zoom The delivery of another five newbuilding vessels during the third quarter of 2016 has pushed up the revenues of Norwegian ship-owner Ocean Yield ASA to USD 76.2 million for the period from USD 65.3 million reported in the third quarter of 2015.During the quarter the company expanded its fleet with the container vessels MSC Diane, MSC Ingy and MSC Eloane, the chemical tanker Navig8 Topaz, and the LR2 product tanker Navig8 Supreme, all of which are chartered out long-term.In addition, the car carrier Höegh Trapper and the product tanker Navig8 Steadfast contributed with full quarter earnings, as these two vessels were delivered during the second quarter of 2016.The company’s net profit after tax for the three months increased to USD 32.7 million from USD 22.7 million seen in the corresponding quarter of 2015.Total revenues for the nine-month period from January to September 2016 increased to USD 212.4 million from USD 191.1 million reported in the same period of 2016, while the net profit also grew to USD 190.8 million from USD 167.6 million for the respective periods.In September, Ocean Yield agreed to acquire two 45,000 dwt IMO II chemical carriers, built in 2013, for a consideration of USD 35 million per vessel in combination with 12-year “hell and high water” bareboat charters to Navig8 Ltd.Navig8 Group has certain options to acquire the vessels during the charter period, with the first option exercisable after five years.
zoom The labor union of South Korea’s shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) said that it would launch an industrial action as a response to the company’s plans to split its businesses, according to Yonhap News Agency.The union claims that the latest development in HHI’s plans to reorganize its businesses into six separate companies next year would lead to a sell-off.Namely, under the earlier announced plans, the businesses would be split into shipbuilding-offshore plant-vessel engines, electric and electronics, construction equipment, renewable energy, robotics, and services.Expected to be finalized by the first half of 2017, the move would be conducted as part of the shipbuilder’s self-rescue scheme as HHI aims to increase competitiveness and improve its financial status.After nine quarters of posting losses, Hyundai Heavy Industries returned to black in the first quarter of 2016 when it booked an operating profit of KRW 325.2 billion.The company managed to maintain its earnings streak in the third quarter of the year as it posted a net income of KRW 334.4 billion for the period, while its net income for the first nine months of 2016 jumped to KRW 971.1 billion, compared to a net loss of KRW 985.1 billion seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.World Maritime News Staff
For the second time in one week, the Panama Canal’s expanded waterway welcomed a container vessel with a total TEU allowance (TTA) of 14,863.The vessel CMA CGM J. Adams matched the capacity of the CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt, which established a new record as the largest capacity container vessel on August 22 with the same mark of 14,863 TTA.“Both transits over a period of seven days are further evidence of the impact of the Expanded Panama Canal to world maritime trade,” Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said.The two ships are deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, which connects Asia and US East Coast ports via the Panama Canal.The SAX service is composed of 11 vessels ranging in size from 11,000 to 14,000 TEUs, including vessels which also transited the expanded Canal earlier in May becoming the largest capacity ships to do so at the time.Image Courtesy: Panama Canal
“Now, through further expanding our footprint in the region, including exploring new operating locations, and bringing in talented people, we are confident of becoming one of the top three maritime services companies in the region. The company’s many developments, including employing innovative data analytics, will enable us to maintain a leadership position,” Sanjeev Sarin, CEO of FN, said. zoom United Arab Emirates-based maritime services company Fujairah National Shipping (FNS) announced plans to increase its market share in the region.As disclosed, the company wants to become the first ‘one-stop-shop’ maritime services company in the region and further add to its portfolio of services.Announcing its ambitious growth plans FNS said it wanted to “challenge network rivals in the Gulf by aiming to become one of the top three maritime services companies in the region by the end of 2018.”The company said that in order to meet its objectives it has brought in a new management team, headed by Chief Executive Officer, Sanjeev Sarin, invested in new physical assets within the port, and launched a new technology platform.These are said to include the acquisition of ships, including bunker barges, and oil storage facilities.Furthermore, a new investment is said to be in the cards over the next 12-month period.“Fujairah National Shipping is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growing market opportunity at the Port of Fujairah and throughout the Gulf Region. The company’s strong core offering plays a central role in meeting the exacting demands of its ship owner and operator clients,” Sheikh Sultan bin Saleh Al Sharqi, Vice-Chairman of Fujairah National Group, said.The company is based at the Port of Fujairah, strategically located near the Strait of Hormuz. FNS service portfolio includes agency, husbandry, ship management, repairs, maintenance, oil storage, bunkering, offshore support, crew management, warehousing, and distribution.
