The province is helping businesses in Hants and Kings counties sell more to the public sector. Business leaders can meet public sector purchasers at a trade show in Wolfville on Tuesday, June 27, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Old Orchard Inn. Buyers from three levels of government, universities and colleges, school boards and health care facilities will be available to meet local business operators. The show will allow business vendors to learn about opportunities for increased sales to the public sector. They can meet public sector buyers to discuss issues face-to-face. Eighty per cent of the $1 billion that the public sector spends annually on goods, services, and construction is purchased from Nova Scotia businesses. The province’s Supplier Development Program is encouraging more Nova Scotia companies to sell to government. The trade show is co-hosted by the Office of Economic Development, Hants Regional Development Authority, and Kings Community Economic Development Agency. Nova Scotia’s Supplier Development Program helps small business operators learn how to bid on government goods and services, and provides outreach services and community workshops on accessing business opportunities with government. For more information on supplier development see the website at www.gov.ns.ca/tenders/supplierdevelopment .
New Delhi: NDA nominee Om Birla was on Wednesday unanimously elected speaker of the Lok Sabha with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the opposition assuring him of their whole-hearted support in the smooth conduct of proceedings in the House. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, DMK’s T R Baalu and TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay were among those who backed Birla and urged him to be impartial as presiding officer of the lower house. “I on behalf of the government and the treasury benches assure you full support in conducting the House. I also assure you that your order will prevail and you must be tough even if anyone from our side (treasury benches) crosses the limit,” Modi said, congratulating Birla. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana The prime minister also heaped praise on the two-time BJP MP for his long public life, going back to his student days, and recalled his social work in Kota, Rajasthan, and in other parts of the country, including during the 2011 earthquake in Gujarat and the 2013 floods in Uttarakhand. Chaudhary, while extending whole-hearted support to Birla, urged him to be impartial and give enough time to the opposition to raise issues of public interest. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah He said the presiding officer is the custodian of the House, which according to Jawaharlal Nehru, represents the nation and freedom of the country. Chaudhary also expressed concern over very few bills being referred to standing committees by the Lok Sabha and hoped for a reversal of the trend. Pinaki Mishra of the BJD also expressed similar concerns. There was no candidate in the fray other than Birla and the motion moved by the prime minister to choose the Kota-Bundi MP as the speaker was adopted by a voice vote. A total of 13 motions were moved in support of Birla. Since the motion moved by Modi, also the Leader of the House, was adopted, the other motions became infructuous. Birla was declared elected and the Speaker by pro-tem Speaker Virendra Kumar. Modi led the new Speaker to the presiding officer’s chair. Several leaders from BJP, Congress, DMK, TMC went up the podium to greet Birla. Though the Congress and the DMK had moved notices for supporting Birla as the Speaker well past the 12 noon Tuesday deadline, the pro-tem speaker allowed it to be included as a “special case”. Birla, a surprise pick for the post, won his first Lok Sabha election in 2014 and was again elected this year from Rajasthan’s Kota-Bundi seat. The 56-year-old leader is considered to be close to both Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah. He succeeds eight-term MP Sumitra Mahajan as the speaker, a post traditionally held by senior MPs.
On August 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is due to vote on Section 1504 or “Cardin-Lugar” provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. NGOs such as Oxfam America believe that the provision, signed into law in 2010, could help undo what they see as “the resource curse” in many countries suffering from corruption and mismanagement of mining and oil revenues. The law covers around 90% of internationally operating oil companies and many of the top international mining companies.According to the statutory language, these companies will be required to publicly disclose payments for the extraction of oil, gas and minerals on a country-by-country and project basis as part of financial statements that are already required by the SEC. It will include American companies, foreign companies, such as BP and Shell, as well as companies from emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.Oxfam America states: “The historic measure will increase transparency in the industry, helping to prevent corrupt government officials from squandering oil and mineral wealth. Instability in resource-rich regions poses a long-term threat to national security, foreign policy and economic interests in the United States and it can crimp world petroleum supplies by breeding instability. On the other side of the money ‘pipeline’, it would provide information to investors who are often kept in the dark about whether companies are exposed to political and expropriation risks in volatile resource-rich countries.”The provision would not only include payments to foreign governments but also require companies reporting payments in the United States from mining and oil production on Federal lands and offshore oil and gas production on the Outer Continental Shelf. Oxfam America states: “One of the reasons for the financial crisis was a lack of public information about the real risks of investments. In the case of the oil and mining industries, investors need to know how and whether companies are exposed to political and expropriation risks in volatile resource-rich countries. In some places, companies can make up front payments of over a billion dollars before a drop of oil is produced and this information is not disclosed to investors. This disclosure provision – in addition to providing useful information to citizens in resource-rich countries also provides valuable information to investors on how to assess risk. This is part of the SEC’s core mandate.”As a display of investor interest, investors representing more than $1.2 trillion in assets under management, have called on the SEC to implement strong rules for this provision. These firms, and those who have assets with them, would want to know that their money is not supporting corruption and social, environment and human rights problems overseas. Moves is this direction are not restricted to the US. In October, 2011, the European Commission proposed Revisions to the Transparency and Accounting Directives, a draft European Union law that would mirror Section 1504 but go further by requiring both public and private companies to disclose their payments to governments in countries where they do business.Oxfam America concludes: “With the US law covering the vast majority of internationally operating oil companies and the world’s largest mining companies, and European rules covering even more companies, the transparency net will be cast far and wide. Citizens of resource-rich countries will be able to arm themselves with information they can use to track the amount of money governments receive from oil and mining companies. Through SEC action, the United States will be well-positioned to influence the European Commission’s proposal. However, delayed action by the SEC and the oil industry actively lobbying in Europe, the EC proposals could be watered down, which could also then influence the final rule in the US.”Some companies, including Talisman Energy, Statoil, AngloGold Ashanti and Newmont Mining, already disclose payments in every country of operation and in some cases they volunteer this information at a project level. NGOs like Oxfam American argue that if it was truly hurting their bottom lines, they simply wouldn’t be doing it.