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Is it possible that Allison Diezani stole all that money alone or is she just the fall guy for a group of people who stole the money?

On the night of Friday June 7, 2013, a pre-wedding party was in progress at the Cavalli Club – named after the renowned Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli – within the 5-star luxury Fairmont Hotel in Dubai. There was champagne in abundance and some of the performers on ground for the all-night gig included DJ Jimmy Jatt, leading comedian, Basketmouth, singer Wizkid and rapper Naeto C. It was the summer party to be at.The next day, the wedding proper held at the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel on the same street. Most of the floors at the hotel and the nearby Mirage Palace were occupied by the over 300 guests who had flown in for the wedding from Nigeria to attend. Over 40 private jets were buzzing in and out of the United Arab Emirates with sitting governors, senators, traditional rulers, government officials, politicians and businessmen.The entire weekend was, as tabloids will call it, awash with pomp and pageantry. The groom was Oluwatosin Omokore, first son of Olajide Omokore, a maverick oil trader; and his bride was Faiza Fari, first daughter of Abdulkadir Fari, then Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Encomium Magazine reported that souvenirs at the wedding rumoured to have cost an estimated $8 million (N1.2 billion using the exchange rate at the time), included the Blackberry Q10 released in January of that year, other smartphones, Bang & Olufsen luxury speakers.In the aftermath, the then Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, acting on the recommendation of his petroleum minister and Mr. Fari’s boss, Diezani Alison-Madueke,suspended and later redeployed the father of the bride to another parastatal. His accounts were also reportedly frozen by the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. An insider at the ministry told The Nation newspaper that the wedding was deemed too lavish for a civil servant to fund and that in allowing his daughter marry the son of a major player in his sector, Mr. Musa had triggered a conflict of interest.In reality, the wedding had been primarily funded by Mr. Omokore who understandably spared no cost to give his first son the gift of a good wedding. Mr. Fari who reportedly had been a little too strict in demanding due process on some deals relating to marginal oilfields, was simply the sacrificial lamb who had to go for delaying Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s desires. He was one of many in a revolving door policy that saw five group managing directors and several permanent secretaries exit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in the five years of Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s tenure.Back in May 2010, the death of Umaru Musa Yar’adua precipitated the ascension of Goodluck Jonathan as Nigeria’s president. There was pressure on him from his kinsmen and others within the enclave of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to run for the 2011 elections. It was only expedient to turn to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, a major source of election funding for incumbents since the return of democracy in 1999.To ensure a smooth process, Rilwanu Lukman, the incumbent minister who favoured a restructuring of NNPC into a full commercial entity, was replaced with Diezani Alison-Madueke in a cabinet reshuffle. Mrs. Alison-Madueke eventually became like an unofficial prime minister. From then till May 2015 when the Muhammadu Buhari presidency took over; anyone that stood in her way was removed either by her personally or the presidency acting on her recommendations.In an era where Nigeria earned over N51 trillion from oil and the commodity price peaked at $112 per barrel, it was the best of times to have the listening ears of the president and the discretionary powers of an oil minister as enshrined in the Petroleum Act of 1969. In that five-year period, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, whose name means ‘look before you leap’ in her native Ijaw, leapt to unbelievable levels of immense influence and the accompanying affluence.DIEZANI’S CHILDHOODBorn Diezani Kogbeni Agama in the city of Port Harcourt two months after Nigeria’s independence, the young girl had a decent childhood as the third of six children. Her father Frederick Agama – had a distinguished career at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) as a management executive before retiring to become a traditional ruler of the Epie-Atissa Clan in Yenaka, Bayelsa State. Her mother, Beatrice Agama, is a retired schoolteacher. Though her parents were not as wealthy as rumoured, they lived a decent life by all standards. She grew up at the Shell residential camp in Rumuomasi, Port Harcourt and schooled in Warri, Port Harcourt and Mubi.An intervention from her maternal grandfather N. K. Porbeni, a renowned Ijaw chief from Delta State led her to study architecture rather than the creative arts. “He travelled all the way from Warri [to the UK] to tell me in no uncertain terms that my father hadn’t spent all that money on my education for me to study Fine Art”, she said in a 2007 interview.Mrs. Alison-Maueke began her architecture training in the UK. It is unclear why she abandoned her studies in the UK, but she later moved to the United States to do a 5-year architecture course at Howard University. She graduated in 1992. Right after her graduation from Howard, she was employed by SPDC and would continue to go through the ranks, heading strategy and planning team handling its joint ventures with the NNPC. By this time, she was married to a former military governor of Imo and Enugu State, Alison Madueke.In 2006, she was appointed Executive Director, Facilities, becoming the company’s first female Nigerian director in its entire history. Ann Pickard, the controversial American who headed Shell’s operations in Nigeria from 2005-2010 fast-tracked her from mid-level executive, singling out her and other promising young women for top roles. Perhaps Ms. Pickard, believed to have placed moles in the Nigerian government –according to US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks – and described as “having a willingness to manipulate every available political angle to further the company’s interests”, saw a reflection of herself in the younger woman.While at Shell, she was rumoured to be involved in contract racketeering and it was not uncommon to see staff in the corridor whispering about her dirty deals during lunch breaks. “The Business Integrity Department takes time to act”, an insider in Shell Nigeria revealed on the condition of anonymity, because the company strictly forbids unauthorised persons from talking to the media. “It can be tracking an executive for years, so it would have caught up on her activities sooner or later. She got away with it because she was ED for just over a year.”In July 2007, she was named Minister of Transport. Her tenure was brief and uneventful save for when she wept openly in August that year while inspecting a bad road. Between December 2008 and March 2010, she was heading the Ministry of Mines & Steel Development.During her time in the Ministry of Mines & Steel Development, it funded ‘Hollywood Glamour Collection’, a new limited-edition collection of Nigerian gold and gemstone jewelry by the popular jeweler Chris Aire. The collection was unveiled at an exclusive event in Beverly Hills, California on April 7, 2010, barely hours after Mrs. Alison-Madueke had been moved to the petroleum ministry. In the months after, Mr. Aire registered new companies for the sole purpose of being awarded questionable contracts to handle crude lifting, earning over an estimated $30,000 daily.Her royal heritage, love for jewellery, style and the finer things of life inevitably drew swift comparisons with the late Princess Diana of Great Britain. In time, friends, well-wishers and hangers-on began to call her Princess Di.THE MENOne of these hangers-on was Donald Chidi Amamgbo, the lawyer who reportedly became her lover for a while when they met at Howard. Usually described by the Nigerian press as her cousin, he hails from Imo State, not Bayelsa and runs a thriving U.S.-based legal practice, Amamgbo & Associates. In 2012, he was put on probation by the state bar of California for misconduct.When government appointees and politicians in general assume office, friends, well-wishers, government contractors and stakeholders in their specific industry find ways to contact them through their network, sending unsolicited gifts to them and their relatives and taking out pages in the newspapers for congratulatory advertorials.