zoomImage Courtesy: Stena Bulk The detained tanker Stena Impero has finally been released and is sailing to Dubai, according to the ship’s owner Stena Bulk.“Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management confirm the Stena Impero and its crew have been released,” Erik Hanell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk, said.“The vessel has left the port of Bandar Abbas and is transiting to Dubai for the crew to disembark and receive medical checks and de-briefing.”Hanell further noted that the families of crew members have been informed and the company is making arrangements for the repatriation of the sixteen seafarers “at the earliest possible opportunity.”Iran’s Ports & Maritime Organization said that, although the ship ban was lifted, the process of investigating violations and announcing the final results of the legal proceeds is ongoing.The 46,575 cbm ship was detained near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations on July 19, only weeks after the Royal Marines and Gibraltar authorities seized the Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, due to suspicions of violating EU sanctions on Syria.Iran later released seven of the 23 Stena Impero crew members as the ship’s owner, Stena Bulk, requested the removal of non-essential personnel.
Nova Scotians will be enjoying more new nature reserves soonerwith proposed amendments to the Special Places Protection Act,introduced today, April 21. “We’ve committed in our green plan to protect more of NovaScotia’s natural environment, and these amendments will help,”said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. “They’ll makeit easier for us to designate new nature reserves that NovaScotians will enjoy for generations to come.” Nature reserves preserve and protect typical and specialecosystems, plants and animals. They also offer research andeducation opportunities. The province has 11 nature reservestotalling 3,180 hectares. The amendments will remove the current requirement that everynature reserve have a management plan in place before it isdesignated. Instead, management plans will be developed asnecessary. For highly visited nature reserves, special measures outlined inmanagement plans may be necessary to protect the areas’ featureswhile still allowing access for research, education and natureappreciation. For remote reserves that are rarely visited, the act’s statementson permitted and prohibited activities are usually sufficient toensure the area’s protection. The proposed amendments will re-establish the special placesadvisory committee with an updated membership structure. Thecommittee will provide advice on all aspects of nature reserves. The amendments will also remove the requirement for the committeeto help develop management plans. Instead, the committee willassist when requested. “We have a number of Nova Scotians who are offering pieces oftheir own private land to be protected as nature reserves but ourhands have been tied because of outdated legislation,” said Mr.Morash. “With these changes, we’ll be able to protect these andother lands in a timely manner.” About 8.2 per cent of land in Nova Scotia is protected throughthe combined efforts of the provincial and federal governments,and organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and theNova Scotia Nature Trust. All of Nova Scotia’s nature reserves are described on thedepartment’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/pareas .
Nova Scotians will have new career opportunities in one of the most dynamic and fastest growing areas of the financial services industry. Bermuda-based Olympia Capital, one of the world’s most respected hedge fund administrators, is expanding its operations, bringing up to 150 new jobs to Halifax. The company is expanding its Toronto-based financial services division, OC Financial Services. Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) will provide the company with a payroll rebate set at a maximum of $1.5 million over a five-year period. The Office of Economic Development will assist in the expansion with a recruitment and training incentive package set at a maximum of $300,000. The package will be funded through the Industrial Expansion Fund. “This announcement is a great example of people and organizations working together to attract new companies, create new jobs and support continuing economic development,” said Economic Development Minister Richard Hurlburt. “By offering a recruitment and training incentive, the province is giving our recent graduates the skills they need to excel in areas like the hedge fund industry.” In addition to its new Halifax operations, Olympia Capital also has about 200 employees in other countries and cities including Bermuda, Dublin, Toronto and New York. Since 1998, OC Financial Services has been operating in Toronto, which is currently its only major support operation in Canada. “We are pleased to expand our business in Canada and build on the centuries-old relationship between Bermuda and Nova Scotia,” said Raymond Morrison, president of Olympia Capital (Bermuda) Limited and global chief operating officer of Olympia’s group of companies. “By choosing Halifax and tapping into the highly skilled workforce, our company will be able to grow our overall operations.” “This is another step in our efforts to build a world class financial services sector in the province,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI. OC Financial Services Inc. handles support and back office administration services for Olympia Capital’s group of companies. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is Nova Scotia’s private sector-led business development agency. NSBI is the investment attraction arm of the province and helps companies in Nova Scotia meet their growth potential through business advisory, export development and financial services.
