Government redirects state capital injections as COVID-19 hits businesses

first_img“One thing is for sure, the 35,000-MW project is still going on despite the slowdown caused by the pandemic, as we want to anticipate a spike when the economy rises again,” he said on Wednesday.The government has allocated Rp 17.73 trillion (US$1.06 billion) for state capital injections this year, as it expected state-owned companies to help drive the country’s economic growth. The funds were initially to be disbursed to several state enterprises, such as utility company PLN, construction company PT Hutama Karya, secondary mortgage company PT Sarana Multigriya Finansial (SMF) and microfinancing company PT Permodalan Nasional Madani (PNM).University of Indonesia (UI) SOE expert Toto Pranoto further explained that the government’s refocusing strategy meant that state-owned companies would still receive capital injections, as long as they were working on strategic projects.“This allows the government to refocus its capital injection budget and use it to fight the COVID-19 pandemic impacts in Indonesia,” he told The Jakarta Post, adding that the government had also signaled a reduction in capital injections this year.“This way, the capital injections can create a multiplier effect and stimulate higher economic growth once this ordeal is over,” said Toto.Topics : State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir explained on Wednesday that the new regulation opened ways for the government to refocus its budget on state-owned firms that are working on strategic projects.“We’re currently mapping which strategic projects must keep going and which ones can be delayed,” he said during an online press conference.Read also: Indonesia’s COVID-19 stimulus playbook explainedPreviously, Erick had explained that the ministry would discuss the issue with the Finance Ministry, as several projects were deemed important to stimulate the economy, one of which was state-owned electricity firm PLN’s 35,000-megawatt electricity generation project. The government is altering the focus of capital injections for state-owned enterprises as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts business activities and batters the country’s economy.A newly enacted government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) allows the government to use funds initially intended for capital injections to finance its efforts to fight the impacts of the pandemic as well as to face threats to the national economy and financial system stability.The regulation, Perppu No.1/2020, also grants the government the authority to inject state capital as part of a national economy recovery program. The program aims to protect, maintain and improve the economic ability of businesspeople in the real sector and financial industry.last_img read more

Rare Saudi resistance hits futuristic megacity project

first_imgBut Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s dream project hit a new roadblock last month when a member of the local Huwaitat tribe was gunned down after he refused to give up his land for the project.Before the shootout, Abdulraheem al-Huwaiti posted a series of scathing videos in which he likened the forced displacement of his sprawling tribe, based in the northwestern Tabuk province for generations, to “state terrorism”.He presciently claimed his opposition would get him killed.Saudi Arabia’s state security agency said the “wanted” man died in an exchange of fire with state forces after he resisted arrest, adding that a cache of weapons had been recovered from his house. ‘Crown jewel’ “What happened in NEOM was the tragic death of a resident of a village that is being relocated,” Ali Shihabi, a member of the NEOM advisory board, said on Twitter.”Similar to the concept of ’eminent domain’ used in Western law, the government is taking ownership of private land to use for the project… This happens all the time, all over the world when roads, train tracks or dams are built.”But forced evictions could backfire as economic pressures grow, observers warn.”The combination of record-low oil prices and mounting demographic pressures poses significant challenges to Prince Mohammed’s (MBS) future plans in Saudi Arabia,” said the Soufan Center, a think tank.”The high-tech city in NEOM is the crown jewel of MBS’ future vision for Saudi Arabia, but it remains unclear how a prince’s pet project will help the kingdom deal with its youth bulge.”The government will have less cash to dispense as patronage to assuage Saudi citizens. The erosion of the social contract between the rulers and the ruled will lead to serious problems, especially in a tribal society.”But as part of his grand ambition to pivot the economy away from oil, Prince Mohammed looks set to press ahead with NEOM, billed as a regional Silicon Valley whose marketing slogan is a “bold and audacious dream”.”The economic fundamentals have turned further against this fantastical project, but I don’t expect MBS to give it up,” said Kristin Diwan of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.”It’s the touchstone for everything he wants to achieve.” ‘Deep cuts’ The government is preparing emergency plans to slash spending as crude prices drop, with Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan warning of “painful” measures and an “extremely long” list of affected budget items.He did not specify whether NEOM will be among them. Even before the crisis, the project — first announced in 2017 — has struggled to attract investment.”I will be surprised if cuts are not made — deep cuts in capital expenditure for NEOM,” a Saudi source associated with the project told AFP. “Given the sums required, it cannot but be delayed in many aspects.”The source added that the government is offering “generous compensation in cash” to those displaced by the project in addition to “new properties” within the kingdom.In a bid to placate the community, NEOM has also launched “social responsibility programs” including university scholarships and vocational training programs, the source said.Several Huwaitat tribesmen have rejected what they call “vague” compensation offers, activists told AFP, even as state-run media have published a pledge of loyalty by the tribe to Saudi rulers.The campaigners say NEOM is designed to be a liberal expat enclave in a conservative nation that is unlikely to benefit local residents. A rare revolt by a Saudi tribe has spelt fresh trouble for a planned Red Sea megacity, a linchpin of the crown prince’s economic vision already beset by low oil prices.The $500 billion NEOM project, set to be built from scratch along the kingdom’s picturesque western coast, is billed as a futuristic cityscape evocative of a sci-fi blockbuster — with everything from flying taxis to robot-maids.Economic analysts have long questioned its viability in the era of cheap oil.center_img Many other members of the Bedouin tribe, who commonly own guns, were detained for spreading anti-displacement slogans and refusing to sign relocation documents, multiple activists said.It exposes a rare domestic clash with the government that has a reputation for crushing dissent, while it grapples with the twin economic blow of historic low crude prices and a coronavirus-led shutdown.NEOM has said 20,000 people would need to be relocated to clear room for construction as it presses ahead with its target to complete its first sites by 2023. Topics :last_img read more

