The Ceremonial Opening of the new session of Parliament will take place on Thursday, February 14, at a joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.The opening, which marks the beginning of the legislative year (2019/2020), will feature the traditional delivery of the Throne Speech by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at 11:00 a.m.During the Throne Speech, the Governor-General will outline the priority programmes and policies to be pursued by the Government during the new fiscal year.After the ceremony, the House of Representatives will reconvene at 2:00 p.m. for the tabling of the 2019/2020 Estimates of Expenditure by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clake.The Estimates will provide details of the amount the Government intends to spend on Recurrent (housekeeping) business and capital (development) projects.The Standing Finance Committee of the House will consider the Estimates from March 4 to 5.On Thursday, March 7, the Minister of Finance and the Public Service will open the Budget Debate, and on Tuesday, March 12, the Opposition Spokesperson on Finance will make his contribution to the Debate.Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, will make his contribution to the Debate on Thursday, March 14.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, will speak in the Budget Debate on Tuesday, March 19, and the Finance Minister will close the Debate on Wednesday, March 20.On Friday, March 22, the Senate is expected to debate the Budget.
General Manager, Caribbean Country Department, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Therese Turner-Jones, says the National Identification System (NIDS) will lay the foundation for Jamaica to become a digital economy. General Manager, Caribbean Country Department, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Therese Turner-Jones, says the National Identification System (NIDS) will lay the foundation for Jamaica to become a digital economy.The digital economy is the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions and professional interactions that are enabled by information and communications technology (ICT).The Government is emphasising the creation of a digital society in order to drive growth, create opportunities for businesses, promote innovation and create jobs.“Prime Minister (the Most Hon. Andrew) Holness actually announced a few months ago that he would like Jamaica to become a digital economy, but you can’t have a digital economy unless there is a digital signature and a lot of our documents can be done electronically,” she pointed out.She was speaking at the inaugural Public Sector Corporate Governance Awards Ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on December 13.The IDB recently approved a US$68-million loan to the Government for the design and implementation of the National Identification System (NIDS).The loan will also cover the necessary systems to ensure the safeguarding of personal information.“I want to say that your international partners have recognised that you have come a long way, and that was probably one of the easiest meetings I have sat in at the IDB approving a loan for Jamaica,” Mrs. Turner-Jones said.“There were a lot of comments about Jamaica being a model for reform, not just in the Caribbean but in all of Latin America in terms of some of the initiatives you are taking,” she said.NIDS, which is scheduled for implementation in 2019, will provide a comprehensive and secure structure to enable the capture and storage of identity information for all Jamaicans.Under the system, each citizen will be provided with a randomised nine-digit National Identification Number (NIN), which they will have for life.Mrs. Turner-Jones pointed out that the NIDS will be the first national identification system rolled out in the Caribbean.“IDB has worked with other countries in the region on it, but this will be the first one here. There was a lot of talk about how this will help improve a lot of the social problems that Jamaica is experiencing, (and) there were many references to people with special needs and disabilities,” she said.Implementation of the NIDS is supported by the National Identification and Registration Bill, which was passed in both Houses of Parliament in November.With the US$68-million funding, the Government intends to put the NIDS infrastructure and systems in place over the next 12 months, beginning with a pilot project.This is expected to be followed by the national roll-out in September 2019, over a three- to four-year period.The layered roll-out and management of the NIDS will be handled by a new agency, the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), which will replace the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and provide more enhanced services. “Prime Minister (the Most Hon. Andrew) Holness actually announced a few months ago that he would like Jamaica to become a digital economy, but you can’t have a digital economy unless there is a digital signature and a lot of our documents can be done electronically,” she pointed out. “I want to say that your international partners have recognised that you have come a long way, and that was probably one of the easiest meetings I have sat in at the IDB approving a loan for Jamaica,” Mrs. Turner-Jones said. Story Highlights
The state of Florida will purchase the development rights for a 5.85-acre parcel west of Naval Station Mayport to protect the installation from incompatible development.The state will pay $630,000 for the parcel along the St. Johns River and acquire the development rights from the Jacksonville Port Authority. The deal does not prohibit residential or commercial development, reported News4Jax.“There are height restrictions, there are lighting restrictions,” said Rocky McPherson, vice president of military and defense programs at Enterprise Florida. “They can build things that are compatible with the Navy’s use of that base.”The purchase comes as the state works to ensure its military installations are well positioned in a future BRAC round.“We don’t know what is going to happen in ’17. That’s really speculative,” McPherson said. “But we don’t want to have a development that’s impinging upon the ability of the base to do its mission. And then when people start looking at bases and say, ‘that’s a problem,’ we want to avoid that.”The funds for the transaction come from a nearly $7.5 million fund the state Legislature added to the budget in 2014 for non-conservation purchases outside military bases. The state currently is negotiating the purchase of land or development rights for parcels adjacent to MacDill Air Force Base and Naval Support Activity Panama City, according to the story.The state has identified an additional 64 sites neighboring bases that could eventually be targeted in similar deals. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
“I paint by divine grace. By God’s grace. I believe I cannot paint without this deep faith in God, creativity and imagination. I follow simple regime: I live to paint; I paint to live. As long as you have the creative fire in you, age cannot deter or stop you,” Raza said.Recipient of the Padama Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honour, Raza still paints with the same enthusiasm that he displayed several decades ago, and credits his “creative fire” for the uninterrupted strength. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The current collection of canvases and paperwork’s that the artist has worked on in the last one-and-half-years has been displayed on the walls of the Vadehra art Gallery in show titled Aarambh. The exhibition is on till March 18.While the bindu (dot) remains the centerpiece of all his works, Raza sees these as continuum of his previous works.“My works should be seen as continuum. They are in my own tradition except that I hope they offer new explorations, fresh insights and exciting combinations” Raza said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Bindu, as I have often said, is the centre of silence, energy and imagination. It is inexhaustible and yet it remains as a challenge to any creative imagination, including mine. I keep on returning to it since it offers new possibilities and new combinations,” he added.Unlike his masterpieces like Tribhuj (triangle) or Prakarti Purush (male/female energy), Raza hasn’t chosen any particular theme this time to weave magic on the canvas. In fact, his preoccupation with colours comes out well in the exhibition. “It is difficult to describe themes. There are so many. Yet, I could say that my preoccupation is colour – its immensity, its immense possibilities. Colour for me is primary manifestation of life, existence, creativity and imagination,” Raza said.While on the surface his works might not evoke an immediate reaction, but Raza’s compositions are rooted in the hope and belief that “truth triumphs and peace prevails”.“Arts also literature and other forms of creative expression ultimately offer you site of equality and justice, of beauty and peace. Art demolishes many boundaries,” he said. “I see that there is a better climate for creative arts but also attempts to curb freedom of expression are unfortunately growing. I feel enthusiastic about the first and unhappy about the second,” Raza added.
