Economic report shows– deficit moves from US$53M to US$69MBy Jarryl BryanWith the release of the 2017 macro-economic report, the 2.1 per cent growth rate is not the only thing of concern. The report shows that the deficit in Guyana’s balance of payments, an important economic indicator, is on the rise.The Balance of Payments report contains statistical data on a country’s fiscal transactions, including imports and exports. To record a deficit, Guyana would therefore have had to spend more on imports, among other things, that it derived from exports.According to the report, Guyana’s overall balance of payment in the 2017 fiscal year showed a deficit of US$69.5 million. This is a hike when compared to US$53.3 million the previous year. A breakdown of the figures shows stunning disparities.On the one hand, the current account shows a deficit of US$287.4 million for the year 2017. But in the previous fiscal year, the report notes, this was just US$12.4 million. The report admits that this is because of a negative balance on the merchandise trade account.“The further weakening was due to the negative balance on the merchandise trade account. Merchandise exports were slightly lower than projected, mainly on account of lower export earnings of gold and other exports in the last two months of the year.”When Finance Minister Winston Jordan presented the 2018 budget last year, he had announced that merchandise imports were estimated to grow by 9.6 per cent. This had been attributed to increased imports of mining machinery, chemicals, fuel and lubricants. According to the report, imports exceeded the Government’s projections.“Imports were slightly more than the US$1.59 billion projected at the time of the presentation of the 2018 budget. As a result, the merchandise trade deficit of US$196.2 million was considerably higher than the projected deficit of US$147.2 million.“Notwithstanding, the deficit on the services account was lower than estimated. The improvement in the services account more than offsets the weaker balances on both the non-factor services and unrequited transfers accounts,” the report states.Capital accountWhile the Current Account is nothing to boast about, the Capital Account improved. The report notes that it showed a surplus of US$228 million, an increase from a deficit of US$13.2 million in 2016. It also exceeded a projected surplus of US$181.8 million.This publication had recently done an article on the state of Guyana’s net foreign reserves. A recent report from the Central Bank had indicated that Guyana’s net foreign reserves, held by the bank in foreign currency notes, have fallen to their lowest point since 2008. The reserves went from a high point of US$825 million in 2012 to US$498.5 million as at March 2018.A perusal of the Bank of Guyana’s statistical abstract shows that the reserves started dropping in 2013, going from $751.2 million in that year to $652.2 million in 2014. It is in 2017 that the reserves plunged well into the US$500 million range.By November of last year, the reserves were recorded at US$562 million. And as at March 2018, for the first time since 2008, the net foreign reserves fell to below the US$500 million benchmark. Interestingly enough, the end-of-year report details that US$12.1 million was drawn down from the reserves to finance the balance of payments.“The 2017 balance of payments deficit was financed by exceptional financing of US$1.9 million in debt relief and US$55.6 million in debt forgiveness, along with a drawdown of US$12.1 million in net foreign assets of the Bank of Guyana,” the report states.“Additionally, gross revenues of the Bank of Guyana were equal to about 3.1 months of import cover at the end of 2017; slightly above the three-month minimum benchmark for reserve adequacy.”The Parliamentary Opposition had previously expressed concern over the increasing deficit in the country’s balance of payments, which it had said would continue to have serious implications for the local economy.
…CANU swoops down on trafficking ring Ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) arrested a 19-year-old female at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and took her to a city hospital where she excreted 44 cocaine-filled pellets.Reports are the teen was a passenger on outgoing flight BW 526 destined for JFK International Airport in New York on Friday. CANU ranks approached the teen after they suspected she was a drug mule.After her arrest, the teen was escorted to a city hospital, where she was admitted. Having excreted the pellets, the young woman still remains a patient under observation as of Saturday evening.Meanwhile, based on information obtained, CANU ranks swooped down on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) on Friday evening. During the exercise, they stumbled upon 279 suspected cocaine-filled pellets.CANU ranks have arrested an additional three persons while they are hunting another two suspects who remain at large. It was reported that one of the suspects still at large was at the ECD residence and when the ranks arrived, but managed to escape.This bust comes less than a week after CANU ranks intercepted a 37-year-old cosmetologist, Natasha Blair, who was about to travel with her 11-month-old baby. The woman had ingested and inserted cocaine pellets.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Sunday, urged the residents of Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini) and its surrounding communities to hold public officials, inclusive of those in Regional and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (RDC/NDCs) accountable.Minister of State Joseph Harmon addressing residents at the Mabaruma Primary SchoolPublic officials, the Minister stated have been elected to serve and citizens must, therefore, demand that their interests and those of the community are addressed.Minister Harmon was at the time speaking at a community meeting held at the Mabaruma Primary School where he addressed concerns raised by residents.He told residents that Central Government would continue to play its part in ensuring that infrastructural, social and other needs were met but noted that the Regional and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils must also share in this responsibility.Harmon also said that community leaders and regional and local officials must understand their roles and endeavour to function efficiently. He posited that citizens suffer the most when leaders become complacent and do not serve in the best interests of those who elected them.“Our community leaders must face the community. If you cannot talk to your people and do things for them then they will not respect you or listen to you. You have to see people and see what they need. As a leader, you need to get on the ground and relate to people so that you can understand what is taking place. It is always important to come on the ground and get in touch with the people, with their feelings, with their understandings and what needs to be done,” Minister Harmon said.Several residents raised concerns about Government-sponsored programmes such as the Sustainable Livelihoods and Entrepreneurial Development [SLED] Project, community training and other capacity-building opportunities, which they said is only beneficial to one section of the community.Harmon assured the aggrieved residents that the Social Protection and Public Health Ministries along with other agencies would be consulted on the approach used to select candidates for programmes and initiatives. He made it clear that all must benefit from opportunities made available by the Government.Additionally, the Minister of State spoke of President David Granger’s Frontline Village Policy that was announced during his visit to Whitewater – also in Region One – earlier this year. The policy speaks to the establishment of military patrol bases and heightened 24-hour security by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF).As such, Minister Harmon urged the residents to continue being vigilant as the country’s borders are expansive.