-30- PICTOU COUNTY: St. Paul’s Road St. Paul’s Road, from Route 348 to East River West Road, will be closed to traffic for repairs to the St. Paul’s Bridge from Monday, Jan. 8 to Friday, Jan. 26. Local Area Office: 902-755-7147 Fax: 902-755-7149
New university and college graduates who choose to live and work in Nova Scotia can benefit from the new Nova Scotia Post-secondary Graduate Tax Credit. New graduates can use the tax credit to reduce provincial personal income tax by $1,000. The graduate tax credit is not restricted to graduates of Nova Scotia institutions; it is also offered to new graduates of eligible programs across Canada, and in many international locations. “University and college graduates are key to building and keeping a skilled workforce,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “This is one of the measures we have in place to help us attract, and keep, new graduates.” Recent graduates must apply to receive the tax credit. An application form and additional information can be obtained online at www.graduatetaxcredit.ns.ca , from any Access Nova Scotia location, or by calling 424-5200 in metro or 1-800-670-4357 (toll-free in Nova Scotia).
“We don’t do anything normal.” That’s the attitude Robert Zed takes toward projects with the Zed Group. Zed is chairman of the group of companies, based in Halifax, that is involved in a variety of businesses including event planning and production, investments, real estate and even health care. The busiest arm of the group is ZedEvents, which handles everything from dinners to conferences. It looks after every detail of an event including team responsibilities, schedules and budgets. It has staged events for the Nova Scotia Business Inc., Geared for Growth conference, Different Stage of Mind Event for the Nova Scotia Mental Health Foundation, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce Atlantica Conference, Halifax Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament, Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee Hall of Fame Induction Gala: Road to Excellence. It’s a long list, especially when you add numerous golf tournaments and private functions, but it doesn’t stop there. ZedEvents not only has a strong presence in Nova Scotia, but it is expanding from coast to coast in both Canada and the United States, and even moving into the U.K. Zed says the company has clients in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, California, Florida, Texas and England. How did a company that is only two years old grow so quickly? “We wow our clients,” he says. “We try to deliver strong service and set realistic objectives. We have people with creative minds, out-of-the-box thinkers who are very, very good at what they’re doing.” One of those key employees is Jane Davies, executive producer of the company. Zed says she is really the secret of success. Zed says his colleagues also love living and working in Nova Scotia. “The passion of staying here just gives you a whole different perspective. I can go an hour and be at my cottage. I can go an hour from anywhere in Halifax and be in the country. When I go an hour from Montreal or Toronto, I’m still battling traffic and battling high costs.” While Robert Zed’s enthusiasm for the area is clear, he has plenty of fans here, too. In 2005, he was inducted into Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame and he’s only 46 years old. Zed was also the recipient of the prestigious Top 40 Under 40 in 1996. While he doesn’t shy away from trying novel approaches to projects, the Halifax entrepreneur does have a few rules and questions he sticks to when embarking on a venture. The first step is to have an expectations meeting with clients to go over goals, keeping in mind some key points. “What does success look like? Will people walk away and say, ‘wow?’ Will the client walk away and say, ‘that was really impressive?'” Once the event wraps, Zed needs to hear a couple of comments before he considers his work a success. They are, “Thank you for delivering that promise. Thank you for taking it to a different level.” But why do people come to Nova Scotia to do business? Without a pause to gather his thoughts, Zed says, “Expertise. Experts live here, and we have the best ones in the country.” He says ZedEvents has a full-time staff of 10 at the Halifax office. But leading up to an event, the staff could number 30 to 40 employees. There are also practical things that complete the package,like having strong, dependable access into, and out of, the province by air, road and rail. He says easily getting into, and departing the province is critical for doing business. “It’s an easy stop point and dash-off point.” One man, who plays a key role in staging events in Nova Scotia, is a huge fan of the company. Fred MacGillivray, president and CEO, Trade Centre Limited, which operates the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax says Zed is a professional entrepreneur who understands clearly what it takes to be successful. MacGillivray says one of the chief reasons for Zed’s success is that he hires good people. “All of the people at Zed have an ability to look at an event and do the event in a unique way so that the customer and the client are able to showcase themselves in a very professional manner.”For MacGillivray there is no doubt that when Zed and his colleagues are signed up for a project, the end result is a foregone conclusion. “We know there is going