Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Break new ground MOST READ It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson A costly, catty dispute finally settled OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Winning start Josh Richardson of the Miami Heat tries to get a shot off between Tobias Harris #34 and Marcus Morris #13 of the Detroit Pistons during the first half at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 28, 2017 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFPMIAMI — Josh Richardson will go to Miami Heat training camp later this month with a new contract.Richardson and the Heat agreed Wednesday on a four-year extension that could be worth $42 million, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press. The fourth year will be at Richardson’s option, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the signing.ADVERTISEMENT The contract goes into effect in the 2018-19 season. Richardson will make about $1.5 million this coming season, and will likely be in the mix of candidates vying for the starting small forward spot with the Heat. The deal was not a surprise, given that Miami officials had indicated repeatedly that they had no plans on letting Richardson go elsewhere.Richardson is entering his third season with the Heat. He averaged 10.2 points last season, appearing in 53 games and making 34 starts. He shot 46 percent from 3-point range as a rookie, then 33 percent from beyond the arc last season — after missing training camp with a knee injury.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe Heat begin this season’s training camp Sept. 26.Richardson turns 24 on Friday. He was the No. 40 overall pick by Miami in the 2015 NBA draft after a four-year career at Tennessee. View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next A costly, catty dispute finally settled Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ LATEST STORIES End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend UFC strips Jones, reinstates Cormier as 205-pound champion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Dear Editor,The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) wishes to respond to the contents of a Guyana Times article “134.2B in tax concessions, doubled under APNU/ AFC Government, significant amount of luxury vehicles – AG report”. This article contains such misleading and erroneous representations and statements aimed at discrediting the formidable efforts of the GRA in curtailing revenue loss regarding tax exemptions that it would be remiss of me not to appropriately respond.Firstly, it must be pointed out that the GRA administers the concession regime and does not grant concessions. Matter of fact, I am repeatedly on record stating my preference for the removal of the concession regime and to replace such with the system of tax credits. Such a system, as practised in the developed nations, allows for improved compliance with the tax laws and conditions of IDAs.Secondly, the article stated “According to the Audit Report of 2018, some $134.2 billion in concessions were granted for 2018, compared to just $64.3 billion in 2017, a 91.97 per cent increase. The report went on to say that: “In fact, the $134 billion, it (the GRA) waived represents a large chunk of all monies collected by the Guyana Revenue Authority in 2018.” Further, the article noted according to the report “a total 9359 companies benefitted from $104.7 billion in tax concessions”.For the sake of brevity, I will not expound on all the statutory reasoning and parameters regarding the Exemption Regime. However, for the sake of the learned individuals who should understand how the regime operates but who inexplicably demonstrates selective ignorance, and the Guyanese public who they are trying to convince in this “silly season”, I will again provide some explanations which I hope will bring more clarity and final closure to this matter.Exemptions are categorically placed into Conditional and Unconditional Schemes, with Conditional Schemes being granted to Companies/Investors/Manufacturers etc which results in investment stimulation, and raw materials for manufacturers. As the category name suggests, the concession is premised on the beneficiaries satisfying certain predefined conditions, both pre and post the exemption granted.Public officials and remigrants are categorised in the Conditional category as a result of conditions which must be satisfied. Government agencies including budget agencies such as the Office of the Auditor General are also included in this category.Unconditional Exemptions, however, are specific to international trade agreements that Guyana has with countries, both regionally and internationally. The conditions for these are etched in the trade agreements that were bilaterally agreed upon by countries involved and are not contingent on conditionalities. These include importations from Caricom countries and imports of specific items eg tiles from neighbouring Brazil.It is patently obvious that the GRA, therefore, can only exert influence in terms of formulating and implementing policies and controls. This will only, therefore, apply to the Conditional category of Exemptions and in limited circumstances to the Unconditional category. The controls for the unconditional category in many cases only involve authenticating relevant trade documents such as country of origin certificate etc. Matter of fact, there is no need to apply for the exemption under this category. This is usually granted automatically if all the relevant documentations are filed with the import documents, but the GRA through Post Clearance activities would check on their authenticity.There has been so much buzz and fanfare in our country about oil and gas exploration and our recent oil finds. These companies by way of signed Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) are entitled to significant exemptions upon importation of capital items as preparatory works for the upliftment of oil. In the years 2016-2018, such imports intensified as a result of