In defending the coalition Government’s out-of-court settlements – a move which Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said has caused the Treasury billions of dollars – Minister of State Joseph Harmon said Attorney General Basil Williams would have recommended these settlements after the previous Administration failed to defend the State in the respective cases.Speaking at this week’s post-Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Minister Harmon explained that Cabinet was briefed on and approved the settlements.“These are recommendations made by the Attorney General and… whether it is out of court or in the court, whatever settlements are made that requires the State to pay over any resources, it is dealt with at Cabinet and full discussions take place there. Cabinet gives its guidance to the responsible minister,” he pointed out.Of recent, Government, particularly the Attorney General’s Chambers, has come under much criticism for not being able to secure success for several cases against the State. Since taking office, in addition to losing cases, Government has opted to enter into out-of-court settlements. Among those companies to benefit from these out-of-court settlements are BK International, which cashed in on US$5.7 million on a settlement, and more recently, a $226 million settlement with Guyana Tractor Equipment (Guytrac). Additionally, local spirits giant, Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) would have also benefited from a $3.8 billion tax write-off in another out-of-court settlement.At his weekly press conference on Wednesday, Jagdeo had raised concerns about this practice, asking whether the State is deliberately losing millions of dollars in court cases.“I wonder if people are benefiting financially from all of these settlements by claiming lack of knowledge?… I probably should say I am confident; but I am saying I wonder now that it is a conduit for corrupt activities – these big judgements,” the Opposition Leader suggested.However, on Friday, the Minister of State sought to bosh the claim saying these cases started under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) regime, which failed to defend them.Attorney General Basil WilliamsOn the other hand, the Government’s spokesperson went on to say that the present Administration wanted to uphold the rule of law by honouring those judgements delivered in the court against the State.“The matters which we settled were matters which were decided by the court and we felt that it was important to establish a regime of the rule of law, which said that we respect the judgements of courts… we cannot say that citizens who have been granted awards by the court that we can pay them.He noted that there are more cases and at the appropriate time the Attorney General will make a full statement of those matters.Among the cases which the State has lost is the one brought by local construction company, Dipcon Engineering Company at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in which Government was ordered to pay over $446 million. More recently, the State lost a case to another company, Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL) in the local High Court and was ordered to pay $187 million.On several occasions, Attorney General Basil Williams would have blamed the fact his predecessor for dropping the ball on the cases, many of which he said were contracted out to private lawyers.However, only a few days ago, the Attorney General’s Chambers published an ad, calling on private lawyers representing the State on cases that were not handed out by him to notify the office immediately.However, the Opposition Leader questioned why such a move was made now and not three years ago when the Attorney General assumed the post.“Now he wants to know who had been doing representations on behalf of the Chambers for cases in the past and current cases… If anyone is worth his salt or even a one per cent level of competence, when you go to a desk you would say to the staff can you find out for me all the cases we have outstanding so that I could be apprised of the cases outstanding,” Jagdeo opined.Moreover, the Opposition Leader pointed out that his party had offered, through Nandlall, the coalition Administration, upon its assumption to office, assistance on many of the outstanding cases the State had in the courts. But the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change regime never accepted the offer.“They ignored the offer. He didn’t find out and then (AG Williams) blames the PPP every time there is a ruling against him,” Jagdeo said on Wednesday.Back in January, Williams had defended his performance, saying that the Chambers under his leadership has “won more than we’ve lost.”