CEO of €7.6bn Scottish public sector pension fund to exit

first_imgClare Scott, outgoing CEO of Lothian Pension Fund“We expect the role will attract a lot of interest,” it said, “especially as the fund has established a position as one of the leading LGPS funds in the UK.”The fund had “an attractive platform from which a new CEO can address future challenges,” it added, noting that it had a strong-in house investment capability with regulatory authorisation and “collaboration activities with other LGPS funds”.Lothian Pension Fund works with the pension fund for the neighbouring council of Falkirk on investments, having so far made collaborative private market investments in infrastructure and private debt. The pension fund for the council of Fife has now also joined the collaboration. The chief executive of Lothian Pension Fund, Scotland’s second largest local authority pension fund, is to step down at the end of the year.Clare Scott has been working for the local government pension scheme (LGPS) since 2005, rising through the ranks from pensions administration manager to investment officer to chief executive.Scott trained as an actuary at Norwich Union – now Aviva – and then worked as an investment consultant for many years at Hymans Robertson. In a LinkedIn post yesterday, Scott said she had thoroughly enjoyed her time at Lothian Pension Fund and was very proud of the fund’s achievements, but that “it’s time for me to move to pastures new”. According to her post she does not have a new position lined up, but will be “using the next few months to look at… options”.The £6.7bn (€7.6bn) multi-employer pension fund, which is administered by Edinburgh Council, said it had started the search for a new CEO.last_img read more

Family mealtimes to become official measure of national ‘happiness’

first_imgThe Telegraph 31 March 2014Eating meals together as a family is to be officially recognised as a mark of happiness as part of David Cameron’s plan to measure Britain’s national “well-being”.For the first time, the number British families who maintain traditional mealtimes is to be monitored, under plans to expand the so-called “happiness” index. They will also be asked to share how they feel about their personal appearance, whether they can confide in their parents about problems and whether they have signed up to social networking sites such as Facebook. It is part of a new official drive to measure how “harmonious” British families are. Children as young as 10 are to be asked how often they argue with their parents and whether they are being bullied at school, including Internet bullying.last_img read more