ramping up preparation for development, production and downstream activities.I say all of the above to now unequivocally unambiguously and with reservation say that Exemptions (excluding the oil and gas element) under my tenure as Commissioner General, which began in the year 2016, are less in value when compared to the period 2013-2015.For the period 2013-2015, Conditional Exemptions (excluding the unavoidable oil and gas applicants) were as follows: 2013 – $45.78 billion, 2014 – $53.27 billion and 2015 – $72.72 billion; for the period 2016-2018, this same category was $30.73 billion, $35.80 billion and $43.65 billion respectively. Unconditional Exemptions for the period 2013-2015 totalled $34.09 billion, while the total for 2016-2018 was $49.64 billion.Under the category of Conditional Exemptions, the main benefactors were the sub category Companies/Business. For the period 2013-2015, Companies and Business benefitted to the tune of $119.04 billion, while for the period 2016-2018, Companies and Business (excluding oil and gas), value was $76.68 billion, some $42.36 billion less when compared with the period 2013-2015.Remigrants, a category of Conditional Exemptions that was previously abused as was alluded to by previous Auditor General reports, was reduced by $2.56 billion in the period 2016 to 2018 ($5.37 billion during 2013 to 2014, and $2.81 billion during 2016 to 2018). Additionally, public officials reduced by $1.1 billion during the period 2016 to 2018 ($2.83 billion in 2013 to 2015 and $1.73 in 2016-2018).Any sound analysis that should have guided an informed conclusion or audit opinion on this matter should have been based on empirical data so that readers and users of the report could have deduced the relevant points and then form an informed and well-construed opinion. Regrettably, neither the Auditor General nor the media house that published the article seems inclined to present the Guyanese public with well-informed positions.As part of the audit process, all IDAs were made available to the staff of the Auditor General for inspection. Further, the PSAs are public documents. Any sound review would have provided an informed analysis as to the reasons for the increase in exemption in certain categories and therefore one would have concluded differently, and certainly more rationally and logically that what is being purported by the media article to be in the AG’s report of 2018. Inexplicably, I am not in possession of such report. I am being guided by Guyana Times which, it appears, has unrestricted and unprecedented access to the report.While the exemptions administered by the GRA relative to tax collected seems like the perfect fit for a sensationalised headline, the article takes a myopic and chauvinistic view of exemptions by comparing exemptions granted in 2018 with the previous year. A more detailed analysis from 2013 to 2018 would have shown the drastic decrease in both the numbers and the values of exemption granted over the years.The GRA from 2016 onwards, under new strategic directions, has undertaken several interventions that saw a significant reduction in the number and value of exemptions granted. Requests for tax exemptions, in particular, those in the Conditional category, are scrutinised to ensure that they meet specific criteria so as to curtail the significant loss of revenue that resulted from the arbitrary and capricious manner in which such concessions were granted previously.Further, efforts by the GRA have not been limited to administering the concessions granted, but also extends to its swift and robust control measures to ensure that beneficiaries are in keeping with conditions committed to in their respective agreements. To this end, over the years 2016-2018, sterling efforts of the GRA has led to the recovery of in excess of $1 billion dollars (yes, one billion dollars) from Post Exemption exercises (including sale of seizures to recover taxes) conducted on beneficiaries, who would have otherwise been declared fit and proper for the exemption by external agencies. The very photograph that appears in the Guyana Times article is one such vehicle that was repossessed by the Post Exemption exercise resulting from a breach of an IDA that was given to this company during 2013 to 2015. This is testimony to the fact that the GRA is not oblivious and unmindful to the potential revenue loss from the abuse of the tax exemption scheme, and has taken measures to curtail its abuse.Our work is in a continuous progression mode which can only progressively and incrementally improve as we continue to assiduously pursue our mandate to ensure compliance with Guyana’s trade, tax and border laws. As the leader of the GRA, my detractors can rest assured that I will remain undeterred by assertions and statements, which for the most part, are baseless and unsubstantiated.One last note to consider – Could the Auditor General state for the public record when was his agency last audited?Sincerely,Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA)
Motorists and pedestrians using the East Coast Highway will have to wait a bit longer for works being undertaken from Better Hope to be completed as the deadline will extend beyond 2018.Head of the Work Services Group (WSG) Geoffrey Vaughn told the local media that the East Coast Demerara Road Widening and Improvement Project will not be completed at the end of 2018.In addressing the Ministry’s year-end press conference, Vaughn said physical workThe expansion of the public road at Better Hopeon the project commenced on August 29, 2017 and the duration of the project is two years.According to him, the contractor is expected to complete 1.3 kilometers of the roadway up to the base level before the end of December 2017.