“When someone sends you a $10,000 watch here or expensive jewellery there with no favours asked, you have to call one day to say thanks and have the person visit”, said a former staff of the ministry, who asked not to be named because he still works for the government and has not been permitted to talk to the press. “Or your daughter calls from Dubai that an unknown person paid her tuition for two years and sublet an apartment for her. Can you say no? Even the Bible says it that ‘A man’s gift maketh a way for him’.”No one knows for sure which gifts came to Mrs. Alison-Madueke from some of the men at the centre of the storm in her world today. But they worked regardless because they became her close associates soon enough. There was Kola Aluko, an oil trader seeking a big break; Mr. Omokore, a shipping magnate looking to diversify and swell his fortune. There were also the fronts and middlemen, Benedict Peters and Walter Wagbatsoma.One of the many billionaire conquests of supermodel Naomi Campbell, Mr. Aluko was born and bred in Lagos as one of the nine children of Akanni Aluko, a geologist and popular traditional chief in Ilesha, Osun State. His first reported stint in the oil business was in 1995, after years of wandering through the pharmaceutics and automobile industries, when he cofounded Besse Oil, an oil trading firm. By the mid-2000s, one of his serial companies, Exoro Energy International merged with a partner firm, Weatherford, to become Seven Energy. It was run by Aluko who had one per cent equity, alongside Mr. Omokore and a third man, Phillip Ihenacho.Kogi-born Mr. Omokore, who was given the title of Elegbe of Egbe in his hometown in October 2014 for his commitment to his town, was an affiliate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from state to national level. As a government financier, he was rewarded with waivers and mega contracts from agriculture to oil & gas.From time to time, there were contingency bailouts requested by members of the inner caucus of government. After the 2012 flooding disaster, he donated N50 million to the victims.In February 2014, Lamido Sanusi, then governor of the central bank was suspended by Mr. Jonathan after a controversial statement about missing $20 billion in crude oil earnings. According to an insider in the oil & gas sector who did not want to be identified due to his current position, Mr. Omokore allegedly doled out $200,000 to a number of local journalists to begin a campaign against the outspoken central bank governor; Mr. Jonathan had apparently fallen for the bait and wanted the pressure off his beloved minister.In 2010, Shell was plagued with a lot of issues in its onshore operations. Oil spills across the Niger Delta had gotten it into a lot of legal tussles; its goodwill with the host communities had been on a decline since the days of slain environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa in the 1990s; militants had wreaked considerable havoc on its asset causing countless force majeures; the government was seeking to get more local marginal field operators out onshore. It has gone on a large-scale divesting spree since then. That same year, Shell fixed one of the major pipelines in the country – the 97 kilometre-long Nembe Creek Trunkline passing through 14 oil pumping stations – for $1.1 billion. By November 2013, it was on the market.The company went ahead then to divest its stake (45 per cent) in asset held in joint venture partnership with NNPC which held the remainder (55 per cent) on behalf of the Nigerian government, and focus on the less ‘dramatic’ offshore fields. The divested fields were the OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 40, 41 and 42 and Shell sold them to indigenous operators, raking in a total $2.3 billion.Meanwhile NNPC transferred its shares to one of its many loss-making subsidiaries, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, for $1.8 billion as valued by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR. Till date, over $1.7 billion is outstanding as only $100m has been remitted to NNPC which wholly owns it.On September 16, 2011, a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) was signed between the NPDC and Septa Energy, a subsidiary of Seven Energy for OMLs 4, 38 and 41. Another SAA was signed with Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts (AEDC) Ltd for OMLs 30 and 34. These companies were registered in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands and in the United Kingdom, limiting the revenue payable to the Nigerian government in form of taxes.The contracts were awarded by single-source procurement, in clear violation of Nigeria’s Public Procurement Act which stipulates that bids be subject to public tender and competitive. Mrs Alison-Madueke also contravened a guideline under the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 that mandated companies wanting to lift Nigerian crude to show records of involvement in the industry in the preceding ten years.SAAs are usually signed between two or more companies for a number of reasons including collaborating to augment technical expertise, meet capital requirement or reduce high costs of operation. NNPC adopted this approach to meet the huge capital requirement for cash call and lack of required skill and manpower at the corporation.According to the terms of the SAAs, the partner company provides the capital outlay required to lift crude in the assets supplied by the NPDC as well as non-refundable entry fees of $0.30 per barrel and $0.010/mcf, 70 days after the start of exploration activity. It was to recoup its investment by lifting crude. Quite interestingly, another requirement was that the collaborating firm pay a fixed sum of $350,000 per asset annually for five years to facilitate the training of NPDC staff. This came to $1.4 million per year and Atlantic Energy never paid up.Till date, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is pursuing Atlantic Energy to get its tax returns. And while the NNPC has moved to terminate the SAAs so it can get new partners who will pay as at when due, a court order obtained in October 2016 by Seven Energy, may be restraining it from doing so.“NPDC has till date paid only $100m for those eight OMLs but is still enjoying the benefits of an owner”, says Waziri Adio, executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) which tracks revenues accruing to government.An alternate commercial valuation byPricewaterhouseCoopers in 2015 took Shell’s divested assets into consideration and roughly estimated these eight assets to be worth $3.4 billion in total.“NPDC brought them on as partners because they are supposed to have financial capacity and technical capacity even though the assumption is that NPDC itself has financial and technical capacity to manage the assets”, Adio explains. “These firms had neither and the same assets were used in raising the money. What stops NPDC from raising the money and hiring contractors to do this job as well?”Essentially, an unnecessary medium was created to pay the SAA partners for sourcing capital which they used the national assets to raise. All of this was possible because of Mrs Alison-Madueke’s discretionary powers.In 2014, Mr Sanusi told the Senate that Atlantic had lifted over $7 billion worth of oil between January 2012 and July 2013, but while the NPDC had paid $400 million as petroleum profit tax (PPT), its partner had paid nothing, flouting the PPT Act 2007.“The profit sharing arrangement was too good to be true”, The Cable screamed in its analysis. “Under Article 10 (d) (i)-(v), the two parties were to share “profit oil” and “profit gas” in ratios of 90% for NPDC to 10% for Atlantic (“profit oil” and “profit gas” with regards to undepreciated costs associated to capital costs prior to execution of agreement); 40% to 60% (upon full recovery of development costs by Atlantic); and, thereafter, it would be 70% to 30%.”“Up to the full recovery of development costs related to the continental resources, “profit oil” was to be shared 40% to 60% and, thereafter, 70% to 30%. For the “profit gas” upon full recovery of development costs regarding non-associated gas by Atlantic, NPDC would take 30% and Atlantic 70%, and reverse to 30% to 70% thereafter. Profit gas” from the continental resources was to be shared 30% to NPDC and 70% to Atlantic, and thereafter, 70% to NPDC and 30% to Atlantic.”