to be a successful event when the Zed Group is involved.” MacGillivray says the success of the Zed Group is not only good for the company, but boosts one of the strongest industries in the province. “They are helping us build tourism opportunities into the future.” MacGillivray says the WTCC has done about eight to 10 major events with the Zed Group and there are at least three major events planned for the future. The Zed Group, has also been branching out into health care, for which Zed draws on his past experience in management at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Some of the work includes building P3 hospitals in Canada, representing a British health-care client in Nova Scotia and strategic health-care consulting in hospital services such as laundry, food services and sanitation. Zed Group’s concierge wing, Consider It Done, also keeps him busy by providing people with tickets for big events like Wimbledon, the Masters and the Super Bowl. In other words, if you’re looking for hard-to-get tickets, call Zed. “We have access to things that are not necessarily available commercially.” Not satisfied with all that to keep him busy, Zed is also active in the local property market. He realizes not all is perfect in his line of work, and has some suggestions to make it better. He says Nova Scotians have to get better at welcoming change, looking at different ways of doing things, and promoting ourselves. So what’s he up to these days? He says stay tuned because it’s on the same level, or bigger, than the Rolling Stones concert last fall in Halifax. And right now, that’s all he’s saying about that event. -30-
The historic Town of Lunenburg is developing a strategy to protect its heritage and generate economic growth with $270,000 in federal and provincial funding announced today, Jan. 20, at the Lunenburg and District Fire Hall. The government of Nova Scotia announced a $90,000 investment, over the next three years for a heritage strategy to help the community take full advantage of its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. This investment ensures that present and future generations of Nova Scotians and visitors will continue to appreciate its role in Nova Scotia history. It reflects one of the strategic directions included in the province’s heritage strategy, A Treasured Past, a Precious Future, launched in 2008. “Lunenburg is an important part of Nova Scotia’s heritage, and a tremendous asset to its tourism industry,” said Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Natural Resources on behalf of Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “Planning for the sustainable management of this significant heritage resource is an important part of the province’s heritage strategy.” The federal government is contributing $180,000 towards the project through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Parks Canada. This funding highlights the value of combining the efforts of community members and multiple levels of government to preserve Nova Scotia’s rich heritage. The town is interested in increasing investment in Lunenburg’s cultural heritage. It will do this in part with a public awareness campaign and strategy. “It has been more than 10 years since we last reviewed our town’s heritage strategy and we have been anxious to move forward with a program which would educate and involve the citizens of today in planning for our future,” said Lunenburg Mayor Laurence Mawhinney. “I am therefore delighted that the work of renewing our heritage strategy has become a partnership in which we have received the strong support of both the federal and provincial governments.”
The Department of Environment’s Central Regional Office will be closed from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, to move to a new location. Effective Monday, Feb. 22, the regional office, serving HRM, East Hants, and West Hants, will be located at 30 Damascus Rd, Suite 115, Bedford Commons, Bedford. The office phone number remains the same. Anyone with inquiries can contact the office at 902-424-7773. The after hours emergency number to report oil, pesticide, or chemical spills is 1-877-936-8476.
Andrew O’Blenis has been appointed a Crown attorney in the Yarmouth office of the Public Prosecution Service. The appointment was announced today, Sept. 26, by Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions. “I am very pleased Mr. O’Blenis has joined our team of Crown attorneys,” said Mr. Herschorn. “His enthusiasm and his experience in criminal law will be invaluable to the Public Prosecution Service.” A native of Stellarton, Mr. O’Blenis graduated in 2005 from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with an Honours in Finance. In 2009, Mr. O’Blenis graduated from Dalhousie Law School. He articled with O’Blenis Law in Stellarton, joining the firm as an associate in 2010. While in private practice, Mr. O’Blenis concentrated on criminal law and family law. He has acted as a per diem Crown attorney on numerous occasions, prosecuting a wide variety of offences. While in law school, Mr. O’Blenis was a student at law with Dalhousie Legal Aid and worked with Legal Links, a community outreach program through Dalhousie Legal Aid providing on-the-spot legal advice in Halifax Regional Municipality community centres. Mr. O’Blenis replaces Scott Morrison who recently joined the Yarmouth office of the Public Prosecution but has transferred to the Dartmouth office.