“Presently the contractors are working on the extension at Better Hope and they are at the stage of the sub base because foreign objects and the sub base itself have been removed and replaced and we will be moving to the other cases of the structure,” he explained.It was also noted that relocation of Guyana Water Incorporated utilities is 30 per cent completed, while the heightening and construction of drains are ongoing, with 720 meters already completed.The WSG coordinator said it is projected that the project will be 75 percent completed before the end of 2018, but will most likely roll over to 2019 when it will be fully completed.The contract for this project was awarded to China Railway International. The project entails a four-lane extension from Better Hope to Annandale, and two-lane upgrade from Annandale to Belfield with a total length of 16,998 kilometres of roads and 33,996 kilometres of drains to be built.Apart from the road expansion, the residents are also going to benefit from the project, which included improved drainage since the East Coast is usually susceptible to flooding.Initially, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had tried to finance the road expansion project, but the funding was not readily available; hence, the Administration decided to use local funds for preliminary works and use the funds from the Chinese to complete the works.The preliminary works for the four-lane upgrade were completed at the end of 2014. This included the widening of the roads and installation of drainage facilities. The project was divided into seven lots which were awarded to different contractors.Lot one was initially awarded to Falcon Transportation and Construction Services; however, the contract was terminated by the Public Works Ministry in 2012 and awarded last year to Dipcon Engineering Services, which is also tasked with works on Lot Two. The two lots, which covered from Better Hope to La Bonne Intention (LBI), were joined into one.Dipcon also worked on Lot Five (Triumph to Mon Repos). Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited worked on Lot Three, covering LBI and Beterverwagting. Preliminary works on Lot Four (Beterverwagting to Triumph) were done by Compustruct Engineering Inc.Lot Six covers Mon Repos to De Endragt and was awarded to Colin Talbot Contracting Services. This construction company also handled works on Lot Seven (De Endragt to Good Hope).With the China Eximbank putting up most of the finances for the road expansion, Guyana had awarded the contract to China Railway First Group for some US$42.7 million. The Chinese construction company reportedly put in the lowest bid of US$46.994 million. The PPP/C Administration had stated that it was saving some $2.8 billion by giving the contract to China Railway First Group.Meanwhile, speaking about the East Bank-East Coast Road Linkage Project, Vaughn said it was awarded to an Indian company called RITES, with a design and preparation expected to be completed before the end of December 2018.He said, “We have sent the draft contract to India. They have responded to us yesterday (Wednesday) agreeing to the draft contract. So we should have that draft contract signed onto and works being executed. The cost for that would have been US$1.3 million.India has approved a new Line of Credit of US$50 million for the East Bank Demerara – East Coast Road Link Project under the previous People’s Progressive Party Government.A credit line was extended by India in 2004 with the construction of the Guyana National Stadium and solar traffic lights in Georgetown, some of the projects to benefit.
After running for 18 yearsAn Enmore, East Coast Demerara (ECD) man was on Friday arraigned for a murder that he allegedly committed 18 years ago and appeared at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court.Deonarine Bhikari, 53, of Log Wood Enmore, ECD, was not required to plea to the indicated charge which stated that on May 21, 2000, he murdered Daniel Singh. The accused was 35 years old when reportedly hacked Singh to death in front of his four children.The presiding prosecutor informed the court that the file is incomplete but assured the Magistrate that it will be at the next hearing. He was remanded to prison by Magistrate Peter Hugh. The case will continue on June 15.However, on Friday, several family members of the dead man turned up at the court to get a glimpse of the accused, who was in cuffs and chains. The relativesDeonarine Bhikari leaving the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court on Friday (Leroy Smith photo)related that they were confident justice will be served.Although waiting for 18 years, Dochand Singh, a son of the dead man related that he was extremely happy that the suspect was charged. He related that he does not mind waiting another 18 years as he is confident that justice will be fully served.Eighteen years ago, 49-year-old Daniel Singh, of Hope West, Enmore, ECD and Bhikari usually had confrontations, since the suspect and Singh’s daughter, Nalini, had reportedly liked each other but Singh did not approve of that.It was reported that Singh was on the front step of his home when he was reportedly attacked by Bhikari with a cutlass. Bhikari also killed three of the family’s dogs, while injuring Nalini Singh and another one of their dogs during the brutal attack.One of the then young sons had recalled being awakened by his sister’s screams, and upon looking through the window, he saw the attacker firing chops at his father.At the time of the attack, Nalini was shouting at the suspect, asking him what he was doing to her father. The man reportedly then turned his attention to her, also inflicting chops to both of her hands. She managed to escape, seeking refuge in a neighbour’s yard.Meanwhile, two of Singh’s young sons were reportedly standing in shock watching helplessly as their unconscious father lay bleeding on the ground. Upon noticing that the attacker was charging towards them, the two young boys ran into the bedroom and locked the door.After realising that he was unable to get the door open, the man reportedly left the yard by scaling the back fence and made good his escape. He then went into hiding.Singh was picked up by neighbours who were awakened by screams and rushed him to the hospital where he was admitted and subsequently died a few days later without regaining consciousness.
The Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) is again urging holders of house lots not to re-sell the land, but rather return it to the agency.CH&PA’s Director of Operations, Denise King-TudorAccording to the Department of Public Information (DPI), CH&PA’s Director of Operations, Denise King-Tudor, said the agency is working to increase its investigation and staff strength of the enforcement and investigation unit.Information has shown that individuals who are selling the land, are issuing irrevocable Power of Attorneys to the buyer. Because there is a payment penalty for the act, in many cases, the new buyer is left to make that payment.“We do not want persons to sell the lots that we have given to them. We are expecting that if someone is no longer interested in a vacant lot, that they can return it to us. We will refund them and reallocate it to someone who is on the waiting list.”At the same time, King-Tudor said the agency is also reviewing the allocation criteria and selection process for persons purchasing housing units. According to her, it has been discovered that a lot of information during the application process is oftentimes omitted.“They [applicants] provide documentations to say this is what I earn, but sometimes I am of the view that persons do not give us all the information pertaining to their financial status.”In such cases, many persons applying for a low or middle-income home can quickly expand their living quarters. While the CH&PA has no qualms about the developments, there is a timeline of twelve months which homeowners must adhere to before making any changes to the units. Any time prior, permission must be sought.“So, we are in the process of reviewing the allocation criteria and the selection process and I believe that once completed, we are going to see some level of improvement in our process.
Shocking is one of them. Remarkable is another. Beat-down is one more, although that’s more like two, isn’t it? But that’s probably the best description of what the Lakers did to the Phoenix Suns in a 119-98 rout at the U.S. Airways Center. It was the Lakers’ first victory in Phoenix since Feb. 22, 2004, ending an 0-6 skid. The lopsided victory also kept the Lakers from starting the season 0-2 for the first time since 2002-03. It also was a small slice of payback for their ouster at the hands of the Suns in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons. NBA: L.A. ends six-game slump in desert with help from the schedule. By Elliott Teaford Staff Writer PHOENIX – There are words for what happened Friday night in the desert. “I don’t like the word shocking, I like remarkable,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “It was a remarkable thing to have happen.” Above all, it seemed to give the Lakers a sense of calm after weeks of uncertainty and speculation surrounding Kobe Bryant, who as recently as Wednesday night was rumored to be traded to the Chicago Bulls. “It was a good win for us,” Bryant said. “We need wins like this to reach the next notch. It shows we have a lot of will. That’s what I like about our team. … “It doesn’t end. It’s one game out of 82. We understand that we’ve got to keep this going.” It was a victory that was not without a bit of controversy, however. Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni was upset that Jackson took back-to-back timeouts late in the game. Jackson said he was trying to get the timeouts out of the way (each team is required to take one timeout per quarter in addition to the mandatory television timeouts) and get the game over. “You take eight minutes to explain maybe one play that he probably didn’t run,” D’Antoni said. “I thought he disrespected our players, but I know he likes to play the mind games and that’s fine. He might want to try and do it in playoff time, when we bust them every time. We’ve got them three more times (this season), that’s fine.” In the final analysis, it was difficult to discern which was the elite team and which was the team hoping to scramble into the playoffs this season. The Lakers shot 56.5 percent (48-for-85), ruled the paint and the backboards and displayed more depth and persistence than the Suns. Remarkably enough, five Lakers scored 10 or more points, led by Vladimir Radmanovic, who had 19. Bryant had 16 points and 11 rebounds, sitting out the fourth quarter as the game was decided when the Lakers went on a 19-8 run to build a 95-67 lead by the end of the third. Their lead would eventually grow to 33 points early in the fourth. Derek Fisher and Andrew Bynum each had 14 points and Sasha Vujacic had 12. Bynum added 13 rebounds to help the Lakers outrebound the Suns, 54-34. Leandro Barbosa led Phoenix with 23 points. With no shortage of motivation, the Lakers came out with razor-sharp focus. Well, after Kwame Brown lost the opening tip because he wasn’t paying attention and after they fell behind by 8-2, then they played with a razor-sharp focus. The Lakers led by as many as 17 points en route to a 63-50 halftime lead. They exploited the Suns’ lack of brawn in the paint and shot 53.1 percent (26-for-49) and outrebounded the Suns, 27-16, in the first half. The Lakers played like a team with a great deal to prove. The Suns played like a team that had opened the season the night before in Seattle, flying through the night and getting little rest before their home opener. The Suns shot 42.1 percent in the first half and made only 14 of 21 free throws (66.7 percent). “They didn’t do the things they usually do,” Jackson said of the Suns. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