“When you look at the depositions from the US courts, you see that it (the SAA) was a cover for Mrs Alison-Madueke and others to cream off things that should have come to the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, Mr Adio concludes. According to a July 2017 affidavit at a federal high court, Messrs. Aluko and Omokore owe the Nigerian government the princely sum of $1,762,338,184.40.Curiously, the 55% held by NPDC was not given to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the NNPC subsidiary concerned with supervising Nigeria’s joint ventures (JVs), production sharing contracts (PSCs) and services contracts (SCs). Why then did the NNPC transfer them to the NPDC, which had no capacity for exploration?Back in March 1999, as former military head of state, Abdusalami Abubakar was wrapping up his eleven-month stint in office and preparing for the transition from military to democratic rule, the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act was sent to his desk. The bill was meant to stem declining investment in the upstream sector at that point in time due to the absence of a defined fiscal structure. Nigeria had also entered PSC agreements in 1993* and did not have legal backing for the agreements it was entering.Particularly significant was Section 16.For the purpose of the efficient management of Production Sharing Contracts and joint ventures under this Decree, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (in this Decree referred to as “NAPIMS’) shall be incorporated into a limited liability company under the Companies and Allied Matters Decree 1990, as amended.Accordingly, NAPIMS shall be vested with the exploration and production properties and assets owned by the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the purposes of this Decree.It was following in a tradition of governments signing controversial or hard-hitting legislations at the end of their tenure. Nineteen days to Democracy Day (May 29, 1999), the bill was signed into law; however, a single clause present in the initial version had been deleted. It was Section 16.The amendment effectively opened the floodgates. “With that clause, JVs would have been incorporated”, says a source within the Ministry of Petroleum who requested to be named because he does not have the permission to on the matter. “If they were, as opposed to the unincorporated JVs agreement we run currently, quite a few things would not be permissible. NPDC would pay its bills, crude lifted will be accounted for, recently incorporated companies will not be given such juicy OMLs to operate, cash calls will not be paid ‘mistakenly’ etc.”“Will NPDC use shareholders’ funds to be doing rubbish?”, the source asked rhetorically. “Will an incorporated company setup to make profit be acting so silly? So many ifs.”If the deleted clause was a loophole, the discretionary powers given to the oil minister in the Petroleum Act was a spade that helped Mrs Alison-Madueke dig into depths previously unknown. The entire petroleum industry is controlled by the president and the minister; the former appoints the latter who is then empowered by law. Only the National Assembly could have checked her excesses, but it didn’t.“The political pressure on petroleum ministers to finance elections has turned NNPC into petty cash machine for government”, says Bassey (last name withheld for anonymity), an industry insider. “That the minister has discretionary powers that makes things worse and that’s what we’re trying to unbundle with the PIB. Discretion can make or mar our industry but it is clear what happens in Nigeria.”Who and what institutions dropped the ball and allowed her fully exercise those powers? “The CBN was definitely not one of them, because Mr Sanusi kept harping on the rot in the oil sector”, says Mr Bassey. “The greatest enablers of corruption are civil servants who keep quiet or look the other way to save their jobs because of the god complex of chief executives in Nigeria. Red flags were raised only because of inter-agency collusion with banks, audit firms etc.”“The government is one single unit”, emphasizes Kola Banwo of Abuja-based Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center. “Institutions have roles but usually, with the nature of patronage and corrupt party system we operate, corruption is endemic. The NNPC has internal mechanisms and systems to prevent fraud. The relevant National Assembly Committees have oversight roles and could have prevented this. The Office of the Auditor-General could also have made some difference. The EFCC, ICPC, etc. However, these all formed part of the problem and so did nothing then. Some action from one or all of these, could have reduced if not prevented what happened during that period.”Those in the know say it was the impunitywith which Mrs Alison-Madueke broke the rules that set her apart from those before her. There were times when she stopped receiving visitors at the office and made them come to her in the comfort of her official residence. She would keep governors waiting for hours, dodge calls from CEOs and chairpersons of multinationals, employ domestic staff on the bill of the corporation and more.Mrs Alison-Madueke requested kickbacks from her collaborators to approve dubious contracts and the infamous oil swaps which Buhari ended in November 2015. Mr Aluko for instance, admitted paying rent for Mrs Beatrice Agama’s luxury home in Parkwood Point, St. Edmund’s Terrace, St. John’s Wood, London, describing it as “simply gifts to a friend, given long after Atlantic had signed its deal.”Under her, the NNPC ran accounts that CBN and Ministry of Finance were unaware of. The president would regularly send people to her with odd financial requests and she became the nation’s unofficial treasury with the state corporation as her petty cash ATM. As a result, she was not remitting funds and records to the Ministry of Finance which as in turn unable to remit to the CBN.In the run-up to the 2015 elections, pressure mounted again on Mrs Alison-Madueke to deliver funding and then something happened. In October 2014, Bernard Otti a director at the NNPC was appointed deputy group managing director (Finance and Accounts), a position created entirely out of thin air. The press release justified his appointment as needed to transform NNPC into a commercially-driven entity but the truth was that he had to close some deals to secure election funding.After the Mr Buhari’s inauguration, he ran to the UK after reportedly entering a plea bargain with the EFCC; With his help, the EFCC traced monies allocated for the Ekiti gubernatorial elections and other issues. His retirement was later announced by Kachikwu in August 2015.Audits by both PwC and KPMG showed that the NNPC had at its discretion, spent an average of $6 billion annually from 2011 to 2013 and there were no watertight records. A similar amount had also not been remitted on a yearly basis by NNPC to the CBN.After studying the patterns and making calculations, Mr Sanusi cried out in a September 2013 20-page memo to Jonathan that $20 billion was missing. The NNPC claimed the money had been spent on subsidy payments for kerosene and pipeline maintenance even though Mr Yar’adua had ended the payments in July 2009. Another audit by PwC was submitted before the 2015 elections but never released by the government.“Civil society has always suspected that there was corruption in the oil sector”, reveals Banwo. “When information of extravagant spending for maintain jet emerged, civil society raised alarm, called for investigations and her immediate resignation or removal, which the then president ignored. The NASS set up a committee to probe but nothing came out of it.”