While the worst of the storm has passed, blowing and drifting snow continues to make driving difficult. Roads are snow-covered or partially covered. Series 100 highways are passable with caution. Unnecessary travel is not recommended. Motorists are encouraged to stay off highways to allow plows and salt trucks to continue to clear roads. Service on the Tancook Island, Country Harbour and Englishtown Ferries is suspended due to high winds. Grand Passage, LaHave, Little Narrows and Petit Passage ferries are running. Safe winter driving tips, along with information on plowing and salting schedules, can be found online at www.novascotia.ca/tran/winter . Drivers can call 511 or visit Nova Scotia’s 511 website for the latest road conditions. -30-
Students at Aldershot Elementary School are learning in a larger and more modern school after renovations to the 51-year-old building. Today, March 4, Education Minister Ramona Jennex joined students, school staff, school board members and other special guests in the school’s new gym to celebrate the building’s renovations. “These renovations are an example of how we are putting kids and learning first,” said Ms. Jennex. “The students of Aldershot Elementary now have more space and access to modern technology that will help them develop and learn skills that will prepare them for a prosperous future.” Additions and improvements to the school include a new gym with change rooms, library, music room and a ventilation system throughout the building. State-of-the-art technology was also added, including interactive whiteboards and computers in all classrooms, a new PA system and new safety and security features. “The renovations have given us new space and technology that enhances the learning experience for our students,” said Karen Dyke, principal of Aldershot Elementary School. “We now have more room for physical education and other learning activities, and the new technology allows us to create and explore differently in the classroom.” The work began in 2009, adding a 5,000 square foot gym. During renovations in the 2011-2012 school year, 285 Grades Primary to 5 students were relocated to nearby Kings County Academy. Students returned to their new space in September. “Our school now has computers in each classroom, new floors, fresh paint, a cafeteria and a great, larger, new gym,” said Grade 5 student Keegan Hatchard. “With these new improvements, our school looks and feels like a new building inside and out.” “The Annapolis Valley School Board is delighted with this phenomenal new learning space,” said Lavinia Parrish-Zwicker, board chair. “This school is now a state-of-the-art facility that supports student success.” The $4.7-million project allows students and the community to continue to enjoy the school for many years to come.
The province is helping to better protect Gabarus residents from storm surges by offering to match up to $300,000 in federal funding to help repair the damaged seawall it built decades ago. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) is contributing $100,000 to the proposed project. “Since last summer, the government has continually urged the federal government to move on this, to help protect the community of Gabarus,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources for Nova Scotia. “The province appreciates the involvement of CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke helping to encourage the federal authorities to recognize the need to act.” In a letter from Enterprise Cape Breton Corp., the municipality has been assured the federal agency is considering the request. “Nova Scotia is pleased to see this consideration by the federal government and is happy to match the federal funds once they are approved,” said Mr. Parker. The seawall is not owned by the province. It was built by the federal government in 1946, and some re-construction was done in the 1980s. It was severely damaged by a storm in 2010. While urging federal authorities to meet their responsibilities for the wall, The province, in the interest of the community, carried out evaluations of the seawall and coastal erosion in the area. The study showed repairs are urgently needed. A Department of Natural Resources geologist was sent to help the community assess the risk of coastal flooding. The province looks forward to receiving details from federal authorities on the timing and details of the wall repair work.
Nova Scotians are invited to attend the annual Lieutenant Governor’s Garden Party on Wednesday, June 15, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant and Mrs. Joan Grant will host the garden party on the grounds of Government House in honour of the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Guests are invited to enjoy refreshments on the back lawn, weather permitting. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Bridgewater Fire Department Band and David MacFarlane. “Mrs. Grant and I invite the public to join us at the ceremonial home of all Nova Scotians to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday,” said Lt.-Gov. Grant. “The annual garden party is also an opportunity to celebrate our province. Everyone is welcome.” Those planning to attend the party should enter Government House through the main entrance on 1451 Barrington St. Parking is not available at Government House, but is available on surrounding streets and lots. In case of inclement weather, the garden party will be held indoors at Government House. Further details are available on lt.gov.ns.ca .
