Budget 2013/2014

first_imgFinance Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips Presentation for 2013/2014 Budget: “Restoring Hope, Expanding Opportunities” DBJ to Provide $2 Billion for Micro and Small Business Sector No New Taxes DBJ Providing US$20 Million for ICT Expansion Gov’t Provides $94 Billion for Welfare and Development Assistance Government to Advance Programme to Modernise Public Financial Management Gov’t Lowers Debt Servicing Costs Final Negotiations Underway for Divestment of Wallenford Coffee Company Current Account Deficit Improves $1.1 Billion Expected from Agro Parks This Financial Year Reversal of Low Growth Objective of Reform Agenda – Finance Minister SLB Loan Repayments to be Deducted at Source Government to Begin Accepting Bids for Casinos on June One Several Tourism Properties Being Upgraded Some Public Sector Entities to be Merged Opposition Backs Agro Parks Project Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Budget Presentation 2013-2014: “Fuelling Our Own Growth” Thousands of Students to be Provided with Tablets Gov’t to Accept Bids for 115 MW Projects in June Energy Efficiency Project Drives Down Consumption at Jamaica House Gov’t to Keep Stake in Clarendon Alumina Partners Local Companies Urged to Bid for Contracts Under Energy Efficiency Project ALPART to Resume Operations Early 2016 OUR to Recommend Preferred Bidder for Power Plant in 30 Days PETCOM to be Divested Rural Electrification Programme to be Renamed Gov’t to Start Granting Electric Power Wheeling Licences July E-Government Initiative Moving Ahead More Energy Saving Devices Duty Free Prime Minister’s 2013-14 Budget Presentation ‘JAMAICA: Going for Growth and Development – Unleashing Our Potential’ 31,000 Public Sector Mortgagors to Benefit from NHT Refunds Government to Restart Inner City Renewal Programme CISOCA to be Relocated to Make Way for Housing UDC Being Repositioned Cheaper Energy Urgent Imperative of Growth Agenda – PM Task Force to Coordinate Rural Development Strategies Four Major Crime Fighting Bills for Parliament This Year UWI Principal to Lead Logistics Hub Coordinating Team Logistics Hub a Central Plank in Growth Strategy – PM Jamaicans at Centre of Transformation Process – PM Commission for Creative Industries to be Established $10.6 Million for Micro-Enterprises in NHT Schemes 250 Acres of Land Identified for Public Sector Housing Gov’t to Boost Provisions for Most Vulnerable CHEC to Invest US$1.5 Billion in Transshipment Port Closing Budget Debate Presentation by Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips IMF Approves EFF for Jamaica Gov’t Delivers on Housing Promises Clarendon Alumina Partners No Cost on Budget – Finance Minister PM Outlines Strides Made by Government Government Spends $344 Million on Sports $360 Million Provided for Energy Efficiency Projects Finance Minister Calls for Opposition Input on Public Sector Transformation Gov’t Ready to Accept Proposals for Integrated Resorts Gov’t Will Not Tax Basic Foods – Dr. Phillips NDX Saves Gov’t $17 Billion in Payments Per Year on Domestic Bonds Opening of Sectoral Debate Parliamentary Year 2013/2014 37,000 Persons Benefit from JEEP CHEC to Invest US$1.5 Billion in Port and Other Facilities Local Contractors to Benefit from MIDP Land Transportation Authority to be Established Contribution to the Annual Sectoral Debate by Mr. Andre Hylton, MP Budget Presentation 2013 Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Roger Clarke, MP Contribution to the Annual Sectoral Debate by Raymond Pryce, MP Agriculture Minister Outlines Initiatives to Improve Service to the Sector Agriculture Ministry to Join with Tertiary Institutions on Research Project Work to Begin on Ferry to Linstead Highway in September Gov’t to Work with Pan-Caribbean to Increase Sugar Production Fish Sanctuaries Working Significant Production Activity Under Agro Park Project Inspection of Retail Outlets to be Increased to Tackle Praedial Larceny Fisheries Bill for Parliament this Fiscal Yearlast_img read more

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Government’s IT Infrastructure to be Upgraded

first_img The National Identification and Registration Bill was passed in the Senate on Monday (November 13) with 168 amendments. It was returned to the House of Representatives today (November 14) for approval. The NIDS, which is being facilitated under the National Identification and Registration Bill, will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans. More than 70 per cent of the US$68 million projected for implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS) will be used to upgrade the Government’s information and technology (IT) infrastructure. Story Highlights More than 70 per cent of the US$68 million projected for implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS) will be used to upgrade the Government’s information and technology (IT) infrastructure.This is according to NIDS Programme Director, Warren Vernon, who said this is being strengthened to ensure the system is ready for roll-out in 2019.“Most of the project’s budget will be used to upgrade the Government’s data centre, which is e-Gov. (and includes) all of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) providing connectivity (and) ensuring that the relevant security systems and processes are in place,” he said.Mr. Vernon was responding to questions from journalists during a press conference at Jamaica House on Tuesday (November 14).The NIDS, which is being facilitated under the National Identification and Registration Bill, will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans.Under the system, each citizen will be provided with a randomised nine-digit National Identification Number (NIN), which they will have for life.Mr. Vernon further informed that the procurement stage is well advanced for a technological solution that will include enrolment stations, computer systems, fingerprint scanners, cameras, manual signature capture devices, and other equipment required to implement the system.In the meantime, Director of Communications and Public Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Morgan, said one of the key outcomes of the modernisation of the Government’s IT infrastructure is to ensure that the system is secure.“When we are finished modernising the Government’s IT infrastructure, it will be one of the most modern… and most secure in the hemisphere,” he assured.The National Identification and Registration Bill was passed in the Senate on Monday (November 13) with 168 amendments. It was returned to the House of Representatives today (November 14) for approval.The Government intends to put the NIDS infrastructure and systems in place over the next 12 months, beginning with a pilot project in January 2019.This is expected to be followed by the national roll-out in September 2019, over a period of three to four years.The layered roll-out and management of the NIDS will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will replace the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and provide more enhanced services.last_img read more