“When in 2015, the then CBN Governor alleged that she was responsible for the missing $20 Billion from the NNPC coffers, civil society also initiated a campaign for her investigation and removal. The impunity in the then government allowed her get away with the deeds.”If Mrs Alison-Madueke was Princess Di, then Mr Aluko, who was last seen in Porza-Lugano, Switzerland, in 2016, was The Fresh Prince. He owned quite a few private jets and an $80 million yacht, Galactica Star; in September 2013, it was rented to Jay-Z and Beyoncé at the cost of $900,000 a week for two weeks for the latter’s 32nd birthday party. A big fan of Ayrton Senna, he is also a car racing enthusiast and placed third with a Ferrari 458 GT2 at Rome’s Vallelunga circuit in December 2012. Mr Aluko was also the owner of the eighth most expensive condo in New York, costing a mere $50 million.Omokore likewise had expensive lovers including Porsha Williams of; Sanomi and co would reportedly send jets to different cities to pick random girls for weekend parties in cities in another continent. It was the good life.The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit under its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative against the trio asking for the forfeiture of assets worth $144 million,proceeds from the oil contracts. Mr Aluko remains elusive while Omokore has been arraigned in court since July 2016. Mrs Alison-Madueke herself has been arrested even though she is yet to be tried in court. The proverbial mills of God that grind slowly, seem to at last be grinding well“She kept saying ‘when we come back’, says Mr Bassey. “She did not think that Jonathan would lose the elections. Maybe the opaque deals would have continued till now.”Beyond Mrs Alison-Madueke and her oil men, perhaps the biggest fear of stakeholders in the industry is that there could be deja vu in this administration or another. As the salacious details of her time in government circulate, the loopholes that made this possible remain open. The NNPC currently remains more of a political financing tool than a truly national oil company like her peers globally. Newcomers to the party will be happy to take notes – literally.This report was made possible by the BudgIT Media Fellowship 2017 with support from Natural Resource Governance Institute.http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/242769-special-report-diezani-men-deals-bled-nigeria.html

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Jagranjosh Exam Prep: Government, MBA, Engineering, CBSE Notes are very useful for non technical exams.India received highest remittances of USD 69 billion in 2017: World BankApr 24, 2018The top remittance recipients were India with USD 69 billion, followed by China at second (USD 64 billion), the Philippines at 3rd (USD 33 billion), Mexico at 4th (USD 31 billion), Nigeria at 5th (USD 22 billion) and Egypt at 6th (USD 20 billion).President promulgates Fugitive Economic Offenders OrdinanceApr 23, 2018President Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, which will allow the government to confiscate properties and assets of loan defaulters who flee the nation. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 12, but it could not be taken up for discussion due to disruptions in the house over various issues.55 percent of all new bank accounts in the world opened from India: Global Findex Report 2017Apr 23, 2018Despite having a relatively high account ownership, India claims a large share of the global unbanked population, after China. Over 190 million Indian adults still do not have a bank account.India to set up natural gas trading hubApr 16, 2018The Union Government plans to set up a natural gas trading hub to boost consumption of natural gas in India. The hub would be used for the trade and supply of natural gas through a market-based mechanism instead of multiple formula driven prices.Indian economy has recovered from impact of demonetisation, GST: World Bank ReportApr 16, 2018India’s growth decelerated during the most of 2016. The withdrawal of currency from circulation (demonetisation) in November 2016 and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax regime added to the slowdown in the economy.RBI directs banks to stop services to businesses dealing in virtual currenciesApr 6, 2018The Reserve Bank of India has directed all the entities regulated by it including banks to stop providing services to businesses dealing in virtual currencies such as bitcoin, in order to protect consumer interest and check money laundering.Panel set up to examine tax evasion risks posed by super richApr 6, 2018The Central Board of Direct Taxes has set up an internal working group to examine the taxation aspects of high net worth individuals (HNWIs). There has been a trend of HNWIs migrating from their country of residence to other jurisdictions, which poses a substantial tax risk, as they may treat themselves as non-residents for taxation purposes.RBI releases First Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2018-19Apr 5, 2018The retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 4.44 percent in February 2018 from 5.07 percent in January 2018.Government launches Digital Initiative for Ease of ExportApr 4, 2018Digital initiatives will boost India’s potential for agricultural and food export.Total subscribers under under Atal Pension Yojana crosses 97 lakhApr 3, 2018The subscriber base of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) stood at 97.05 lakh at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal, a tad lower than the target of 1 crore set by the pension regulator PFRDA.E-way Bill System rolled out in IndiaApr 2, 2018The Central helpdesk of GST has made special arrangements with 100 agents to answer queries of taxpayers and transporters related to e-way Bills.Top Cabinet Approvals: 29 March 2018Mar 29, 2018The Union Cabinet approved signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland regarding cooperation and Exchange of Information for the purposes of combating international criminality and tackling serious organised crime.NITI Aayog releases baseline ranking of Aspirational DistrictsMar 29, 2018The NITI Aayog has launched the baseline ranking for 101 aspirational districts based on 49 indicators across several sectors including health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure.SEBI accepts most of recommendations of Uday Kotak Committee on Corporate GovernanceMar 29, 2018One of the major recommendations of the committee was to separate the post of CEO or MD and Chairperson of the listed companies.EPFO launches portal for pensionersMar 28, 2018The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has launched a new portal for pensioners, through which EPFO pensioners would be able to the details of pension-related information. The portal will assist users with details such as pension payment order number, payment order details, passbook information and other related information.India, Hong Kong sign double taxation avoidance agreementMar 21, 2018India and Hong Kong have signed a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) to improve transparency in tax matters and help curb tax evasion and avoidance. The treaty will improve transparency in tax matters and prevent double taxation.India, ADB sign $120 million loan to improve rail infrastructureMar 17, 2018The Union Government has signed a $120 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank for completion of works for double-tracking and electrification of railway tracks along high-density corridors to improve operational efficiency of Indian railways.US challenges India's export subsidy programmes at WTOMar 15, 2018As per US trade representative, export subsidy programmes harm American workers by creating an uneven playing field on which they must compete.Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India signs MoU with Reserve Bank of IndiaMar 13, 2018The MoU provides for sharing of information between the RBI and the IBBI, subject to the limitations imposed by the applicable laws.NITI Aayog launches Women Entrepreneurship PlatformMar 8, 2018NITI Aayog launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) on March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s day. The initiative is aimed at building a vibrant ecosystem for women across India to help realise their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses.Iraq becomes India’s biggest oil supplierMar 6, 2018Iraq has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become India's top crude oil supplier, meeting more than a fifth of the country's oil needs in the current financial year.Union Cabinet approves setting up of National Financial Reporting AuthorityMar 5, 2018The NFRA will be established as an independent regulator for enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring the quality of audits to strengthen the independence of audit firms and therefore, enhance investor and public confidence in financial disclosures of companies.Union Cabinet approves Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018Mar 5, 2018Union Cabinet has given its assent to the introduction of the Fugitive Economic Offenders bill that aims to punish those who fled India after committing major economic offences such as Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya.RBI launches Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCsFeb 26, 