Rep. Clarence Massaquoi: “It is an open knowledge that our current economic status as a country is challenged…” The ‘Specialized Committee’ of the House of Representatives which is tasked to scrutinize (review) all tax incentives and concession agreements, has frowned on the Bureau Veritas (BIVAC) Liberia and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for non-compliance and deliberate lack of cooperation.Lofa County District #3 Representative Clarence Massaquoi and chairman of the Specialized Committee, said the LRA is dragging her feet to disclose to the Committee the ‘cost incentive’ or “total amount” of all the tax incentives or tax waivers from all concessions and business institutions which are enjoying tax incentives or tax waivers, while BIVAC is reneging to submit their Investment Contract.The disappointment of the House’s Specialized Committee was contained in a preliminary report to plenary, which was read and endorsed on Thursday, February 21, which marked the 13th day sitting.BIVAC is an international company that is involved in pre-shipment inspection (PSI), while LRA is a government agency that is responsible to collect lawful revenue.Rep. Massaquoi named the Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC), Firestone Liberia, APM Terminals, Conex Petroleum, and ArcelorMittal as some of the concession or business institutions which are in compliance.“Some of the Agreements or Investment Contracts we scrutinized indicate that the time has passed for them to be reviewed legally either five or 10 years ago,” Rep. Massaquoi said.“APM Terminals and Firestone are some of the concessions that are ought to be re-reviewed according to their concession agreements,” he said.He added: “We have also observed that some of the tax waivers have been misused and because of that our investment is sinking and if we don’t rescue it, we will be doomed.”Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar made the motion for the Specialized Committee’s preliminary report to be endorsed and extended for an additional one month. But the extension of the Specialized Committee’s time-frame was denied and given an open-ended duration.Meanwhile, the Specialized Committee is co-chaired by Montserrado County District #8 Representative Acarous M. Gray, while other members are Bomi County District #1 Representative Edwin M. Snowe; Montserrado County District #5 Representative Thomas Fallah; Lofa County District #2 Representative Julie Wiah; and Montserrado County District # 9 Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood.The remaining lawmakers include River Cess County District #2 Representative Rosanna Schaak; Montserrado County District #3 Representative Rustonlyn Dennis, Bong County District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah; Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar; Grand Gedeh County District #1 Representative Zoe Pennoh; Montserrado County District #11 Representative Richard Koon; Margibi County District #2 Representative Tibelrosa Tanpoweh, Sinoe County District #3 Representative Matthew Zaza, Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon Seibo and Gbarpolu County District #2 Representative Cllr. Kane Wesso.The Specialized Committee was appointed by House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers on Tuesday, January 15, during the 2nd day sitting of the 2nd Session, following a letter from the Rep. Massaquoi.He wrote: “Honorable Speaker and Colleagues, it is an open knowledge that our current economic status as a country is challenged and the selfless inputs of all stakeholders to revive it and rekindle the hope of our people. Areas I believe should be looked at are the concessions and investment incentives that are currently in place. You will agree with me, Honorable Speaker and Colleagues, that the implementation of these instruments has a significant impact on the viability of the economy.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
23 July 2014The Proteas were busy doing battle with Sri Lanka in the first cricket test on Nelson Mandela Day, but they took time out of their busy schedule on Tuesday to contribute to a worthy cause by hosting a coaching clinic for visually impaired cricketers in Colombo.The clinic is part of the “Seeing is Believing” campaign, which aims to raise funds for Sri Lanka’s visually impaired cricket team, which will be contesting the World Cup in South Africa in November.‘Our way of giving our 67 minutes’“Mandela Day took place while the first test match was on in Galle, so we sort of see this coaching clinic as our way of giving our 67 minutes for Mandela,” Kyle Abbott said in a statement.“The “See is Believing’ campaign is doing wonders for the visually impaired cricketers in this country and we are humbled to have played a part in raising funds for the initiative.”Fund-raising activitiesThe Proteas and Sri Lankan cricketers have been involved in various fund-raising activities this week, and have managed to raise nearly one million rupees for the charity so far.“We take so much for granted on a day-to-day basis. These players are enjoying themselves in a sport that we enjoy as much, but with disadvantages,” Abbott added.“It was incredibly touching to see the players and youngsters enjoying their cricket so much. We hope our contribution can help their cause and hopefully give them a good chance of excelling in a sport they love.”Cricket South Africa contributed to Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa by building a mobile library for the SOS Children’s Village in Mamelodi.South African rugbySouth African rugby, led by Springbok wing Bryan Habana, played their part in the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations by helping uplift the community in Nyanga, east of Cape Town, on Friday.Habana was accompanied by staff members of the South African Rugby Union (Saru) as they gave 67 minutes of community service at Monwabisi Old Age Home and the Nyanga Stadium, the home of the Lagunya Rugby Club, in Nyanga.Activities included cleaning at the old age home and taking part in a TAG Rugby clinic where Habana tested his skills against the children.Habana also read to the children of the community in Nyanga, promoting reading as part of Saru’s Boks for Books campaign.‘It’s a privilege to give back’“Former President Nelson Mandela played such a massive role in our wonderful country and it’s a privilege to be able to give back in his honour,” said Habana.“The objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better. By getting involved in Nyanga today, we’re doing our small part in helping to empower the community.