An Austin Street, Campbellville, Georgetown woman is now traumatised and nursing injuries to her head after she was beaten and robbed by gunmen who invaded her home in a brazen daylight robbery on Wednesday morning.The woman, 49-year-old Baljinder Kaur, was at home with her maid when the three armed men invaded at about 10:00h.CCTV footage showing the robbers escaping after robbing theCampbellville womanCCTV footage showed the three men scaling the front fence of the woman’s yard and gaining entry into the upper flat of her house through the veranda.This newspaper was told that neighbours heard screams emanating from Kaur’s residence and shortly after saw men with a black bag exiting the premises. One of the men was seen placing a gun into his pants’ waist as they escaped. Persons in the area, realizing that it was a robbery, rushed over to Kaur’s home and found her with a bloodied face.“It had a huge burst on she forehead, she said they come with two guns, they use one to lash she in the forehead, but they didn’t do the maid anything,” a neighbour who went to the woman’s aid revealed.The neighbours are contending that the bandits seem to be familiar with the area.“These people know what they were doing, they didn’t spend any time. How they know that at that exact time these people had this cash in the house? This thing happened within five to ten minutes; because my aunty said when she saw the people them go in there, she watch to see what they were doing and then she went to stir her pot and by the time she came back, they come out and she said look the boys them coming out,” another neighbour remarked.Kaur was rushed to the hospital where she received several stitches for the head wound.The gunmen reportedly escaped with over $1.5 million and some $600,000 worth of jewellery. The money was withdrawn from a city bank on Tuesday to use for construction work on the house.This publication understands that this was not the first robbery that was carried out on the woman, whose husband is a businessman.Just two weeks ago, the man had parked his vehicle in front of his premises when it was vandalized and the vehicle’s battery was removed.“The man is businessman, he come and park he jeep out here and later find it break into and they remove he battery and so and went away with it, I’m thinking is the same guys them” another neighbour speculated.The matter was reported to the Police who visited the scene and are said to be investigating.
Tuesday evening’s meeting will be the fifth so far this season, with Grande Prairie sweeping the season series so far.Grande Prairie has been tearing through the NWJHL as of late, as they enter tonight with an impressive 12 game winning streak. The last time the JDA Kings suffered a loss was back on December 8, a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Beaverlodge Blades.On the opposite end of the ice, the Huskies have been rolling since January 13, when they began their four game winning streak by beating the North Peace Navigators 3-2 in Fort St. John.- Advertisement -The Huskies defence will have to be sharper than a Guinsoo knife, as the JDA Kings have scored a league high 233 goals, compared to the 144 scored by Fort St. John.The puck drops at 8:30 p.m., and all the live action from Grande Prairie can be heard live on 100.1 Moose FM. Listen for the entertaining and informative Moose FM pre-game show at 8:15 p.m.To listen live, click here.Advertisement
Players and coaches with the Fort St. John Huskies will get their first taste of game action next week. The pre-season schedule for the team starts on September 16 in Chetwynd for a game against the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks.The Huskies will follow that up with two games next weekend against the Vermilion Tigers of the North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League on home ice. The games will be at the Pomeroy Sport Centre on the 19th and 20th at 8 p.m. and 12 noon respectively.Entrance to the games at the Pomeroy Sport Centre is free, however donations to the club will be accepted in the stands throughout the game.- Advertisement –
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — After not being a thing for the past twelve years, Fort St. John will be the venue for a rodeo once again this summer.Rodeo organizer Jodie Surerus was approached by longtime local rodeo competitors Link and Andy Copeland about getting a rodeo to happen in Fort St. John once again this year. Surerus says that organizers have been racing to get things going for the event, which is taking place in just two months’ time.Surerus says that so far, many in the community have expressed a keen interest in the event, and that many competitors have also already reached out. The rodeo organizers have secured stock from 100 Mile House. As of right now, Surerus says that organizers are also actively looking for both sponsors and volunteers for the rodeo, which will also feature a dance and beer gardens on the grounds themselves.- Advertisement -The venue for the rodeo is the North Peace Light Horse Association, which Surerus says is in the middle of a makeover to host the rodeo. She says that as of now, welding of the fences and enclosures is nearly done, while the grandstand will need some minor work to get it ready.The rodeo will see competitors competing in a wide range of events, including: Bull riding, Saddle Bronc, Bareback riding, Barrel Racing, Steer Wrestling, Tie-down and Team-roping, Steer Riding, and Breakaway. There will also be at least four youth events as well.The Fort St. John Rodeo is set to take place July 22nd and 23rd at the North Peace Light Horse Association rodeo grounds off the East Bypass Road. For more information, contact Jodie Surerus at (250) 263-4731, or via email at email@example.com.Advertisement
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Senior Flyers will clash with the Dawson Creek Senior Canucks with the winner advancing to play in the 2018 Senior Men’s AA Championships in Williams Lake.The best of three-game series will be the first time the two teams have played in such a scenario in nearly ten years.The series begins on January 14th at the North Peace Arena with puck drop at 2:00 p.m. Game Two sees the series switch to Dawson Creek on January 18th at 8:30 p.m. If necessary, the final game will be played on home ice for the Flyers with the game getting underway at 4:30 p.m.- Advertisement -The Coy Cup takes place in Williams Lake from March 27th to 31st.