Euthanasia referendum: Kiwis of faith split on End of Life Choice Act

first_imgStuff 7 September 2020Of the nearly 40,000 submissions made on the End of Life Choice Bill, most were in opposition – some citing religious reasons. Last year, leaders from across the religious divide penned a letter to MPs in a desperate final bid to prevent the bill being passed.Ahead of the final parliamentary vote last November, leaders from the Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as the Federation of Islamic Associations and the Salvation Army, expressed “grave concerns” about the bill. Among them was the risk people would choose assisted death because of a “lack of other meaningful choices” – pointing to “inequitable” access to high-quality palliative care across the country. They stated they “firmly believe” allowing assisted dying would “open the gateway to many foreseen and unforeseen consequences” including the “real risk that people in lower socio-economic groups will find themselves being challenged unnecessarily and unjustly towards a premature death”.John Kleinsman, director of The Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics – an agency of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, says while the conference believes it is dangerous to implement any euthanasia law, it also specifically takes issue with this particular piece of legislation.He says that in a context where elder abuse is rife and “rising” despite a “very clear, robust law” prohibiting such abuse, the question: “if we can’t keep [them] safe now, how do we think we could keep them safe” has to be asked if such a law was to pass.Kleinsman says as Catholics they are not interested in “imposing” their beliefs on others, and they understand there is a case to be made for euthanasia.However, he pointed to “a number of issues” within the Act of concern to the Catholic bishops, including the absence of a ‘cooling-off period’, which he believes makes it a “dangerous” piece of legislation.The Christian church promotes the idea of autonomy and self-choice, but “we are not individuals in isolation”, and assisted dying is “not the only way to have a dignified death”, he says.Kleinsman says the organisation takes the stance – as Catholics – of looking at how this will impact the community and society, particularly those who are vulnerable.Christianity remains New Zealand’s largest overall religious grouping, despite decreasing as a proportion since 2013. The top five denominations in order, as of the last Census, were Anglican, Christian with no denomination specified, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Catholicism (not further defined).Kleinsman states any “euthanasia regime” relies on the idea that some lives are worth living while others are not: “if anything, those most vulnerable deserve the greatest protection and care”.He says compassion and mercy are at the core of what it is to be Christian, but says it is compassion towards those who will be “sucked in unwittingly” and experience “wrongful death” that form the basis of his opposition to the Act.“I think it will change the way we are as a society … how we think about old people, how we think about people with disability.”It is important to note that under the Act, a person would not be eligible if the only reason they give is that they are suffering from a mental disorder or mental illness; have a disability of any kind; or because of their advanced age.The Catholic Bishops and Nathaniel Centre both made submissions to the select committee about the bill as it was going through Parliament.Kleinsman, who has been involved with the Nathaniel Centre for 20 years and director for 10 years, says priests and chaplins have significant experience with the dying, and know how difficult the process can be even with effective palliative care.However, in a country where palliative care is “not equitable”, assisted dying legislation could see “people choosing [assisted dying] … because they don’t have any other option”, he states.In Hinduism and Buddhism there are several points of view, both for and against euthanasia, however for those of Sikh or Muslim faith, the position is more steadfast.Sikhism is the fastest growing religion in New Zealand, with those identifying with the religion at the 2018 Census more than quadrupling since 2006. About 41,000 Sikhs lived in New Zealand at last count.Daljit Singh, spokesman for Supreme Sikh Society, the largest Sikh body in New Zealand, says Sikhism is a religion for the “whole humanity”.“Under the guiding light of our Guru Sahib, Sikh religion does not agree with the End of Life Choice Act,” Singh told Stuff.The sacred scripture of Sikhism, the Granth Sahib – states those who “self-destruct”, who take their own lives, are “not only finishing oneself but also destroying the whole world and humanity”, Singh says.Other holy verses explain that pain and pleasure are bestowed upon humans at the will of the Almighty, Singh says.If a person does not agree with [their pain], they should “return back to Almighty itself and make prayers to Him” to have such suffering relieved, and “not that a human become a boss of its own suffering or pleasure,” Singh said of the scriptures.Singh says Guru Sahib also teaches it is not a human’s will when and how their lives shall come to an end: “We cannot go against his will,” they are told.Similarly, one of the core tenets of Islam, of which more than 57,000 New Zealanders identified with at the last Census, is the consideration that all human life is sacred.Muslims believe life is to be protected and promoted, and not “terminated prematurely” – with the Quran stating it is neither permissible to kill another or one’s self.In a statement published by Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand last year, opposing euthanasia and the End of Life Choice Bill, its president Dr Mustafa Farouk, said it was “not for us or doctors to kill or aid others in destroying themselves”.In it, Farouk said New Zealand Muslims were worried the “vulnerability of our community members could be exploited if euthanasia is legalised”.Most of New Zealand’s Islam community migrated from countries where authorities are “hardly questioned”, prompting concern from FIANZ that people could be “suggested, pressured or coerced by authoritative figures like doctors to end their lives if they had terminal illness or disabilities”.It said it was also concerned legalising euthanasia would “normalise it for future generations” and “erode our cultural identity”.The Association worried members of its community who experience severe illness – particularly refugees, who were often poorer than the general population – could request assisted dying “out of guilt”, faced with high healthcare costs and “scarce” carers.Perhaps most importantly, Farouk said FIANZ believe legalising euthanasia may provide “societal acceptance” needed by those with suicide tendencies in Muslim communities to “rationalise” suicide.FIANZ was approached for comment.READ MORE: read more

