bringing their entourage of over 200 persons who all come to explore Guyana and enjoy its hospitality. The team will be even more anxious as past Team Guyana duck curry competitors have gone to the Trinidad competition and won.
In addition to the delicious competition, several artistes have been confirmed to perform, including renowned Chutney King Rikki Ja; Guyana’s Baboo, Terry Gajraj; Trinidad Chutney sensation Sally Sagram; and the Extreme Band from Trinidad.
In addition, there will the E-Networks Emerging Voices top three finishers; Guyana’s Chutney Queen, Fiona Singh; and the Caribbean Hotshots Band.
And in even better news for duck curry lovers, this year there will be duck curry on sale. The proceeds of the competition will go to the Radio Needy Children’s Fund. There will also be games for the children in aid of United Women for Children with Special Needs.
King’s Jewellery World will also be giving away five cricket bands to lucky patrons. Upon entry into the ground, patrons will be given a ticket with a number which entitles them to be part of the grand draw. Patrons must be present at the time of the drawing in order to win.
Suri Sweets will also be distributing goodies to the children. Come hungry, as this year there will be lots to eat and drink. Admission is always free and the action is set to start from 12 noon.
November 28, 2014 By
The A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Thursday met with representatives of the Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU) where they discuss the prorogation
of Parliament, among other issues.
The meeting was held at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, and provided APNU representatives the opportunity to brief the CCWU on the “current constitutional crisis brought about by the Proclamation of Prorogation of the Parliament of Guyana by President Donald Ramotar,” a release said.
The CCWU representatives took the opportunity to brief the Opposition Leader and his team on critical challenges affecting labour in Guyana.
The main focus of the discussion centred on matters pertaining to the Prorogation of Parliament, the No-Confidence Motion and Local Governance.
“APNU iterated its position that there would be no negotiations with the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic administration unless the Presidential Proclamation of Prorogation is reversed and Parliament reconvened,” the release said.
The CCWU team was led by President Sherwood Clarke, and included General Secretary Ann Anderson, Treasurer Dexter Jones and several Executive members.
APNU team was led by Opposition Leader (retired) Brigadier David Granger and included APNU Deputy Chairman, Dr Rupert Roopnarine, Shadow Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams, APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon, Shadow Local and Regional Development Minister Ronald Bulkan and APNU Director of Communications Mark Archer.
November 28, 2014 By
In less than 20 hours, the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, East Bank Demerara will be transformed into a celebrity haven with five international artistes, several local artistes and Guyanese well decked out to have a grand time.
The wait is over, the artistes have started to arrive, the bands are setting up, the stage lights are being installed, the 31-foot by 31-foot LED Television scene is up and the tickets are going like hot cakes. All of that is happening ahead of one of the most anticipated concerts titled “Boombastic” which is slated to take Guyana by storm on Saturday evening.
Thus far, Shaggy and his band along with Kranium have arrived in Guyana and are without a doubt excited to hit the stage on Saturday evening. Later in the day, the artistes will host a joint press conference where they will definitely reveal what they have planned for their Guyanese fans.
Baby Cham, Lady O and Christopher Martin are expected to make their grand appearance at the VIP party on their way from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, later this evening. The VIP party is more or less one that will see the artistes mixing and mingling with their fans at the Gravity Lounge.
Nevertheless, the promoter, Golden Boy Entertainment is making sure that all security arrangements are in place but more importantly, they are making sure that whatever they promised will be delivered on Saturday night.
So far, two sets of early bird tickets were released and from feedback received, they are all gone. The early bird tickets were sold at $2500. In addition, there will be a massive Black Friday ticket sale at Ashmins on High Street today. General admission tickets will be sold at $2800.
Regular tickets are, however, available at White Castle Fish Shop; Smart Aid Pharmacy, Kitty and Diamond; M&M Snackette; Two Brothers Service Station (West Coast Demerara); Rubis, Vlissengen Road; Moori Toori, Laing Avenue; Joseph’s Record Bar; Full Range Record Bar; Lifestyles Boutique; Colors Boutique; and That Look Boutique.
Stage front tickets remain priced at $16,000 and are available at Glamour Designer Brands and King’s Jewellery World.
November 28, 2014 By
– Govt says it has done a lot
A miner last Wednesday approached acting Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Irfaan Ali while he was in Bartica, complaining that small local miners are being squeezed out of operation by large foreign companies.
Judith David Blair, a former Peoples’ National Congress (PNC) Member of Parliament (MP) told the Minister that all is not well in the town.
Blair told Guyana Times that she has been a miner for 10 years but yet is unable to own her own land to mine and with the gold price crisis, things are not looking good for the mining community.
She said Barticians are fed up of persons talking of the town as if it is thriving when it is not. The miner reiterated that Bartica has problems, huge problems and these need to be addressed.
The former Parliamentarian, using the community of Issano as an example, said persons there have been working in the area for decades, then a foreign company moves into the area and the people have to move out, with their shops and businesses.
“People’s livelihoods are being taken away,” she said.
Judith said she is unable to get land to mine, contending that small miners in Bartica are being ignored for big mining companies.
She said small miners usually have to mine land owned by others. This, she said, is a problem as these landlords charge huge prices for the use of their land for mining.
The woman stated that she was told she needed to pay six oz of gold “just to go on the land”.
Blair wonders if such mining outfits or land owners have to even pay taxes for what they have been charging small miners as “we’re being raped and ripped off by these landlords… we need land to work.”
In addition, Judith told the media that the big names in the mining town do not give quality lands to mine.
She said mining does not seem to be for small miners anymore, remarking that the politicians need to tell the people if that is the case.
She emphasised that politicians need to be truthful and tell the miners what is happening so they can be prepared, so they can survive through other means.
