Govt terminates Investment Agreement with BaiShanLin

first_img…company now to repay .5B in tax waiversThe Guyana Government has terminated the Investment Agreement with controversial Chinese logging company BaiShanLin Forest Development Inc, and the entity is now being asked to repay the fiscal concessions it had been granted for the importation of machinery, equipment and vehicles to the tune of $1.5 billion.Commissioner General (ag) Ingrid GriffithGuyana Times has seen a copy of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) letter, which was inked by Commissioner General (ag) Ingrid Griffith and called on the company to make good on its payment within two weeks or face having its machinery, equipment and motor vehicles seized.This publication has since been informed that it was the failure of BaiShanLin to make its payments, which saw members of the law enforcement and investigative division of GRA descending on the entity’s Coomacka Linden operations Sunday last.According to the GRA missive addressed to Managing Director of BaiShanLin, Chu Hongbo, the Government’s premier revenue collection agency had launched an investigation to determine if the terms and conditions under which the tax exemptions were granted had been complied with.BSL breachThe GRA also investigated to ascertain if the activities of the project were undertaken in accordance with the business proposals that the Chinese logging company had issued to the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) prior to the Investment Agreement.The GRA found that the company had breached the terms and conditions, under which tax exemptions were granted as outlined in the Investment Agreement.BaiShanLin Managing Director Chu HongboAccording to the Revenue Authority, BaiShanLin failed to undertake the activities of the project specified in the Investment Agreement with regard to the setting up of a modernised wood processing facility in Linden.The tax collection body also found that BaiShanLin had also failed to create and sustain employment for 150 persons over three years.“It should be noted that they also failed to employ citizens of Guyana with first preference being given to residents in the region where the project is located,” the GRA added.It found too that the company also failed to procure and provide all the investment and other financing required by the undertaking, in the estimated sum of US$150 million over a three-year period from the time of signing of the Investment Agreement.Value added, not log exportsIn its letter to BaiShanLin outlining the course of action to be taken, the GRA pointed out to the company that during an interview, the company’s accountant informed GRA investigators that the design of the wood processing facility was now being finalised in China and the company was in the process of seeking alternative sources of financing to continue with the project, which would now include value-added processing.In the letter, Griffith reminded BaiShanLin’s Managing Director, “As you are aware, the concessions were granted on the basis that activities of your company would be value-added processing and not the cutting, felling and exporting of logs.”Repay $1.5BIt was subsequently determined that BaiShanLin breached its covenant with Government in its Investment Agreement “for which the penalty is termination of the Agreement”.As such, “the residual Customs duty and taxes are now due and payable on machinery, equipment and motor vehicles” in the amount of just over $1.5 billion ($1,584,047,052).The company was also warned that failing to make good on its payments within the two-week timeframe would result in “the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division taking the necessary actions to seize the machinery, equipment and motor vehicles” in accordance with the Customs Act.Ranks of the GRA’s enforcement division seized several pieces of equipment belonging to the embattled Chinese logging company when they descended on its operations on Sunday.The move by GRA’s enforcement decision came just days after the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) terminated several local Joint Venture Agreements the company had in addition to revoking its State Forest Exploratory Permit.Joint venturesBased on documentation seen by this publication, on September 1, 2016, the GFC wrote to the five companies with whom BaiShanLin had entered into joint ventures, informing them that the arrangement had been terminated, since the Commission had not been informed ahead of time of a transfer of shares.Each of the companies was told to remove any equipment it had on the more than 400,000 hectares of forest within 90 days.The matter has since engaged the attention of the Chinese Embassy in Georgetown, since it was approached for assistance by BaiShanLin.According to letters issued to Haimorakabra Logging Co Inc, Kwebanna Wood Products Inc, Sherwood Forests Inc, Wood Association Industries Company and Puruni Woods, they had violated provisions in the Forestry Act when they failed to inform the Commission of a transfer of shares, hence the decision to terminate the arrangement.GFC owedIn making the announcement of repossession, the Commission said, “The decision came after the company failed to deliver on agreed actions to introduce investors to the Commission and having been given time to prove that it had an acceptable plan to clear an approximately GY$80 million debt.”BaiShanLin was incorporated locally in September 2006 under the Guyana Companies Act 1991 with the main objective of timber harvesting and establishing downstream wood processing operations in Linden.To date, however, the company has failed to fulfil many of its commitments to the Government of Guyana, reneging on the obligations it made, which were accepted in good faith, according to the GFC.last_img read more