Hazard returns to Real training

first_imgRelatedPosts Bale completes Tottenham return from Real Madrid Tottenham sign £25m Sergio Reguilon Tottenham re-signs Bale on loan Eden Hazard is closing in on a return to first-team duty for Real Madrid after taking part in training on Thursday. The Belgian has been on the sidelines since injury his ankle against PSG in the Champions League back in November. He was pictured doing exercises with a ball at his feet at Real’s Valdebebas training base. Zinedine Zidane’s squad were beginning their preparations for Sunday’s trip to Real Valladolid. However, Hazard is unlikely to be risked at this early stage of his return to training. He has scored just once in 13 appearances since his £150million arrival from Chelsea last summer.— Tags: Champions LeagueEden HazardPSGReal Madridlast_img read more

Rose admits he was lucky

first_img His game ended soon after, with Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood substituting Rose and sending him straight to the dressing room to cool off. Stoke manager Mark Hughes was furious Rose was only shown a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner, and the 23-year-old accepted he might have seen red in more ways than one. Rose said: “I don’t mind people booing me but I did lose my head for 10 seconds. It was because of the bad tackle but nothing to do with the fans. “I never want to hide but taking me off was the right thing for the manager to do. And reacting like I did was the wrong thing. I think I’m lucky not to get sent off.” The fans seemed to think Rose made too much of the challenge from Shawcross, although replays showed the Stoke player clearly made contact with his opponent’s shin. Referee Andre Marriner initially played on before deciding to give both a free-kick and a second yellow card, much to the annoyance of Hughes. Rose said: “I didn’t fake it, he did catch me through the shin pads. At first the referee didn’t give it and I don’t know why he changed his mind. “It was the right decision but I don’t think he realised he had already booked Shawcross in the first half.” It was nevertheless a good day for Rose, who had not scored for Tottenham since his spectacular strike against Arsenal four years ago. The full-back believes Spurs can overhaul fifth-placed Everton, who sit three points ahead of them, while fourth place is not completely out of the question. “It was about time I started chipping in with a few more assists and goals,” said Rose. “The management team spoke to me last week and said I should be doing more up the pitch. It was nice I scored and even better we held out for a big three points. “The goal could be massive. Everton slipped up and I think they still have to play Man City. We want to finish the season on a high and we have two winnable games.” It was only Stoke’s third home defeat in the league this season and ended their hopes of winning five Premier League home games in a row for the first time. But defender Marc Muniesa’s thoughts were on matters more important than wins and losses. Muniesa joined Stoke last summer from Barcelona, the club he first represented at the age of 10. The defender worked closely with coach Tito Vilanova, who died from cancer on Friday aged 45. Muniesa said: “On Friday I was in shock, it was difficult for me, he was my first coach at Barcelona – him and (Pep) Guardiola. Because of them I am now playing in the Premier League. “He was a really good man, a man who knows a lot about football. He died but his memory will be with Barcelona and the fans and the football. “He was a big influence on the way I play; he liked to play football and keep the ball. I learned so much from him. “Before the game I wanted to play well for me first, but then for him and for his family. I think I did well for him. ” Muniesa made his first start since February 8 at left-back and then moved into the centre of defence after Shawcross’ sending off. The 22-year-old Spaniard is now in pole position to take Shawcross’ place against Fulham next weekend, with the captain’s hopes of an ever-present season dashed at the last. Muniesa said: “Ryan is the captain and one of the best defenders in the league, so it’s difficult to play without him, but we responded very well. “I’m ready for this big chance, but the coach will decide. We have other players who can come in for Ryan. All the players have to be ready.” Press Association The full-back netted his first goal for Tottenham in four years to earn the visitors a 1-0 victory but became the target of the Stoke fans’ ire after Ryan Shawcross was sent off early in the second half. The full-back was subjected to relentless jeering and reacted to a challenge from Geoff Cameron by pushing the Stoke man in the chest with both hands. Danny Rose admitted he was lucky not to be sent off on an eventful afternoon in Stoke. last_img read more

Zaheer meets South Australia Minister

first_imgAdelaide, June 15 : Indian cricket great Zaheer Khan has met South Australia’s State Minister for Investment, Trade and Tourism, David Ridgway here, it was announced on Friday.Zaheer and his wife Sagarika spent time bonding over lunch with Ridgway and his wife Meredith. This comes after he was felicitated by the Adelaide Oval for his contribution to cricket, according to a release.The 39-year-old Zaheer, who played his last of the 92 Tests in 2014, spent a week-long holiday across picturesque South Australian destinations such as Adelaide, Barossa, Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu Peninsula.At the Adelaide Oval, Zaheer along with wife Sagarika spent a day discovering different experiences at the stadium and reliving fond memories from his happy hunting ground where he has played several international games. IANSlast_img read more