Fort St. John’s Ina Forrest (Busche) has a gold medal around her neck, after team Canada took gold in the world wheelchair curling championships in Vancouver over the weekend.The world wheelchair championship was the very first curling competition held at the new Vancouver Olympic Centre, which will play host to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games curling competition and the 2010 Paralympic wheelchair curling competition.According to Ina’s mother Edith, she’s been a wheelchair curler for about 3 years, after a youth spent playing every sport she could. – Advertisement -Congratulations to Ina.
While Yesmaniski made highlight reel saves one after another, the save of the night may well have come from Troy Hunt, who reached back with his paddle along the ice, to rob Mark Wallman of the tying goal with four minutes remaining. The Rangers did have a couple of changes to the lineup we’ve seen so far this season. Brad Kennedy has rejoined the team, after winning playoff MVP last season. Also joining the team are Tyler Mounsey and tough-guy Kurtis Swanson, though Swanson hardly stepped on the ice on Sunday night.And so, the Flyers win the first game of the best-of-seven semi-final, with game two set for Tuesday night in Spirit River. Catch the game live on MooseFM (8:30 pm) On a night when the Flyers went 1 for 10 on the powerplay, special teams could be seen as problematic. But, coach Adam Brash doesn’t buy that. While Brash says the score should have been at least 6-1 after the second, he felt the game was well played, and that his team simply lacked finish. [asset|aid=1031|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=808225bce59106dd3310a621bf42275a-Flyers-game1_1_Pub.mp3] Flyers starter Troy Hunt earned the win, stopping 13 of the 14 shots he faced. It was Hunt’s first action since the regular season, after missing the opening round for a family wedding, but he looked sharp when called upon, and had plenty of help. “The Boys played amazing tonight,” he said. “I got barely any rubber – they had two maybe three scoring chances all night.” Hunt payed special tribute to his forwards, for limiting the amount of odd-man rushes against. He also lauded Yesmaniski for his game, crediting his opponent for keeping it close. [asset|aid=1032|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=808225bce59106dd3310a621bf42275a-hunt-yesmaniski_1_Pub.mp3] Advertisement The 300 or so fans who came to the North Peace Arena on Sunday night were treated to some outstanding playoff hockey. There was tough physical play, excellent goaltending, and plently of slick passing and speed. After lopsided regular seasons and a gimme opening series, it’s nice to know the playoffs are here. To be fair, the Flyers widely outplayed their opponents in game one. The shots on goal counted 41-14 in favour of the home team. The scoring chances were likewise dominated by Fort St. John. But, thanks to some hit posts, missed nets, and sensational goaltending from Mett Yesmaniski, the game was close throughout. Matt Shuya opened the scoring eight minutes in, when he tapped home a rebound, after Adam Loncan cut to the net, and tried to reach the puck around a sprawled Yesmaniski. In the second period, the Flyers had 5 chances on the powerplay, and couldn’t convert any of them. In the final two minutes of the second, with both Paul Wiens and Luke Middleton in the box, Brad Kennedy deflected a Donny Lloyd point shot, to make it 1-1 after 40 minutes.- Advertisement -While the Flyers admit they should have been comfortably ahead heading into the third period, it wasn’t until Kip Noble’s powerplay goal with 7:14 remaining, that the Flyers went ahead to stay. The Rangers would get two more cracks with the man-advantage, but the Flyers would kill both, with a Todd Alexander empty netter (short-handed) sealing the deal with 20 seconds left.Still, the Flyers were happy with the win, and felt they had played well, which is certianly a tribute to single ‘A’ Spirit River, and bodes well for the rest of the series.Advertisement