South African wine wins Fairtrade award

first_img19 September 2012South African winemaker Bosman Family Vineyards established itself as one of the world’s leading ethical wine producers by winning the Fairtrade Award at the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC) in the United Kingdom last week.The Fairtrade Award is for wine-producing regions which are officially recognised as being part of the Fairtrade Association.Wines are judged on their individual merits and the award is presented to the highest quality wine at the IWC with Fairtrade certification.Bosman Family Vineyards was also the only South African winery to win one of the trophies at this year’s show.The winning wine was the 2011 Wild Valley Chenin Blanc from the premium Fairtrade range of Sainsbury’s, Taste The Difference, and is made from the Bosman Fairtrade Chenin Blanc vineyards from the Wellington Wine region.The judges described the wine as “floral with white fruit aromas, fresh acidity, appealing grapefruit honey flowers and a rich creamy, bready texture”.The wine is available from Sainsbury’s in the United Kingdom at £7.99 (about R107).“South Africa is the leader in sustainable and ethical wine production in the world and we are excited that a South African wine is recognised in this way and that such outstanding quality can actually be produced in an ethical and environmentally responsible way,” chief executive officer of Wines of South Africa, Su Birch, said in a statement.Bosman Family Vineyards managing director Petrus Bosman said: “Our story at Bosman Family Vineyards is still being written and as a young team, we are very aware that the pages we are on today is the result of the hard work and dedication of those that have written our story before us.“Farming with sustainable principles is something that has been carried over from one generation to the next in our family and our experience has been that the quality of your product increases over time when you consistently invest in people and nature.”Three hundred and thirty-eight judges from 25 countries tasted 21 609 different wines from over 50 countries.The International Wine Challenge is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive blind wine-tasting competitions, and the organisation was founded in 1983.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Brand South Africa takes agenda to build competitiveness to Mpumalanga

first_imgJohannesburg, Wednesday 16 September 2015 – Brand South Africa will on Thursday 17 September 2015 bring the country’s agenda of building competitiveness, pride and patriotism, to the province of Mpumalanga during a one-day workshop at the Mecure Nelspruit Hotel, in Nelspruit.This is in line with Brand South Africa’s agenda to encourage all South Africans to play their part in building South Africa as a globally competitive destination for investment, tourism and skills.Provinces and cities are crucial to the positive positioning of South Africa because they cumulatively contribute to perceptions about the country.These are the perceptions that drive the country’s reputation.Building positive perceptions about South Africa requires all citizens to have hands on deck and Brand South Africa is happy to host representatives of business, government and civil society at the workshop.The inputs from the workshop will contribute to Brand South Africa’s efforts to position the country as a competitive investment destination.Media are invited to attend the workshop. The details are as follows:Date: Thursday 17 September 2015Time: 08h30Venue: Mecure Nelspruit Hotel, Cnr. N4 & Graniet Street, NelspruitEnquiries/RVSP: Manusha Pillai on [email protected] or SMS to 082 389 3587Follow the conversation on #CompetitiveSAlast_img read more

Sensible Plumbing

first_img“We have very low pressure at the master-bathroom shower, and if any other plumbing is used, we literally have no water coming out of the showerhead.” The frustration in my new customer’s voice was palpable, and during the drive to his country estate, thoughts about the root causes of his home’s water-pressure woes ran through my head. I pulled into the driveway of what had to be a multimillion-dollar home. How could a house that looked this great be suffering so much internally?I saw the problem almost as soon as I descended the stairs to the basement: a single pair of ½-in. PEX lines—one hot and one cold—running 75 ft. along the ceiling, with T-fittings spliced in at intervals to serve fixtures on the three floors above. The master bath’s lines were last along this undersize flow-through system, and as you might guess, the master bath was on the third floor.What were they thinking? Simply put, they weren’t. Good plumbing isn’t rocket science; it’s applied science. Boil it down and you’ve got about 25% knowledge and 75% common sense. The problem is that most rough-plumbing jobs are won or lost by a bid process that emphasizes cost-cutting over performance. But doing things right and controlling costs are not mutually exclusive ideas. Both of them need to be engaged in designing and installing a plumbing system that makes sense.At its most basic, plumbing is simply the practical application of hydraulics and physics to bring clean, healthy water from a municipal water main or a well to the places in the house where it’s needed—and when we’re finished with it, to remove the waste via the sanitary-sewer system to the municipal… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