Young Nova Scotians who are challenging themselves and making a difference in their communities are being celebrated today, Oct. 16, with a flag raising at Province House as part of Duke Awareness Week. “In this day and age of instant communications and social media, it is very refreshing to see a program that promotes lifelong improvement and personal development and achievement,” said Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc, Honorary Patron of the Nova Scotia Division of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program. “Without question, the program is instrumental in developing responsible and contributing citizens and that is good for our communities, our province and Canada.” The week runs until Oct. 22 and encourages young people, program participants, leaders, board members, parents and volunteers to take part in theme days such as, Thank You Thursday, and Service Saturday. The events celebrate the launch of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program across the country and highlight the great work young Nova Scotians are doing in their communities. “Participants in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program strive to achieve personal goals in fitness, skill development and community service while building confidence and broadening their growth as active, responsible citizens,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill. “This is an opportunity to recognize students for the great work they are doing both inside and outside their classrooms.” The program promotes community and national development, while participants learn the life skills that lead to personal growth and achievement. More than 4,000 Nova Scotians, age 14 to 25, participate in the program each year. This is the 45th anniversary of the award in Nova Scotia. “I started volunteering through the Duke program. I always knew it was important, but now I really appreciate the value of giving back to others,” said André Aucoin, program participant. “Volunteering has become a necessity in my life. Whenever I see an opportunity, I jump right in!” André is 17-years-old and attends École du Carrefour in Dartmouth. He is a bronze and silver award achiever in the program and is working on his gold award. For more information, visit www.dukeofed.org/ns .
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Sunday expanded his cabinet with the induction of eight new faces – all from his Janata Dal (United).Members of allies, the BJP and LJP, were left out from the cabinet expansion. Kumar, after the cabinet expansion, said the BJP was offered a berth in his cabinet, but the saffron party was not too keen. Seconding Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister and BJP’s senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi said the party was offered a ministerial berth, but it opted out of it for now. Also Read – Dussehra with a ‘green’ twist”Nitish Kumar has offered BJP to fill the vacant ministerial seat. The BJP decided to fill it in the future,” the deputy chief minister tweeted. The new ministers – Narendra Narayan Yadav, Shyam Rajak, Ashok Choudhary, Bima Bharti, Sanjay Jha, Ram Sewak Singh, Niraj Kumar and Lakshmeshwar Rai – were administered the oath of office and secrecy at a function at the Raj Bhavan here by Governor Lalji Tandon. Kumar said the vacancies were majorly created by JD(U) ministers, who resigned from their posts for various reasons. Also Read – India receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceTension seems to have been brewing between the alliance partners over the allotment of berths in the Narendra Modi cabinet, although Kumar asserted that there was “no unease” between the partners. The JD(U), he had said, decided against joining the Modi ministry as allies were not given “proportional representation” in the cabinet. Three seats in the Nitish Kumar cabinet fell vacant following the election of JD(U) ministers to the Lok Sabha. The three ministers who were elected to the Lower House of Parliament included Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, Disaster Management Minister Dinesh Chandra Yadav and LJP’s Bihar unit chief and Animal and Fisheries Resources Minister Pashupati Kumar Paras. One post fell vacant last year after Manju Verma resigned as Social Welfare Minister in the wake of the Muzaffarpur shelter home case. This is the second time in two years when Nitish Kumar expanded his cabinet. On July 29, 2017, he had inducted 27 ministers from all three NDA constituents, the JD(U), the BJP and the LJP. See P5
Kolkata: Manirul Islam, the former Trinamool Congress MLA who joined BJP last week, has expressed his desire to leave the party in view of the protests launched by BJP workers. Mukul Roy said Islam has expressed his desire to resign and the Central leadership of the party is considering his request.Islam, a former Trinamool MLA from Labhpur in Birbhum, had joined BJP last week. He went to New Delhi and Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP national secretary in charge of Bengal, handed over the party flag to him and inducted him into the party. When the news of his joining spread, BJP supporters in Birbhum threatened to quit the party en masse. Kalosona Mondol, general secretary of BJP’s Birbhum unit, alleged that the party should have consulted them before inducting Islam. He and his followers subsequently decided to quit the party and the situation went beyond the control of the state unit. Mondol alleged that Trinamool Congress supporters had attacked BJP workers under the leadership of Islam. He said no party worker would work under the new entrant and all of them would quit the party. In view of the resistance from party workers in Birbhum, Islam expressed his willingness to resign. Meanwhile, BJP workers in other parts of the state like North 24-Parganas have refused to obey Arjun Singh in Barrackpore and Subhrangshu Roy in Kanchrapara, as both had led Trinamool workers who had beaten up BJP supporters in North 24-Parganas.