2018The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs.NITI Aayog to soon launch special cell for women entrepreneursFeb 23, 2018The cell, to be called Women Entrepreneurial and Innovation Cell of Niti Aayog, will be headed by Niti Aayog advisor Anna Roy and will offer women financial support through the MUDRA micro-loan scheme.India 7th most targeted nation for Web Application Attacks: Akamai ReportFeb 21, 2018India’s financial industry saw a sharp increase in the number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in 2017, experiencing 298 DDoS attacks against 37 distinct organisations in the last quarter. The DDoS attacks can bring down websites, disrupt businesses, and divert resources, sometimes serving as cover for more insidious data or systems breaches.UP government signs 900 MoUs ahead of Investors Summit 2018Feb 20, 2018According to the UP’s Industry Minister Satish Mahana, more than 900 MOUs have been signed so far. He claimed that this is the highest number of agreements that have ever been signed with private companies.Ministry of Railways extends upper age limit for ongoing recruitmentFeb 20, 2018The Indian Railways has decided to increase the upper age limit for its ongoing recruitment process for Group C Level-1 and Level-2 posts. The Ministry stated that the last date for submission of the applications will also be extended suitably.India, Iran sign MoU to avoid Double TaxationFeb 19, 2018India and Iran have signed 9 agreements to strengthen their cultural ties, boost connectivity and trade and expand cooperation in various sectors including health, medicine, agriculture, traditional systems of medicine and postal cooperation.PNB’s $1.8 Billion Scam: ExplainedFeb 15, 2018State-owned lender, Punjab National Bank has suspended 10 of its officers and lodged a complaint against celebrity jewellery designer Nirav Modi for committing fraudulent transactions worth over USD 1.77 billion in one of its Mumbai branches.RBI announces Revised Framework for Resolution of Stressed Assets; withdraws CDR, SDR, S4A and JLFFeb 13, 2018Through the new set of rules, the RBI aims at creating a harmonised and simplified generic framework for resolution of bad loans. This will force lenders to identify and tackle any stressed-asset accounts more rapidly.India Post Payments Bank to enable Digital Payments in Post Offices by April 2018Feb 10, 2018IPPB plans to leverage the unparalleled reach of the India Post network to achieve a Pan India roll out of 650 branches by 2018.CCEA approves enhancement of target under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala YojanaFeb 8, 2018The Cabinet also approved expansion of the Scheme to cover all SC/ST households, beneficiaries of PMAY (Gramin) and Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY), Forest dwellers, Most Backward Classes (MBC), Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands and rivers, SECC identified households, etc.IBBI amends IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016Feb 7, 2018The Resolution Professional shall appoint two registered valuers to determine the fair value and the liquidation value of the corporate debtor. After the receipt of resolution plans, the resolution professional shall provide the fair value and the liquidation value to each member of the committee of creditors in electronic form, on receiving a confidentiality undertaking.In Detail: Union Budget 2018-19 and Economic SurveyFeb 3, 2018The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 1 February 2018 presented the Union Budget 2018 in the parliament. In the independent India, this is the 88th budget and the fifth of the Modi Sarkar.Key takeaways from Union Budget 2018Feb 2, 2018NITI Aayog will establish a National Programme to direct government's efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development. The government will also explore use of blockchain technology proactively to boost digital economy. However, the government will not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender.India joins Ashgabat agreementFeb 2, 2018India has joined the Ashgabat agreement which envisages the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor linking Central Asia with the Persian Gulf to significantly ramp up trade and investment.Union Budget 2018: Fiscal Expenditure & Taxation ReformsFeb 1, 2018No changes in personal income tax slabs. Majorly, the personal income tax collection comes from the salaried class. Around 1.89 crore returns were filed in 2017 and Rs 1.44 lakh crore was paid as taxes.Union Budget 2018: Major HighlightsFeb 1, 2018This year's budget session is crucial as it comes after government's two big financial decisions - demonetisation and the implementation of Goods and Services Tax. It will be also NDA government's last full budget presentation before next year's Lok Sabha elections.Union Budget 2018: Health, MSME and Social WelfareFeb 1, 2018National Health Protection Scheme will be launched to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. Under this, up to Rs 5 lakh will be provided to each family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions. This scheme will have 50 crore beneficiaries. This scheme will generate lakhs of jobs, particularly for women.Union Budget 2018: Financial SectorFeb 1, 2018Emoluments will revised for the President to Rs 5 lakh, Rs 4lakh for Vice-President and Rs 3.5 lakh per month for Governors. Emoluments to MPs will be refixed with effect from April 1, 2018. The law will provide automatic revision of emoluments of MPs after every five years, indexed to inflation.Union Budget 2018: Education SectorFeb 1, 2018the Union Budget 2018 proposes to treat education holistically without segmentation from pre-nursery to Class 12. To improve the quality of teachers and education, the government would be initiating an integrated B.Ed. programme for the teachers.Union Budget 2018: Agriculture SectorFeb 1, 2018Under the Union Budget 2018, the government would be doubling the farmer’s income by 2022 and would be working with the states to ensure that all farmers get a fair price for their produce.Union Budget 2018: UnderprivilegedFeb 1, 2018Under the underpriviledged sector in Union Budget 2018, the government plans to build houses for all the poor in the country by 2022. To ensure the same, it launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in rural and urban areas of the country.India and ADB sign USD 250 million loan to improve rural connectivity in five statesJan 31, 2018This investment program is an addition to the USD 800 million ADB-financed first Rural Connectivity Investment Program in 2012 that added about 9000 kilometres of all-weather rural roads in the same States.India ranked as 6th wealthiest country in the world: ReportJan 31, 2018A report by New World Wealth has ranked India in the sixth position in the list of wealthiest countries. It noted that India was the best-performing wealth market globally in 2017, as its total wealth increased from USD 6,584 billion in 2016 to USD 8,230 billion in 2017, registering a 25 per cent growth.Union Budget 2018: Everything ExplainedJan 31, 2018The union budget is an important part of Indian economy and polity. There are some changes in the budget due to its merger with railway budget. We have elaborated the entire constitutional procedure of the budget that how it is formed and presented.Centre launches GeM 3.0 with enhanced featuresJan 31, 2018The third version of the Government e-Marketplace, GEM 3.0, envisaged by the Union Government as the National Procurement Portal of India has been launched.Economic Survey 2017-18: Ease of Doing Business’ Next Frontier-Timely JusticeJan 30, 2018The government’s efforts to make business and commerce easy have been widely acknowledged. The next frontier on the ease of doing business is addressing pendency, delays and backlogs in the appellate and judicial arenas. Coordinated action between government and the judiciary-- a kind of horizontal Cooperative Separation of Powers to complement vertical Cooperative Federalism between the central and state governments would address the “Law’s delay” and boost economic activity.Economic Survey 2017-18: Top 10 facts on Indian EconomyJan 30, 2018The new Economic survey of 2017-18 reveals that there has been a 50 per cent increase in unique taxpayers under the GST in comparison with the pre-GST system and also a boost in exports of ready-made garments.Economic Survey 2017-18: Key HighlightsJan 30, 2018The Economic Survey 2017-18 was tabled in the Parliament on January 29, 2018 by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Major