3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now steven walling IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#enterprise#Products#saas Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Gliffy, one of the top Web-based diagramming tools, has released the first API for any service of its kind. This software as a service just got a complete UI makeover, and that, plus this new move, will let Gliffy really lead the pack in this space.The API is in public beta as of today. The developers who got access to the trial run have already built some dead-useful extensions, such as a WordPress plugin that allows you to incorporate diagrams and a script that automatically backs up your Gliffy account to your local machine. Other SaaS diagram makers include Lovely Charts and Draw Anywhere, but with these latest upgrades, Gliffy’s real target is desktop software like Visio and OmniGraffle. Gliffy has a respectable customer base and a loyal following, but getting business users to leave the desktop apps they know (even if they hate them) has been an uphill battle. With the API, the company hopes that the ability to extend and integrate the service with other platforms will become too attractive to pass up. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…
The creators of Raglite have taken to crowdfunding to raise capital for their new fabric mounted LED light system.Raglite has been getting a lot of buzz on the ‘net since launching their recent Kickstarter campaign. Some of our favorite photo/video blogs have posted on it over the last few days: NoFilmSchool, PopPhoto, PetaPixel, SlashGear and FStoppers.Whereas each of these posts gives a general overview of the product and crowdfunding campaign, the comments on many of these posts show strong opinions from their readers. Some readers have brainstormed unique applications for the Raglite, while others are simply calling it “overpriced” and “a scam”.It is a simple concept: LED lighting that is ‘sewn’ onto a piece of fabric. The fabric backing means that it’s lightweight, flexible, portable, not heat generating and can be mounted on a variety of surfaces. We can see a ton of uses for this.But the Raglite’s price is the sticking point for many of these commenters – $75 for the small consumer accent light up to $2400 for the RagLite Cine, a ‘color accurate’ lighting panel for professional photo/video. The claim of 100% accuracy is a bold one – most professional lights only claim in the ballpark of 90% accuracy.If the Raglite is well built out of good materials and can stand up to it’s claims, we think it might be able to grab a unique spot in the market. However, if it’s poorly executed you could save your money and build a DIY version from eBay or Amazon parts…at a fraction of the cost.Check out Raglite on Kickstarter, where they’re well on their way to reaching the $25,000 goal.
Pricey tomatoes spurred a fresh round of protests by Congress workers on Friday, who parked a cart full of tomatoes in front of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and sold the kitchen staple at Rs 10 per kg.The party had earlier come up with a “State Bank of Tomato” that is being operated from the Youth Congress office here.Tomato prices have hovered around Rs 100 per kg in major cities with supplies being disrupted due to heavy rains.Congress workers led by state secretary Shailendra Tiwari stood in front of the Assembly with a cart full of tomatoes with a banner “Tamatar ke aaye acche din” (good days have come for tomatoes) and sold it at Rs 10 per kg per person.“This is our way to protest the soaring tomato price.We are selling it to common man to show our concern for them.It’s ironical that the government has not taken any initiative to open subsidised counters for selling tomatoes or to check its price,” Mr. Tiwari said.The ‘tomato bank’ has some interesting schemes to offer like providing the commodity on easy loan as also a locker facility, 80 per cent loans on tomatoes and attractive interest rates for depositing tomatoes, especially for the poor.The idea behind the bank is to lodge protest and to create awareness among the people about the commodity being sold at such high rates.Prices of tomato have shot up about four times since the beginning of June when tomatoes were being sold at about Rs 25 per kg in the Delhi-National Capital Region market.Industry body Assocham had said recently that “Tomato prices may not immediately ease as flooding in some of the growing states has led to damage to the crop.” Unlike onion and potato, the shelf life of tomato is very short and it needs cold chains and modern warehouses for storage and transportation, it said.Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha are the major tomato growing States.The country produces around 18 million tonnes of tomatoes.
The Army on Friday ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) against Major Leetul Gogoi’s conduct, hours after Army chief General Bipin Rawat promised “exemplary punishment in case the officer was found guilty of any wrongdoing.”“Any rank of Indian Army — if he does anything wrong — an action will be taken. If Major Gogoi has done something wrong I will punish him and the punishment will be exemplary,” General Rawat said in Anantnag in south Kashmir.Terms of reference According to Army sources, the terms of reference of the CoI will be finalised after a meeting of senior Army officials in New Delhi.Major Gogoi, who used a civilian as a human shield by tying a man to an Army vehicle in Budgam in 2017, was detained from a Srinagar hotel along with a woman and a member of the Territorial Army on May 23.The officer has been now removed from the 53 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit posted in Budgam and attached to the Army headquarters pending the inquiry.The woman accompanying the Major was not a minor: the police said. A senior police official, probing the incident, told The Hindu that preliminary investigation suggested the woman was “a major and not a minor” and was born in 1999 as per the Aadhaar card details.The woman, a resident of Budgam, has told a magistrate that she had gone to the hotel “on her own free will” and “wanted to spend time with the Major”.A hotel room was booked by the Major for two persons on May 23. However, an altercation ensued when the hotel staff objected to allowing a local woman to the room as per the hotel policy.The Major has allegedly been in touch with the woman before also and got connected through a Facebook account named “Aadil Adnan”.Sources said the police are yet to establish any legal grounds to file an FIR in the case as “both the individuals were adult”.