5 min read Enroll Now for Free November 20, 2015 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now I frequently advise about the technological automation new businesses can use to hold down early overhead and employee-scaling costs, and to allow workers to operate from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.In this vein, I pay close attention to the new tools being introduced that we can leverage here at BottleKeeper, even as we’re scaling and remaining automated.As a foundation to the tools we now use and prefer, we made a big move last July: We had relied on a combination of WordPress and WooCommerce for our ecommerce platform. But as of July, we moved to Shopify, and we couldn’t be happier. Shopify enables us to scale without needing to ratchet up or down our back-end bandwidth or to monitor any server restraints. And that saves us a lot of time and headaches. You can do the same with the suite of seven tools we recommend:1. AdEspressoIncredible returns can be achieved with Facebook video advertising; with that platform, you can intelligently target an enormous number of consumers while tracking both the activity and returns. The difficulty comes when you want to A/B-test your video and/or ads against different target markets, and you realize that five markets with five videos and five tag lines represents 125 videos that must be individually loaded.This is where AdEspresso is amazing. You can easily load the ads, targets or segments and taglines — among many other options — and the system will automatically create the full range of ads and post them into your Facebook ad manager. Then the real magic happens: The amount of data that pours from those ads is overwhelming and nearly impossible to understand in Facebook; so AdEspresso does this task for you and ranks out the best-performing by your particular KPI (key performance indicator). With this data, you can easily optimize — or AdEspresso can optimize for you — and double down on your best-performing ads.2. KlaviyoThis is an app for our Shopify store and can also plug-in to most major ecommerce platforms. In short, Klaviyo is an email flow machine, allowing you to pre-create and load emails that are automatically sent.We leverage Klaviyo for two abandoned-cart messages, one at four hours, which offers customers a 10 percent discount to come back, and another at 24 hours, which offers free shipping. We also have a personal “thank you” email that gets sent to all new customers and is from me, as one of the founders. I also use Klaviyo to reply to personal email (a personal touch people love) and to create repeat-customer emails.Related: 7 Considerations for Finding Your Ideal Customer-Support Structure3. ZendeskUnless you want to set up a call center or answer your cell phone 24/7, you’ll need to rely heavily on technology to offer customer support. Desk.com is a good solution, but over time, I’ve found that it becomes glitchy as more support tickets came in. Accordingly, we’ve recently moved to Zendesk, and it’s been amazing — definitely one of those “why didn’t we do that a year ago?” scenarios. The system is intelligent, easy to manipulate and customize and offers a considerably wider swath of solutions for your online business.4. DelightedFeedback from your customers is really important — not only because you need to keep an eye on how your product(s) are being received, but because feedback offers another opportunity to communicate with customers, to offer help or just say “thanks.” This is where Delighted comes in: We’ve found that the more you can reach out and touch a customer, the higher the likelihood that you can help if there’s an issue — which customers will love your brand for.5. ZapierThis is an amazing tool that allows you to connect nearly any platform to another. One way we leverage Zapier is to send customer information from Shopify to Delighted, then send certain survey responses from Delighted — such as a ticket with a comment — into Zendesk as a new support ticket. This means that we can easily take action on the survey responses, whether good or bad.6. SweetToothWe’re huge fans of rewarding customers for purchases and for sharing our product with the world. Here, we use SweetTooth, which has a number of reward options: One is points for ordering that can be used for discounts on future purchases; another is the sharing SweetTooth offers on Facebook, and referrals for friends and family.We’re particularly aggressive with referrals. If you refer a friend who makes a purchase, you’ll earn a free BottleKeeper — which is motivating enough to work really well.7. StitchLabsIf you’re in a business that carries inventory, keeping track of it is obviously important. This is where StitchLabs comes into play, by linking any number of stores and ecommerce platforms together in a single platform — which then pushes inventory numbers out to those stores. Stitch also has robust reporting, which can be customized very inexpensively.Click here to see how Shopify can help your growing online business. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.