reforms were undertaken in 2017 including the launch of the transformational Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July.India, ASEAN member states release joint statement ‘Delhi Declaration’Jan 27, 2018India hosted the leaders of the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for two-day ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit that began on January 25, 2018 in New Delhi, under the theme of ‘Shared Values, Common Destiny’.Small Finance Banks, Payments Banks to offer Atal Pension YojanaJan 27, 2018The Union Government has allowed Small Finance Banks and Payments Banks to offer Atal Pension Yojana (APY). The Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks are new age banks and given the strength, expertise and reach of these banks, they can play a pivotal role in the outreach of subscribers under APY.India ranked 81st on Global Talent Competitiveness IndexJan 24, 2018India has been ranked 81st on the annual global index of talent competitiveness, which was released on the first day of the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.India to surpass China as fastest growing large economy in 2018Jan 22, 2018The Sanctum Wealth Management report predicts that India will become the fastest growing large economy in the world in 2018, surpassing even China and the country’s equity market will jump to become the fifth largest in the world.GST Council cuts rate on 82 goods and services, introduces measures against tax evasionJan 20, 2018The 25th GST Council meeting chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has recommended rate cuts on 83 items including 53 services and 29 goods and the introduction of ‘anti-evasion measures’ to take care of faltering indirect tax revenue.Department of Commerce, CII sign MoU for development of Logistics sectorJan 17, 2018The Department of Commerce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for setting-up of an institutional mechanism for the integrated development of Logistics sector in the country.Cabinet approves continuation of MPLAD Scheme beyond 12th PlanJan 10, 2018The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) led by the Prime Minister has given its nod to the continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) till the term of the 14th Finance Commission i.e. 31st March 2020.India to regain top spot with GDP pegged at 7.3% in 2018-19: World BankJan 10, 2018According to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report, India’s economy will grow by 6.7% during the current fiscal year, higher than the 6.5% estimate by the Indian government. The report said that With this growth, India is set to regain the top spot in world's fastest-growing economies.RBI introduces Rs 10 banknote in Mahatma Gandhi (New) SeriesJan 5, 2018The new denomination has motif of Sun Temple, Konark on the reverse, depicting the country's cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is Chocolate Brown. The dimension of the banknote will be 63 mm x 123 mm.GOI launches 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018Jan 5, 2018The Government of India has launched 7.75% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018 scheme to enable resident citizens/HUF to invest in a taxable bond, without any monetary ceiling. This new saving scheme will commenced on 10th January 2018.CCEA approves construction, operation and maintenance of Zojila tunnel in J&KJan 4, 2018The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions. The project excludes approaches on Srinagar-Leh section connecting NH-1A at Km 95.00 and at Km 118.00.CCEA approves mandatory packaging of foodgrains in Jute MaterialsJan 4, 2018CCEA approved the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987. The approval mandates that 90 per cent of the food grains and 20 per cent of the sugar products shall be mandatorily packed in jute bags. It's provision for 100 per cent packing of food grains in jute bags is subjected to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement.Government notifies terms of Electoral BondsJan 3, 2018In a bid to cleanse the system of political funding in the country, the Government of India notified the Scheme of Electoral Bonds. With the issuance of electoral bonds, the donors can purchase electoral bonds from specific State Bank of India (SBI) branches, and receiving political parties can encash them only through a designated bank account.Saudi Arabia, UAE become first Gulf nations to introduce VATJan 2, 2018Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the very first time on 1 January 2018. The move is a first for the Gulf region, which has long boasted of a tax-free system.India signs USD 40 Million Loan Agreement with World Bank for UP TourismDec 29, 2017The Project will support the state government’s priority of re-structuring tourism benefiting poor residents and local entrepreneurs such as rickshaw drivers, local artisans and street vendors.India signs US$ 125 million worth financing agreement with World BankDec 20, 2017India has signed a financing agreement worth US$ 125 million with the World Bank for ‘Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement Operation (Strive) Project”.Niti Aayog to set up Methanol Economy FundDec 20, 2017The Niti Aayog is planning to set up a Methanol Economy Fund with a corpus of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore to promote production and use of the clean fuel. Methanol can be used as a transportation fuel, energy producing fuel and cooking fuel. It could play a huge role in bringing down India’s oil import bill by an estimated 20% over the next few years.CBDT extends deadline for linking of Aadhaar with PAN to 31 March 2018Dec 8, 2017All taxpayers having Aadhaar Number or Enrolment Number are required to link Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number as per the provisions of recently introduced section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961.RBI releases Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2017-18Dec 7, 2017After assessing the current and evolving macroeconomic situation in the economy, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 per cent. Consequently, the Reverse Repo Rate was also kept unchanged at 5.75 per cent and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate and the Bank Rate remained at 6.25 per cent.RBI rationalises charges on debit card transactionsDec 7, 2017The Reserve Bank of India, In order to promote digital payments, came out with differentiated merchant discount rates (MDR) for debit card transactions, prescribing separate caps for small and large traders. The shift is aimed at giving a boost to the digital transactions in the country, as the government is not seeing any expected result despite giving a major thrust to digital payments.India submits document to oppose e-commerce talks at WTODec 4, 2017India has for the first time submitted a formal document opposing any talks on e-commerce at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The submission comes ahead of the key ministerial conference of the WTO, where India is likely to face pressure from many countries to begin talks to open cross-border digital trade. The document submitted by India at WTO is a proposed agreement that could become an actual announcement if enough members are in agreement with it and pertinent changes are made to it to suit all.