3 Ways Social Media Is Reshaping the Political Landscape

first_imgRelated Posts The recent political conventions underscored a few disconcerting trends. Our political leadership is not only out of touch with reality but also tends to distort the truth. How can social-media-based innovations address these challenges?Given that social media excel at connecting people with society’s leaders, there is no question social entrepreneurs can play a major role in the country’s future. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in his company’s S-1 IPO filing that he viewed Facebook as a tool that could “bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people.”While Zuckerberg believes that social media can more bring accountability to the political process and offer solutions to some of our biggest problems, how is this vision being realized? A number of startups are approaching the social engagement process in different ways. ClicktivismFounded in 2006 by two Stanford University undergrads, Change.org aims to overcome microcosmic challenges. The company lets citizens create online petitions. Its most famous win was “forcing” Bank of America to rescind its planned monthly $5 banking fee, a petition started by a 22-year-old nanny Molly Katchpole.Demonstrating the budding interest in online activism, often dubbed “clicktivism,” Change.org has signed up 17 million members and is adding 2-3 million clicktivists each month, according to Change.org Communications Manager Charlotte Hill.In August, Change.org helped three high-school students succeed: in getting a woman, CNN’s Candy Crowley, to moderate the presidential debates, something that hadn’t occurred since 1992. (Look here for other Change.org victoriesHill tells me that Change.org generates revenue by accepting advertisements from non-profits, basically “sponsored petitions.” The formula may be working because the company already has grown to 150 employees.Civic EngagementPOPVOX was born to address the problem of too much information. Founder and CEO Marci Harris worked as a legislative assistant in Washington and discovered that congressional staffers were drowning in too much noise, so the idea to create an online sentiment platform was born.POPVOX automates the process of constituent communications with their political representatives. The online platform makes it easy for citizens to follow proposed legislation and express support or opposition, which is then sent with a personalized note to involved representatives.Harris tells me that POPVOX relies on a freemium model. Politicians are welcome to place a free widget on their site but if they need analytics, the company is more than happy to oblige for a monthly subscription fee. michael tchong A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Government#Non-Profits#social networks#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification POPVOX users are not required to be citizens or even registered voters. So users can keep civic logins separate from their Facebook or Twitter login. This feature lets members rely on anonymous screen names yet communicate with Congress using their real name.Voter EngagementVotizen takes a different approach. It spent a lot of money and time digitizing voter registration records for 200 million Americans. It took two years to capture the data, which was supplied by local registrars on floppy disks, magnetic tape and even spreadsheets.The resulting 1TB database was used to create a social-media-driven service that lets members discover who their social media connections like – or to find like-minded individuals. Votizen has raised $2.25 million from the likes of Napster co-founder Sean Parker and angel investor Ron Conway in addition to Twitter celebrity Ashton Kutcher.Votizen believes politicians and activists will pay to reach its members, selectable by affinity or geography. The service says it has so far attracted 1,549,231 members. Votizen co-founder and CEO David Binetti says the goal of the service is to reduce the role of money in politics by making “the size of a person’s network more important than the size of their wallet.”Clearly, social entrepreneurs have heeded the call to help reshape America’s political landscape, whether through clicktivism and heightened civic or voter engagement. I plan to look at the other challenge, realtime transparency and fact-checking, in an upcoming post.Soldier on America and do contribute your ideas to our Social Revolution ideation engine. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