England are no longer like the struggling sides of old, according to former Three Lions international Alvin Martin.The 57-year-old, who won 17 caps for the country in the 1980s, believes the shirt is not as heavy as it once was, with the belief that players struggled to play for England due to the pressure to live up to previous successes.The glory of 1966, and the near misses of Italia 90 and Euro 96, are always brought up on the eve of major tournaments, but with failure always following.As is tradition, the same occurred prior to the start of Euro 2016, and the opening Group B collapse against Russia suggested the outcome would be the same as the norm.However, that performance did not deserve just a draw, and a dominating performance in the second game brought around a victory over Wales.That win came after the Welsh had taken a first half lead, but Martin believes the manner of the fightback proves the Three Lions have developed from their previous failures into a new look side.Speaking to Drivetime, Martin said: “I see a different England mentality; a shirt now that’s not worn as heavy. It was famous from Capello: ‘The England shirt wears too heavy’.“I don’t see that.“We should have beaten Russia – I don’t think anyone can argue against that. They got a last minute equaliser against us, and that was unfortunate.“But we’d done enough really to win that game by two or three goals.“When we went into the Wales game, we went a goal down. And we did leave it late [to win], but we didn’t panic – we kept playing.“There were times when I was thinking [previous] England sides would have panicked after not getting back in the game very quickly, and would have started launching the ball long.“They didn’t. They were precise, there was a composure about what they were trying to do, and they did, in the end, get the job done.”With England finishing second in Group B, they will now face Iceland in the Round of 16, a tie which will be played Monday evening, live on talkSPORT.
Majella holding baby Olivia.Majella and Daniel O’Donnell have become grandparents.Majella took to twitter to announce the news that her daughter Siobhan and partner Gavin had given birth to a baby girl.Majella tweeted “Delighted to announce that my daughter Siobhan has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Welcome to the world Olivia Shields. All well. She later post this stunning picture of herself holding Olivia and wrote “Here she is!! My beautiful granddaughter Olivia!! I’m so happy for Siobhan & Gavin & that it’s all over!”SEE THE STUNNING PICTURE OF DANIEL AND MAJELLA’S FIRST GRANDCHILD was last modified: August 3rd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DANIL O’DONNELLdonegalgrandchildMajella
11 11 11 Centre back: Eric Bailly Centre midfield: Ander Herrera Right wing: Henrikh Mkhitaryan Centre back: Victor Lindelof (Already signed from Benfica) 11 11 Centre midfield: Nemanja Matic (From Chelsea) Manchester United have already started their summer transfer dealings, bringing in Victor Lindelof from Benfica.Jose Mourinho has plans to build a team capable of challenging for both the Premier League and the Champions League, and the signing of Lindelof fixes one of the main problem areas in the United team – the centre of defence.However, Mourinho also wants to improve his midfield and attack, and the Red Devils have been linked with a host of potential signings.And the latest rumour suggests Cristiano Ronaldo could make the move back to Old Trafford as he wishes to leave Spain this year! A swap deal involving David de Gea has been suggested, with Mourinho keen to reunite with Ronaldo after working with him at Real Madrid.So, just how could United line up next season with Lindelof, Ronaldo and other players linked with the Manchester club?Click the right arrow, above, to see Jose Mourinho’s predicted XI for 2017/18… 11 11 Attacking midfield: Paul Pogba Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero – click the right arrow to see the rest of the predicted Manchester United line up 11 Left back: Kieran Tierney (From Celtic) 11 11 11 Left wing: Ivan Perisic (From Inter Milan) Right back: Antonio Valencia Centre forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (From Real Madrid)