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launches Paytm Payments BankNov 30, 2017Paytm Payments Bank aims to bring Indians into 'digital economy'. With the launch of the Bank, Paytm account holders can enjoy the benefits like zero-balance account, free IMPS, NEFT, RTGS, UPI transactions and a complimentary virtual Rupay cards for online transactions.15th Finance Commission constituted under the chairmanship of NK SinghNov 28, 2017The other members of the 15th Finance Commission are Shaktikanta Das, former Secretary to Union Government and Anoop Singh, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University. While, Chairman of Bandhan Bank Ashok Lahiri and Member of NITI Aayog Ramesh Chand will be the Part time members of the Commission. Arvind Mehta will be the Secretary to the Commission.CCEA approves expansion of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao for Pan India coverageNov 23, 2017The expansion includes Multi sectoral intervention in 244 districts in addition to existing 161 districts and 235 districts will be covered through Alert District Media, Advocacy and Outreach.Cabinet approves setting up of the 15th Finance CommissionNov 23, 2017The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of the 15th Finance Commission. The decision was a constitutional obligation under Article 280 (1) of the Constitution. The Terms of Reference for the 15th Finance Commission will be notified soon.Moody's upgrades India's sovereign rating after 14 yearsNov 17, 2017US credit rating agency Moody's raised India's sovereign rating to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade of Baa, while changing the outlook for the country's rating to stable from positive. Since 2004, Moody raised the sovereign rating for the first time ignoring a haze of short-term economic uncertainties to bet on the nation’s prospects from a raft of policy changes by the government.Cabinet approves the establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority under GSTNov 17, 2017The Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its consent for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST. The decision was followed up immediately after the sharp reduction in the GST rates of a large number of items of mass consumption. This paves the way for the immediate establishment of this apex body, which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices.Union Government launches BHARAT-22 Exchange Traded FundNov 15, 2017Union Government's key Economic Reforms may also benefit ETF. These reforms are Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, Digital Economy, Bank recapitalization, GST, Liberalization of FDI, Introduction of Daily Fuel pricing, Revival package for DISCOMs, etc.India to be third largest economy by 2028, says reportNov 14, 2017India is likely to achieve strong growth over the next decade and emerge as the world’s third-largest economy, overtaking Japan in nominal GDP by 2028, says a report titled ‘India 2028’ by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.Cabinet approves Joint Interpretative Declaration between India and ColombiaNov 12, 2017The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing the Joint Interpretative Declaration (JID) between India and Colombia.RBI directs banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens, differently-abledNov 10, 2017The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to provide doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens who are more than 70 years of age and differently-abled persons by December 2017.GST rate on various mass consumption items reduced to 18 per centNov 10, 2017All types of chewing gum, chocolates, preparation for facial make-up, shaving and after-shave items, shampoo deodorants, washing powder detergent and granite and marble will now attract 18 per cent GST rate.RBI to launch public awareness campaign through text messagesNov 9, 2017The Reserve Bank of India would soon be launching a new public awareness campaign through text messages to educate public about various banking regulations and available facilities.India slips to 7th position in Business Optimism RankingNov 9, 2017According to the most recent Grant Thornton International Business Report India has slipped to the 7th position in the Business Optimism Index (BOI) in the September quarter, from the second position in the previous three months. The survey suggests that this ranking is showing the clear signs of lag in the economy.Haryana government signs Rs 20,000 Cr worth MoU to set up trading hubNov 3, 2017The state government Haryana on 2 November 2017 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an integrated trade facilitation services organisation - Verbind - to set up a logistics and trading hub in the state.CBDT notifies rules for furnishing Master File and Country-by-Country ReportNov 2, 2017The report of Master File needs to be submitted in Form 3CEAA and the Country-by-Country Report in Form 3CEAD. An international group having multiple Indian constituent entities can designate one constituent entity to furnish the Master File.PFRDA increases maximum age of joining under NPS-Private Sector to 65 yearsNov 2, 2017With this, any Indian Citizen, resident or non-resident, between the age of 60- 65 years can now join NPS and continue up to the age of 70 years in NPS. Moreover, the subscribers who are willing to join NPS at the later stage of life will be able to avail the benefits of NPS.CCEA approves Special Banking Arrangement for payment to fertilizer companiesNov 2, 2017Union Government is making fertilizers available to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers or importers. For making funds available to the fertilizer companies against the subsidy claims, Union Ministry of Finance had approved SBA for an amount of Rs 10000 crore with Government interest liability limited to G-Sec rate.World Bank releases Doing Business Report 2018: India ranks 100 among 190 countriesNov 1, 2017India jumped over 30 ranks this year to attain 100th spot in the ease of doing business list. It was ranked at 130th position in the 2017 Doing Business Report. India is the only country in South Asia and BRICS economies to feature among most improved economies of the DB Report this year.Union Government constitutes Arun Jaitley led committee to oversee PSU bank mergersNov 1, 2017Earlier in 2017 itself, the banking sector witnessed the consolidation of State Bank of India (SBI), which merged operations of its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself, marking the first consolidation move following the bad loan crisis.India sends first shipment to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar portOct 30, 2017India has sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port. The move has been seen as a landmark one to operationalise the new strategic transit route, bypassing Pakistan. The shipment was flagged off from Kandla port in Gujarat by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani.India imposes anti-dumping duty on stainless steel from US, EU and ChinaOct 26, 2017India has imposed anti-dumping duty on certain stainless steel products from the European Union and other nations including China and Korea, in order to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports.Qatar to introduce minimum wage for workersOct 26, 2017Qatar has announced that it would be introducing a minimum wage for workers. The country has been under global scrutiny over its alleged ill-treatment of migrant labourers.RBI sets up task force on Public Credit RegistryOct 24, 2017The task force will be headed by YM Deosthalee, ex-CMD of L&T Finance Holdings. The other members of the task force are Sekar Karnam, Vishaka Mulye, Rashesh Shah, Sriram Kalyanaraman, Bidisha Ganguly, Sharad Sharma, Vivek Srivastava, Parvathy V. Sundaram and Anujit Mitra.GSTN launches offline option for GSTR-3B returns filingOct 23, 2017This offline facility will provide an opportunity to the taxpayer to verify the details of GSTR 3B before filing GSTR-3B returns and minimise chances of error. It is designed to help taxpayers to prepare their GSTR-3B return on their computer system.Banks to now match original IDs with photocopies: PMLAOct 23, 2017The Government has set a mandatory rule for banks and financial institutions (FIs) to check the original identification documents of individual person dealing in cash above the prescribed threshold of fifty thousand rupees, to tackle the use of forged or fake copies.Three- pronged approach for structural reform in India: IMFOct 14, 2017The IMF has suggested a 3-pronged approach for structural reform in India that includes Addressing the banking and corporate sector weaknesses, continued fiscal consolidation through revenue measure, and Improving the efficiency of labour and product markets.Union Minister launches Sampoorna Bima Gram YojanaOct 13, 2017The Union Minister for Communications, Manoj Sinha has launched the Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana, an initiative for expansion of client base of Postal Life Insurance. The main objective of the scheme is to cover all households in the identified Sampoorna Bima Gram village.RBI introduces strict KYC guidelines for Prepaid Payment InstrumentsOct 13, 2017RBI has announced a fresh guideline on the issuance and operation of PPI (Prepaid Payment Instruments). It has also has issued stricter Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for the users of prepaid instrument or mobile wallets. With these guidelines to complete full KYC formalities, the mobile wallet user can now send-receive money between wallets of different companies and banks seamlessly through Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

What's wrong with Venezuela's economy?