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Carriers to Get First Blockchain System in Mid2018

first_imgzoom A start-up company established in July 2017, 300cubits, plans to be the first to launch an actual blockchain application for the container shipping market, according to Alphaliner.The company aims to roll out a booking deposit system on June 15, 2018, which would use blockchain technology and a dedicated crypto currency to address the problem of cargo “no-shows” and “rollovers”.300cubits claims these are the key challenges in the container shipping industry as 25%-30% of the carriers’ bookings never show up and rolling always happens in the most inconvenient time, Alphaliner writes.The company plans to distribute its own crypto-currency, named “TEU tokens”, to industry participants as the first step in getting stakeholders to adopt the new system. The company started given out TEU tokens to the industry participants at no cost on February 1, 2018.“The container shipping industry has been slow in adopting new technology and widespread scepticism remains about the viability of such initiatives,” Alphaliner informed.Initiated by a Hong Kong-based company, 300cubits would provide the TEU token for the industry to use as booking deposit through Booking Deposit Module, a cloud-based system built on blockchain.last_img read more

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Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

first_imgOTTAWA – Global Affairs Canada says it’s aware of reports that two Canadian citizens have been kidnapped in Nigeria.Spokesman John Babcock says consular officials in Nigeria are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information.Babcock says further details can’t be released for privacy reasons.A state police spokesman says gunmen ambushed two Canadians and two Americans travelling through Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, kidnapping them and killing two policemen.Kaduna state police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu said Wednesday that the foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital, Abuja, on Tuesday night when they were ambushed around Kagarko.Aliyu reported earlier in the day that only two people were kidnapped, one American and one Canadian, but revised the numbers based on updated information.“The two police escorts attached to them engaged the kidnappers in a fierce gun battle, which resulted in the unfortunate death of the two police officers,” he said.The kidnapped foreigners are investors who were setting up solar stations in villages around Kafanchan, according to Aliyu.Security officers, including an anti-kidnapping unit, have been sent to the area to try to rescue the North Americans and to apprehend their abductors, he said.Kidnappings for ransom are common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway. Two German archaeologists were seized at gunpoint last year less than 100 kilometres northeast of Abuja and later freed unharmed. Sierra Leone’s deputy high commissioner was taken at gunpoint on the highway in 2016 and held for five days before he was let go.Victims typically are released unharmed after ransom is paid, though security forces have rescued a few high-profile abductees.A number of bandits, including herdsmen, have been arrested.Global Affairs advises against non-essential travel to Nigeria and says Kaduna should be avoided “due to the high risk of terrorism, inter-communal violence and kidnapping.”— With files from The Associated Press.last_img read more

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Study finds bumblebees able to fly as high as Mount Everest

first_img Journal information: Biology Letters Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Study finds bumblebees able to fly as high as Mount Everest (2014, February 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-bumblebees-high-mount-everest.html More information: Surpassing Mt. Everest: extreme flight performance of alpine bumble-bees, Published 5 February 2014. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0922AbstractAnimal flight at altitude involves substantial aerodynamic and physiological challenges. Hovering at high elevations is particularly demanding from the dual perspectives of lift and power output; nevertheless, some volant insects reside and fly at elevations in excess of 4000 m. Here, we demonstrate that alpine bumble-bees possess substantial aerodynamic reserves, and can sustain hovering flight under hypobaria at effective elevations in excess of 9000 m, i.e. higher than Mt. Everest. Modulation of stroke amplitude and not wingbeat frequency is the primary means of compensation for overcoming the aerodynamic challenge. The presence of such excess capacity in a high-altitude bumble-bee is surprising and suggests intermittent behavioural demands for extreme flight performance supplemental to routine foraging.center_img (Phys.org) —A pair of researchers has found that alpine bumblebees are able to fly at altitudes in excess of twenty nine thousand simulated feet—higher than Mount Everest. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Michael Dillon and Robert Dudley, of the University of California and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, respectively, describe experiments they conducted with alpine bumblebees in pressure chambers and their theories as to why the bees have such high flying skills. Image credit: Wikipedia. 1st ‘zombie’ bees on East Coast found in Vt. (Update) Bees aren’t the best flyers, of course, they can zig-zag around and hop from flower to flower, but they could never compete with most birds or many other insects for that matter. But they are able to do something remarkable nonetheless—fly at extremely high altitude. To discover this remarkable ability, Dillon and Dudley traveled to the mountains of Sichuan, China; once there they captured several specimens of alpine bumblebees who normally live and fly at altitudes of over 10,000 feet. They put the bees (one at a time) into a pressure chamber and then pumper air out to simulate various altitudes. In so doing they found that two of the bees were able to fly around in the chamber in conditions that simulated 29,527 feet.To better understand how it was that the bees were able to fly under such conditions, each was filmed with a high speed camera and audio recorded (to measure wing beats). In studying the sound and video, the researchers found that the bees did not increase the speed of wing flapping but instead moved them in much deeper arcs, allowing for more scooping of air with each beat.The research duo suggest the bees high-flying technique is more likely put to a different use in the their natural environment—it would help in moving faster to escape being eaten, and even more perhaps in carrying heavy loads of nectar.Still a mystery is how the bees were able to maintain their wing flapping with far less oxygen to breathe—their metabolisms normally run much faster than most creatures—with less oxygen in the pressure tank, they should have literally run out of breath. Dillon and Dudley plan to conduct more experiments with the bees to answer that question.last_img read more

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