New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday arrested two senior employees of Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) based in Patna for demanding and receiving a bribe of Rs 2.5 lakh. The arrested officers are identified as Chandan Prakash Pandey, a 2016 batch Indian Revenue Service officer and Assistant Commissioner and Mohammed Soaibuddin, Superintendent. The accused were allegedly caught red-handed while accepting the bribe from a flour mill owner, said an officer associated with the case. The officers were posted at the CGST, Patna II. According to sources, the investigative agency is in the process of carrying out searches to collection more evidence in connection with the case in Patna and Jehanabad. According to the initial investigations, the officers had allegedly demanded Rs eight lakh to hush-up proceedings related to the filing of a case against a firm owned by the complainant’s wife and sister-in-law. A deal was brokered that the first portion of the bribe of Rs 2.5 lakh would be handed over to the accused. The CBI officials nabbed the accused while accepting the bribe.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a complex political and security environment, where negative scenarios can quickly endanger the Dayton Peace Agreement and the progress achieved so far,” Valentin Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, told the Security Council. “For this reason, I am firmly convinced that there is still the necessity to maintain the EU military force on the ground with an executive mandate,” he said. Unanimously adopting a resolution, the 15-member Council recognized the right of both European Union Force Althea (EUFOR ALTHEA) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) presence to take all necessary measures to defend themselves from attack or threat of attack and authorized Member States to assist both organizations in carrying out their missions. The Council also urged all parties to step up the implementation of comprehensive reforms, in an inclusive manner, to the benefit of all citizens and in line with the European perspective the country is committed to, calling on them to refrain from any polarizing policy, action and rhetoric. Mr. Inzko noted that more than 25 years have passed since Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the United Nations in 1992, and more than two decades have passed since the tragic conflict came to an end in 1995. The country has since made remarkable progress in many ways, he said, highlighting that the state institutions provided for under the Peace Agreement were established and the three armies that fought each other were unified into one. Today the country is at a crucial moment in its history, as leaders of all ethnic affiliations aspire to join the European Union and are working towards fulfilling the requirements necessary for the country to be granted EU candidate status, he said. However, he continued, “As progress on economic and political reforms has significantly slowed down over the last ten years, divisive nationalism and persistent challenges to the Peace Agreement and the institutional arrangements provided for under that agreement have threatened to take the country backwards.” Over the last six months, many key political actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been unwilling to search for the compromises needed to adopt necessary reforms. And with the general elections expected to take place next year, many political leaders have already started exchanging divisive rhetoric rooted in the past and an early electoral agenda have slowed the pace of reform and affected the political climate, he said. In July, the Constitutional Court struck down provisions of the election law regulating indirect elections to the Federation House of Peoples. If the House is not formed after the next elections, this will most likely prevent the formation of a Federation government and the formation of one chamber of the state-level parliament. “I want to call attention to this issue now, while there is still time for the parties in parliament to address the problem ahead of the 2018 elections,” he said. Also, in October, the Republika Srpksa National Assembly adopted a resolution which asserts the entity’s neutrality vis-a-vis integration with NATO. He insisted that foreign policy is an exclusive responsibility of the state institutions. In conclusion, Mr. Inzko outlined the major challenges for the political leaders and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.These include completion of the actions needed to achieve the next steps in Euro-Atlantic integration, ensuring that the 2018 elections can be held and their results implemented smoothly, and the rule of law under which the decisions of courts and the Dayton Peace Agreement are respected and implemented, he said.
Despite sluggish global commodity prices that continue to cause an ongoing slump in the mining industry – skills transfer and job creation have been empowering local employees at the Mopani copper mine in Zambia, thanks to a joint venture between Redpath Mining SA and Rig Resources Zambia.Since officially entering into the three-year joint venture (JV) in March 2015, employment at Rig Resources has almost doubled from 217 employees to 433. Rig Resources Managing Director Anthony Kabaghe points out that this is an impressive feat in current market conditions. “The formation of this JV is clearly the beginning of more positive things to come,” he explains. Although still employed by Rig Resources, the employees now form part of the JV partnership, which is currently comprised of 421 locals and 12 expats, who are all working for Mopani on its various shafts. “The advantages that this JV can offer Mopani go far beyond mining solutions, and will positively impact both the Zambian economy and local communities,” says Kabaghe.Redpath Mining SA MD Ockert Douglas indicates that both companies were working as independent contractors for Mopani, but it was clear that the client and the companies could benefit by combining their years of experience and resources. “Redpath Mining SA has been involved with Mopani since 2012, and is currently executing some of the mine’s capital projects.” Douglas adds that mining operations across Africa, such as Mopani, are looking to increase the use of local labour and skills. “This benefits the communities in which we operate and, in turn, the country. The opportunity arose for both companies to create a suitable business venture with many of the elements that the mining operation and Zambian government were looking for.”According to Kabaghe, the JV currently covers the Mopani project at four sites – Mindola North, Mufulira, South Ore Body and Central. “Rig Resources provides local labour and Redpath SA brings in experts to train local staff. Another major benefit that Redpath SA brings to the JV is its impeccable safety record, which currently stands at 448 days incident-free at Central shaft.”International contracting skills and expertise will be transferred during the course of the three-year contract, as Redpath SA provides Rig Resources’ local employees with hands-on training. The finance function will continue to be provided by the local team with support from South Africa, while all future capital required to meet increased production capacity will be borne by Redpath.Apart from the initial $5.4 million invested by Rig Resources, Douglas states that all future capital will be funded by Redpath’s international head office in Canada. “Our technical expertise in terms of contracting, maximising the use of mechanised trackless equipment, and the provision of a resource base of international professionals are also part of the deal,” he continues. Douglas adds that Rig Resources brings local skills and knowledge of the Mopani Mine as well as business relationships in Zambia to the table, thereby creating a full-circle joint venture that has benefits beyond just the two companies. He continues: “We believe that we need to build the current JV to a respectable level, where we fully meet all the needs of the current client. Once this is bedded down, the opportunity may arise for us to undertake additional work together.”Douglas acknowledges that the downward commodity pricing cycle has negatively affected the global mining sector, including Zambia, which is currently not earning the desired foreign exchange that it used to. “These pricing cycles come and go, and I am confident that prices should move upward in the not-too-distant future. Zambia is a country with many years of upcoming mining projects. These mining projects have assisted in growing the country and will continue to do so.” Kabaghe is upbeat about the future outlook for the JV. “Expansion continues to take place at Mopani, which is drilling more shafts in order to be sufficiently prepared for an uptake in production when commodity prices recover.”