“We’re very fortunate that we are able to give back to the people and to serve fellow South Africans, no matter where they are from.“I’ve experienced first-hand how rugby can play a role in uplifting our fellow South Africans and it’s something that is very dear to me,” he concluded.SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Drier weather moves in behind the front for today, tomorrow and Friday. We expect a mix of clouds and sun and colder temps, but generally, we still stay near normal on temperatures. That just will feel significantly colder than what we just got done with to start this week Models still are all over the place for Saturday, but we are going to keep snow in our thoughts over most of the state. Right now, we see snow moving into far western Indiana and NW Indiana overnight Friday night, and that should put our starting point here in Ohio around sunrise or even mid morning on Saturday. From there, snow lingers through Sunday. Combined, we could be looking at 1-3 inches in many areas, and some 4 inch totals cant be ruled out. The map at right shows some guidance, but we will not be putting out our official snow totals until Friday morning, as track is just too much of a variable at this time. We will be keeping an eye on south central Ohio, near the River, where we do have some minor concern about a mix of rain and wet snow , or even some freezing rain. However, freezing temps make it almost to the Ohio river, so snow is the most likely precipitation type at this time for 90% of the state. Usually, it is a very fine line from these kinds of events going rain/freezing rain or moderate to heavy snow…so stay tuned for updates on southern Ohio. Dry weather returns for the first half of next week. High pressure dominates on Monday. As it moves off to the east, south winds should redevelop and moderate temperatures by midweek. This south flow will also come ahead of our next system, which arrives on Thursday. Temps moderate just enough to allow for a mixed bag of precipitation through the day. We look for a rain-sleet-snow mix across the state. The good news is, that liquid equivalent precipitation will be limited to a few hundredths to .3” over 80% of the state. The bad news is, we have no clue as to what type will fall where, except the southern third of the state should lean mostly toward rain. This event will come down to track, and where the cold air stays stubborn. Friday goes dry again to finish next week. There is still some rain to start the extended 11-16 day forecast period, but right now it looks like it may be trending a bit farther south. We will dial coverage back to about 60% of the state right now, because there likely will be some areas that get missed, but we are not waving the all clear flag yet. The best moisture is in for Saturday the 19th. There still is the potential for that event to end as snow, as cold air blasts in behind. From there we remain cold with snow and flurries possible for the 22nd – 23rd – 24th. We become very cold through that period and should see our first foray in a while to well below normal temperature levels.
The Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat is expected to reach its full storage capacity soon, a milestone that will be witnessed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, which also happens to be his birthday. The water in the dam, considered as ‘Gujarat’s lifeline’, is likely to touch the full reservoir level of 138.68 m soon, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said. On Saturday, it reached the height of 138 m, just 68 cm short of the overflow mark.“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present at the dam site to celebrate the feat on September 17, which is also his 69th birthday,” Mr. Rupani said on Saturday.“After years of struggle, the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (country’s first home minister) of the dam on the Narmada river has come true now,” he said. The dam’s foundation stone was laid by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961. But, its construction was completed in September 2017, after 56 years. Due to low rainfall in 2018, the dam remained half empty last year.“But due to good rains this year, the dam water level is likely to reach its maximum height in the coming days, and the state’s people are delighted as their wish of seeing this day is soon going to come true,” Mr. Rupani said.“It will be a day of pride for people of Gujarat when the dam will be filled to the brim,” Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited’s Managing Director Rajiv Gupta said.“We have filled 400 lakes, numerous rivers and even dams in Kutch with the Narmada water through our canal network. This is a water lifeline of Gujarat,” he said.Mr. Rupani also earlier dubbed the Sardar Sarovar Dam project as “Gujarat’s lifeline”, noting that the agricultural income and production by farmers more than doubled due to it. The dam aims to provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages (53% of total 18,144 villages in Gujarat) and irrigation facilities for 18.54 hectares of land, covering 3,112 villages in 15 districts. After its foundation stone was laid in 1961, there was a dispute between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh on sharing of the Narmada river water and electricity. To resolve the dispute, the Centre appointed an expert committee under the chairmanship of Dr A.N. Khosla in 1964.However, the then-Madhya Pradesh government did not agree to share the Narmada water as per the Khosla panel report. Later, the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal was constituted in 1969 and it gave its final award in December 1979, after which the construction was started in 1980. But the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), led by activist Medha Patkar, soon launched an agitation against the dam and took the matter to the Supreme Court over environmental concerns and rehabilitation of tribals whose lands were likely to be submerged under it. The Gujarat government promised a robust rehabilitation package to the project-affected people, but the NBA did not accept that. In 1996, the Supreme Court stayed the project, which further delayed the dam work. On October 18, 2000, the apex court, in a 2-1 majority judgment, allowed construction of the dam up to a height of 138 m, subject to completion of the rehabilitation process. But even after the court verdict, the construction of the dam faced hurdles over rehabilitation issues. In response to the NBA, the pro-dam people of Gujarat launched many agitations, citing its benefits. In 2017, the work for raising the dam’s height to 138.68 m was completed, which allows maximum ‘usable storage’ of 4.73 million acre feet of water.