India outclass Ireland in second T20I

first_imgDublin, June 29: Powered by half centuries from Lokesh Rahul and Suresh Raina and a collective bowling effort, India registered their biggest T20I win after convincingly thrashing minnows Ireland by 143 runs in the second and final T20 International, to pocket the two-match series 2-0 here on Friday.India’s spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal (3/21) and Kuldeep Yadav (3/16) once again starred with the ball as the Irish batsmen continued to be at sea, before eventually crumbling to their second lowest T20I total. Also Read – Meghalayan mid-fielder Phrangki Buam joins ISL side FC Goa Chasing a mammoth 214, mainly built around half tons from Rahul (70 off 36 balls) and Raina (69 off 45) and a late order cameo from Hardik Pandya (32 not out off 9), Ireland could never recover from the early wickets as the Indian bowlers put on a collective effort to bundle them out for a meagre 70 in just 12.3 overs.Coming back to the T20I side after a six-year gap, pacer Umesh Yadav drew first blood for the visitors with the wicket of opener Paul Sterling (0) off the second delivery of the Irish innings. Also Read – COVID-19: Football team observes ‘social distancing’ during match, loses 37-0He doubled the joy for the Indians with the wicket of William Potterfield (14) in his second over before debutant Siddharth Kaul joined the party with his maiden international wicket of the other opener James Shannon (2).With the home side reeling at 22/3, leg spinner Chahal broke through the defences of Andrew Balbirnie (9) before Hardik Pandya packed back new man Kevin O Brien for a duck.Down to 30/4 at the end of the powerplay, Chahal struck again with the wicket of Simi Singh for another duck before chinaman Kuldeep Yadav sprung into action with the quick dismissals of skipper Gary Wilson (15) and George Dockrell (4). Also Read – Big push to sports infra in Mizoram, gets Khelo India State CentreChahal then came back to end tailender Stuart Thompson’s brief stay that saw him scoring a 9-ball 13 before Kuldeep Yadav completed the proceedings by getting last man Boyd Rankin (10) stumped by Dinesh Karthik.Earlier, India decided to test their bench, making four changes to the playing XI which also saw a change in the batting order with skipper Virat Kohli opening the innings with Lokesh Rahul. Also Read – Manipur’s Thounaojam Kritina Devi all set to be part of the FIFA U-17 World CupComing back to the side after missing Wednesday’s opener, Rahul grabbed his chance with both hands, smashing a quickfire 36-ball 70, comprising three fours and six sixes to set the tone with a 102-run second wicket stand with veteran Raina, who also made the most of his chance with a 45-ball 69, including five fours and three sixes.Pandya (32 not out off 9 balls; 4×1, 6×4) then applied the finishing touches to the innings, milking 39 runs off the final two overs to push India’s total past the 200 run mark for the second consecutive time.Brief Scores: India 213/4 (Lokesh Rahul 70, Suresh Raina 69, Hardik Pandya 32 not out; Kevin O Brien 3/40) beat Ireland 70 (Gary Wilson 15; Kuldeep Yadav 3/16, Yuzvendra Chahal 3/21, Umesh Yadav 2/19) by 143 runs.last_img read more

Forbes Burnham Memorial Three-Stage cycle race: Hicks edges Husbands to win first stage

first_imgBERBICIAN cyclist Andrew Hicks edged Stephano Husbands to win the first stage of the Annual Forbes Burnham Three-Stage Cycle Road in Berbice on Sunday.Hicks, a member of WS United Cycle Club of Trinidad and Tobago, returned a winning time of one hour 03 minutes 34 seconds in the 36-mile event, which got underway in New Amsterdam, Berbice at 07:00hrs and proceeded to Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, before returning to the place of origin for the finish.According to reports, Hicks, a member of the Trojan Cycle Club of Berbice, was among a pack of eight cyclists, who broke away from the Canje Bridge and continued to distance themselves from the other starters.With approximately two miles from the finish line on the downward journey, Husbands attacked the leading pack and soon after, Hicks responded and joined the Team Coco’s rider and eventually went ahead to finish one wheel ahead of Husbands.Husbands’ teammates Hamzah Eastman and Jamal John placed third and fourth respectively, some 30 seconds after Hicks and Husbands had crossed the finish line.Continental Cycle Club’s Geron Williams finished fifth.The final two stages of the event will be staged on Sunday as the participants will wheel off from Kara Kara, Linden/Soesdyke Highway and complete the second stage on Homestretch Avenue.The third and final stage will get underway later in the day from Homestretch Avenue. The riders will proceed to Belfield, East Coast Demerara and return to the place of origin for the finish.last_img read more