Google Outruns Real Penalties From Street View Lawsuit

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Google#privacy#Street View 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts center_img brian proffitt A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Google has agreed to settle a case brought by 38 U.S. states to challenge its Street View project, acknowledging once again that it had scooped up user data and other private information when collecting location information on the streets and roads of the U.S.The settlement includes a pittance of a $7 million fine and an agreement from Google that it will implement internal and external programs to train employees and users alike on how to do privacy better, which really amounts to a slap on the wrist for the Mountain View, Calif., firm.This wasn’t exactly a new admission for Google, either. In May 2010 the search giant acknowledged it had mistakenly included code in its Street View software that collects WiFi payload data – data that is supposed to assist in location apps. Of course, getting this initial admission was like pulling teeth at first, with Google at first denying the data collection, and then trying to blame one of its engineers.(See also Google Won’t Resume Its Street View Wi-Fi Collection.)Here in the U.S., 38 state attorneys general launched a lawsuit against Google, led by Connecticut attorney general George Jepsen, who counts this as a big win.“While the $7 million is significant, the importance of this agreement goes beyond financial terms. Consumers have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This agreement recognizes those rights and ensures that Google will not use similar tactics in the future to collect personal information without permission from unsuspecting consumers,” Jepsen said in a statement to the press.The takeaway from this settlement is not the monetary fine, but the fact that Google is on the hook once more for privacy violations, something the company has struggled with for years in its quest to monetize consumer data while being trusted to protect it.(Review Tech World Overreacts to Google’s New Privacy Policy – How Does It Affect You?.)No one worries much about Street View anymore; since 2010, Google has pretty much assured everyone it’s not going to be collecting anything more than it should. Assuming that’s true, though, is not necessarily a reason to trust Google from blundering its way into privacy minefields again.Google Glass, for instance, could be a huge tool for mining personal information about unsuspecting people who aren’t even wearing the devices. It’s not hard to imagine tech-savvy lawyers sharpening their lawsuit knives to file the first violation of privacy lawsuits involving these devices.(Ponder Google Glass: Our Lives Are Not Reality TV.)For now, Google will have to come up with privacy initiatives for its employees and end-users that reinforce privacy policies and techniques. We’ll choke back the irony of that situation for now as we wait to see what Google does with this directive.Until the next time it gets too grabby with our personal information.Image courtesy of Google.last_img read more

NBA: Cavs star James opposes playoff changes

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “If you start messing with seedings and playoffs and then you start talking about, ‘Well, if this team would have played this Western Conference team, what …’“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game — we proved you can do that — but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs.”James has been to seven straight NBA Finals, winning three titles with the Miami Heat and the Cavaliers.He isn’t concerned about the recent dominance of the West.“In the ’80s you had the Lakers who dominated the league at one point, then you had Boston. In the ’90s you had Chicago.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Read Next Western Conference teams have won three of the last four NBA titles, the Cavaliers the only Eastern interlopers in 2016.The Golden State Warriors won in 2015 and 2017 — beating the Cavs both times — and the San Antonio Spurs won in 2014.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDuring the All-Star break NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there had been discussions in the league office about changing the format — perhaps by taking the top eight teams from each conference but re-seeding them 1-16 by overall record or, more dramatically, taking the top 16 regular-season teams regardless of conference.“It just changes the landscape of the history of the game,” James said. Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus AFP official booed out of forum Jarencio lightens up Batang Pier mood amid playoff chase; Elite stay in quarterfinal hunt Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “San Antonio also had its run. We had our run in the East with Miami, Golden State is having their run.”In discussing possible changes, Silver said the big concern, in his mind, wasn’t tradition but travel — if Eastern and Western teams are facing off in the early rounds.“We are concerned about teams criss-crossing the country in the first round, for example,” he said. “We are just concerned about the overall travel that we would have in the top 16 teams.” /cbb Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LeBron James warms up during the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. AFPLOS ANGELES, United States — Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James thinks the NBA playoffs format is just fine, and talk of tweaking it is misguided.“I think our league has been built the right way as far as when it comes to the post-season,” James said Wednesday after the Cavaliers’ first practice since the All-Star break.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Gibson quits politics FNM

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 6, 2017 – Nassau – Kenyatta Gibson on Friday announced that he is ending his political career for professional and business obligations; many count it a blow to the Free National Movement’s 2017 General Election Campaign.  Gibson, who defected from the PLP before the 2012 General Elections is now turning in the towel as FNM Member for Golden Isles.  The departure of Kenyatta Gibson was foreshadowed by PLP Natl Chairman, Bradley Roberts reveal the night before that the MP was leaving. #MagneticMediaNews Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo Related Items:#magneticmedianewslast_img read more