Should go in the field
Blair challenged Parliamentarians to get off their seats and go into the backdam with the miners and see what they go though and how they live.
In this way, they will make decisions that will not affect small miners, she said.
Blair, while acknowledging that moves have been made by the various Government Ministries to ensure young people are trained in the technical field, she was not certain where they would be getting jobs.
“Would we flood the market with excavator operators?” she asked.
Jobs are not available in Bartica, Blair explained. “We have a dark cloud hanging over us and nothing is being done.” She said last week alone, she had to turn away four operators who were looking for jobs.
Several residents have cried out about the situation including taxi drivers, who say they hardly get jobs.
Judith is calling on the Government to look into these problems, but moreso the plights of small miners. In light of low gold prices on the global market and the resulting impact on the mining sector, the Government of Guyana (GoG) through the Natural Resources and the Environment Ministry and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commissions (GGMC) have implemented measures with the aim of ensuring Guyana’s mining sector remains viable.
“Specific interventions were made to support the sector, ensure its survival and continued growth and contribution to national development,” a release from the GGMC had stated.
The gold mining sector has proven to develop Guyana’s economy and improve the economic well-being of citizens of Guyana.
First of all, for small and medium-scale operations, All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), excavators, bulldozers and other machinery used in the mining sector will benefit from duty-free access. The waivers are available for new entrants and for current miners based on production levels, the GGMC said.
Additionally, double-cab pickup trucks will be granted waivers based on the production levels of miners. Three categories were established: Declarants with 5000 ounces and more annually, declarants between 2000 and 4999 ounces annually and declarants between 500 and 1999 annually.
The GGMC said 19 suppliers of mining equipment and spares will also receive tax waivers on the importation of equipment.
“This will reduce the cost of spares and critical suppliers for miners and in addition to the items that are currently imported duty-free, such as pumps, flexes and matting…” the GGMC said.
Considering that fuel is a major input in the mining process and is extremely costly, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Mining Association (GGDMA) requested fuel importation licences which would lead to the reduction of the cost of fuel for miners. The licence was granted to the Association under its name GGDMA Trading Inc.
“Miners also have a concession on fuel where it only attracts 10 per cent CIF (cost, insurance and freight) excise tax. They also have access to 10 per cent of their gold sales available in US dollars to assist in retooling, capital acquisition and diversification of investments,” the GGMC said.
In addition, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) proposed to the GGMC and the Natural Resources Ministry the reduction of rental paid on mining properties and lowering royalty payments from the current five per cent.
The Association agreed to submit a proposal recommending the rates for royalty and rental payments which will be review by the Ministry and the Commission.
November 28, 2014 By
An 18 month-old-child from Walton Hall Village, Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) was on Thursday rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital after
suffering severe burns about the body.
The toddler, whose name was given as Avishkar, but is also known as “Alex”, reportedly pulled down a bucket with the hot rice “mar” (rice water).
Reports reaching Guyana Times suggested that the child was alone and playing unsupervised when he saw a bucket and pulled it down.
He was severely burnt about the body, including the belly, feet and hands.
The child was said to be wearing pampers at the time and that saved him from further burns. The child was discovered by his parents and was taken to Suddie Public Hospital but was later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
November 28, 2014 By
Carol Greene, the mother of missing teacher Nyozi Goodman, is desperately hoping to receive the DNA results from the Police to confirm whether the corpse at Lyken’s Funeral Home is her daughter’s.
She is hoping that the results will be disclosed before year-end.
“As it is right now, I am just hoping and praying that one good day they would call and say Miss Greene, I have the results,” the sorrowful mother told Guyana Times.
She said she stopped contacting the Police a while ago because prior efforts were futile. Greene explained she has the contact number for the Policeman in charge of the
investigation and would constantly call him, but the calls always went unanswered. She also stated that she has him on Whatsapp but he never replies to her messages.
Referring to herself as “a mere citizen of this country”, she said there is no point in being aggressive as it will still not help the situation.
She said she interacted with the Police when they finally called to inform her that the prime suspect in the investigation is dead.
Upon reception of the tragic news, Greene noted she lost hope because now they can never hear the suspect’s perspective.
“The man is dead. Whatever he knows is dead with him. A dead man tells no tales.”
Royston Waldron, the main suspect in the disappearance of Goodman, was recently shot and killed at Alexander and Pike Streets, Kitty, during a shootout with the Police.
Furthermore, she noted that during the conversation with the official, he told her he ignored her calls because he did not want to disturb her.
Greene stated that St Stanislaus College, the high school where the Goodman was employed, desperately yearns to host a memorial service for her as students and colleagues need closure.
The weeping mother also expressed her family’s need for closure. She said they cannot get the body from the funeral home unless the results are confirmed. She also stressed that nothing else can be done as it relates to banking, because a death certificate is needed.
Even though the family longs to have a memorial service for Goodman, they remain adamant that they need the results before they do so.
Goodman’s sister, Niketa Greene said from all indications, she is slowly losing hope in the Police.
Family members remain confused as to why the results could not be easily faxed or emailed.
The 36-year-old Goodman was last seen on July 6 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, sending off with another teacher her school’s basketball team which she had accompanied to the National Schools Basketball Championships.
On July 24, a female body suspected to be that of the missing teacher, of William Street, Kitty, was found in an advanced decomposed state.
As a result, local Pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh had to be taken to the scene to perform the post-mortem examination, but after more than 30 minutes of examining the remains, he declared that the cause of death was inconclusive. However, he reportedly found signs that the woman might have been stabbed.
Owing to the state of the body, relatives could not positively identify the body as Goodman’s; hence, DNA samples were taken.
One of Goodman’s brothers had told reporters that there was no flesh on the body and the only way the woman could be identified was by a bad tooth in her mouth.
November 28, 2014 By