…urges Cabinet to make timely interventionFormer President Bharrat Jagdeo has said he wants a timely and effective intervention from the Government on the issue of hikes in the prices of fuels, and has recalled that his Administration would have dealt with increases in fuel prices on the world market in a particular manner.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoWith the rise in fuel prices having spawned protests from several sections of society, Government has announced that Cabinet would deliberate on this issue.Jagdeo is, however, unimpressed with this approach to the issue. During a recent press conference, the former president recalled that when he was in office, issues of this sort used to be solved by one phone call.“Cabinet (is) to explore options of what they will do about fuel prices? (Back then, former Finance Minister) Ashni Singh would call me and say, ‘The prices have gone up, and here is the room’; because we moved up the prices when the prices were low, and we dropped them when the prices were high, as a stabiliser. And I (would) say, ‘Okay, go ahead’, as president.“And I’m sure he did the same thing with (former President Donald) Ramotar…The prices have moved, that’s what you do!” Jagdeo said.“They now need a whole Cabinet to explore this about what they do with the fuel. Is this not total incompetence?” he asked rhetorically.When the announcement of Cabinet considering the issue was made, it was noted that times are different. In defending the Government’s caution, Finance Minister Winston Jordan had specifically alluded to considerations about Guyana’s Balance of Payments’ situation.Minibus and hire car operators have already protested the hike in fuel prices. Some have called for the Government to look into the situation urgently, as they are practically on the breadline.It has been related that because the rice industry is failing, many farmers have turned to the transportation sector for their survival. These drivers have also contended that if Government does not intervene, there is likely to be a hike in crime.FrustrationsOnly last week, President of the United Minibus Union (UMU), Eon Andrews, had cause to vent his frustration over Government’s slow approach to a proposal submitted to the Business Ministry over a week ago.Andrews expressed dissatisfaction over Government’s seemingly careless attitude towards tackling the woes of the minibus and transportation sector at large.Andrews’s proposal had not only been for a fare increase, but several other requests in regard to the transportation sector, with the hope of having several issues plaguing that sector addressed.He had contended that, instead of leaving the union proverbially at sea, the Business Ministry should have informed the Union that several other Ministries would have to be consulted on the matter before a determination is made.“I noticed in (Guyana Times where he (Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin) had indicated that he got to — because of the nature of the thing (proposal) — he has to consult the other relevant ministers. But he had not indicted that to me, and that would have been good if he had said that to us, so that we would have known we would have had to wait a little bit. I don’t know why the Government is wasting our time,” Andrews had declared.He added that, under the previous administration, such matters were given more urgency, especially since it is one which has a chain effect on not only drivers, but commuters as well.“They (the previous administration) would have dealt with it, even if we had to just talk. They would have called us in already, we would have been talking…they always would have called us in quickly,” he said.The Union head has said he is concerned that minibus operators might take certain actions which may very well affect commuters, if the Government does not deal with the issue in a timely manner.According to him, it is not the UMU’s vision to exploit commuters, but to set fares which are “fair to everyone”. Andrews has said he is aware of cases in which passengers are being made to pay increases in transportation fares as high as $60, when all that the UMU has requested is a $20 increase for short drop drivers, and $40 increase for drivers who travel longer distances.“We are concerned because, if they (minibus drivers) take action, it means that especially the travelling public, they will punish. There may be persons who may react to those increases; and, you know, there might be some violence and Police story and these kinds of things. So I don’t think that’s the way anybody wants us to go. So I think that the Government ought to do something quickly,” the UMU president had posited.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. New Delhi: Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik has been issued a show cause notice by the Wrestling Federation India (WFI) for leaving the national camp without permission as 25 campers have been expelled for the same offence.In a shocking turn of events, 25 out of of the 45 women grapplers, who train at the SAI centre in Lucknow, reported absent from the national camp without taking permission from the National Federation. Out of these 25, three grapplers including Sakshi (62kg), Seema Bisla (50kg) and Kiran (76kg) had recently qualified for the World Championship,The trio has been issued show cause notices and their deadline from submitting reply is Wednesday.All others have been expelled from the national camp till further orders from the WFI and were barred from competing in Monday’s World Championship trials in four non-Olympic categories.According to WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar, once the Indian squads left for Belarus and Estonia for preparatory tournaments, the remaining wrestlers left the camp without seeking permission.”We have asked Sakshi, Seema and Kiran to reply to the show cause notices. They can reply by Wednesday. Others, we have not even bothered to ask. They have simply been expelled for indiscipline. We will see later if we need to call them back for the camp,” Tomar told PTI.”The camp is still on with remaining wrestlers, including the juniors. Now that they have been expelled, they are coming up with all kinds of excuses. Somebody is saying that my mother was ill and some one is saying that she had informed so and so. This is unacceptable,” added Tomar.Asked if WFI will stop Sakshi, Seema and Kiran from participating in the Worlds, Tomar said,”I can’t comment on it as of today. The Federation will decide soon.”Sources in the WFI said the three wrestlers will be let off with warning. WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said they want only serious wrestlers at the camp.”We have told them that only those who are serious about training will return to the camp. If they have problems at home, they can sit at home. We will replace them. We can’t afford the camp to suffer because of a few wrestlers. We can have more juniors,” Singh told PTI.Asked about allegations that the WFI has tried to manipulate trials by sending entries for the World Championship to United World Wrestling (UWW) without holding trials, Tomar defended the decision.The last date to send entries was August 15 while WFI conducted trials for women in non-Olympic categories on August 19 in Lucknow and men’s trials are scheduled for tomorrow in New Delhi.”We had to send a team to Belarus for the tournament and to Estonia for the World Championships. A few junior wrestlers also wanted to compete in trials, so we delayed the trials so that they can compete when they comeback.”Viky, who won a bronze in 92kg at the Worlds, he also has to compete. We delayed it so that we could have quality trials. I agree that the women’s trials were very weak due to disciplinary action. We can always replace names already sent to UWW. We can give medical certificates for replacements,” said Tomar.The men’s freestyle trials in four non-olympic categories and the 74kg in which two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar competes, will be held on Tuesday.NAMES OF WRESTLERS EXPELLED FROM NATIONAL CAMP:50kg: Indu Chaudhary, Preeti, Sheetal Tomar53kg: Seema, Keemti, Raman Yadav55kg: Pinky57kg: Pinki Rani59kg: Manju, Ankita, Rani Rana62kg: Sakshi Malik, Rachna, Pooja65kg: Anita, Gargi Yadav, Ritu Malik68kg: Rajni, Naina, Kavita76kg: Kiran, Jyoti, Sudesh, Pooja, Rani. Kiransakshi malikSeemawrestling First Published: August 19, 2019, 6:14 PM IST