Venezuela is home to the largest oil reservoir in the world is facing a crisis now,sound similar to Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe dictatorship. Hyperinflation engulfed the economy,violence,riot is common is Caracas and other places,normal life is horrendous. The country is almost collapsed. why?7 star Venezuela flag,before 2006Definitely a cause is president Hugo Chavez and his successor and his hand picked puppet Maduro dictatorship. But before that Venezuela also passed through a series of sociopolitical turmoil in last century. Stability was most uncommon thing in sociopolitical system and economy in Venezuela.Around 10th century in ancient Venezuela indigenous tribes discovered oil seeping through the lands. The thick black fluid used as medicine and to light lamps. Upon arrival in the early 16th century, the spanish conquerors learned from the indigenous people to use the naturally occurring bitumen for caulking their ships as well, and for treating their weapons. The first documented shipment of petroleum from Venezuela was in 1539 when a single barrel of oil was sent to Spain to alleviate the gout of Emperor Charles V.With a large influx of foreign "invaders", the effects of a xenophobia that had not been seen before became apparent. Novelist Jose Rafael Pocaterra described the oilmen as "the new Spaniards". He wrote in 1918:One day some Spaniards mounted a dark apparatus on three legs, a grotesque stork with crystal eyes. They drew something (on a piece of paper) and opened their way through the forest. Other new Spaniards would open roads…would drill the earth from the top of fantastic towers, producing the fetid fluid…the liquid gold converted into petroleum. In last century around second decade information about oil reserve in Venezuela and Saudi arabia came to all.In 1922 a huge oil well discovered,oil came gushing out in a jet from the hole upto a vertical height 40 m,they took more than a week to contain it.http://Barroso II - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre https://es.m.wikipedia.org › wiki › Barros...Foreign oil companies fled to Venezuela to be a witness of this special weird event and by the year Venezuela came to be known as home to highest oil reservoir in world and oil industries flourished like anything and by next 5,6 years they became largest oil exporter in the world. It was under the military general and de facto ruler dictatorship, Gomez dictatorship. By few years country depended upon oil based economy. From the very first oil exploitation venezuelan currency got overpriced. Soon venezuela got infected by Dutch disease,what dutch got centuries earlier. Its cheaper to buy things abroad than producing nationally. So it was hardly to produce anything in Venezuela except oil. So the overpriced currency transformed venezuela production apparatus overall. But Venezuela was an agricultural country,lived off by exporting cocoa,coffee etc etc. So over the years Socio political turmoil and cyclical price of oil influenced Venezuela over all. In Venezuela oil got incorporated into everything and evrything. So its too difficult to explain them differently,its not a farrago but its intermingled. Lets discuss.During those dictatorship years of Gomez,Betancourt there were not social rights of people as such and country were not so constructed. During the time if WW2 Venezuela nearly produced 1 million barrel/day oil.Then Accion democratica came to the power. A party founded by their 47 th and 54 th President Betancourt, came to the power in 1945 after The 1945 Venezuelan coup d'état took place on 18 October 1945, when the president Isaías Medina Angarita was overthrown by a combination of a military rebellion and a popular movement led by Democratic Action. After that country led to start good works,they build construction and many core works within years and country gave social rights to citizens. The coup led to a three-year period of government known as El Trienio Adeco, which saw the first participatories presidential elections in Venezuelan history, beginning with the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election, 1946. The Venezuelan general election, 1947 saw Democratic Action formally elected to office (with Rómulo Gallegos as President, replacing interim President Rómulo Betancourt), but was removed from office shortly after in the 1948 Venezuelan coup d'état.After WW2 in 50s Arab countries started exporting large amount of oil. Soon increased supply over short demand leads to reduction of the price of Oil. In response oil producing nations Venezuela,Saudi,Iraq,Iran,,Kuwait met to decide future statergy. So they made OPEC in 1960.OPEC was formed with the aim to bring oil prices to reasonable level by regulating the supply. Export quotas were placed on the member nations to keep a check on overproduction.Over the years they didnt had good negotiations with US oil companies and they had a bit leftist inclinations. Dictator and military general Perez and 1949 to 58 period is characterized by initially marked improvement in developments with the rise of oil price facilitating many public works achievements. Political and economic stability, along with the completion of ambitious public works and the rapid development of industries such as hydroelectricity,mining, and steel. He instituted some programs to eradicate many of Venezuela's rapidly growing slums, but mainly in Caracas. Pérez presided over one of the most repressive governments in Latin America. His government's National Security(Seguridad Nacional, secret police) was extremely repressive against critics who tried to overthrow him by planting bombs against him and ruthlessly hunted down and imprisoned those who opposed his rule. After years when oil price fall as a result of the debts contracted by the dictatorship the discontent of the national private sector, the adverse position of the Catholic Church, the cruelty of the pdictatorship,later rise of gas price and transportation leads to massive demonstrations against repression by the government and the predicted economic crisis, Marcos Pérez Jiménez was deposed in a coup d'état by disgruntled sectors within the Armed Forces of Venezuela on January 23, 1958 After The 1958 Venezuelan coup d'état took place on 23 January 1958, when the dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez was overthrown.Again Accion democratica came to the power and same president who ruled few years ago,Betancourt came to the power after national election. Having inherited a well constructed country but with the need to give more education to its people, Betancourt nevertheless managed to return the state to fiscal solvency despite the rock-bottom petroleum prices throughout his presidency. His successor Caldera from christian democrat (Copei - Wikipedia )wasnt successful at all. But during his first presidency, Caldera was able to pacify the country by granting an amnesty that allowed guerrilla fighters, who had been operating clandestinely for almost a decade, to reincorporate into society and participate in politics. Then in 74 Carlos Andrés Pérez became president from the same accion democratica, but perez was sort of new generation from their party.Oil prices continued to fall in 70s . Following 1973 Arab Israeli war Arab OPEC countries stopped oil trade with US. Soon global oil price became high(37 dollars from 10 per barrel) and national budget increased to fourfold then.Dynamicity came in economy,salaries went increased,employment was extremely good overall,there were massive increase in consumption. Overall his first presidency came to be known as SAUDI VENEZUELA.From 1958,all the parties existed were state parties. People voted for them according to their principles to distribute the oil moneys,oil incomes. So the whole political system became state centered (to be clear oil centered). There were a rentier culture,people believed all free oil,gas is deserving as they are a rich country. This leads to corruption as people who could diverted or distributed the directions got huge power and there were enormous possiblities. Oil became such important to play role that urbanization,mass migration to specific areas too prominent. Practically there were abandoning agriculture.Agriculture in Venezuela - WikipediaOver the next few years there were progressive deterioration of the legitimacy of democratic system overall,there were moral deterioration,it was transformed from a national grassroot level organisation to electoral leads that competes infront of television much more. Later when oil prices fall then there were pressure from international agencies for re negotiations. During that critical period Perez was selected for the second time offering full employment,a new era. But a week after his select he signed an aggrement with International Monetary Fund to carry out a whole set of policies corresponding to the whole agenda of the washington consensus, which is against Sovereign. The program, known as the paquete (the "package"), was contrary to statements made during Pérez's populist campaign in which he had described the IMF as "a neutron bomb that killed people, but left buildings standing. Measures taken by Pérez included privatizing state companies, tax reform, reducing customs duties, and diminishing the role of the state in the economy. He also took measures to decentralize and modernize the Venezuelan political system by the direct election of state governors, who had previously been appointed by the president. The most controversial part of the economic reform package was the elimination of the gasoline subsidies, which had long maintained domestic gasoline prices far beneath international levels and even the production costs. Later increase in gasoline price leads to a revolt,which lacks a central leadership and magnified by media but overall a spontaneous protest known as Caracazo .( Caracas is capital of venezuela).After 3 days army took charge and there were massive repression.Few thousands perished. The whole period of 89 to 92 was sort of the final crisis of Venezuelan democratic model existed from 58. It was obvious that things were just collapsing,in terms of backing Accion Democratica and Copei,whole thing was just falling apart. It was a massive blow to Venezuela,economy entered a spiral deterioration there. On that confrontation there was a military general Hugo Chavez. Who was carrying out his orders. After 3 years he lead a coup. He was in charge of Caracas. The coup failed. He gave his monologue on official conference,THE COUP IS FAILED FOR NOW……Later he became famous when he was in prison,it was during Caldera second term. Later caldera decided to freed him. Within months Chavez started ground level works,then international trips later in 1998 he projected his presidential candidacy when he had 90% or even more votes according to polls. He campaigned that this represented democracy has failed,we need a another mode of democracy. And a new constitution. There were some anti liberal agenda,more capitalistic ones.He believed on pan latin america sentiment. He beleved tree has 3 free roots,in terms of describing new Venezuelan society. Simon Bolivar,Ezequiel Zamora,Simon Rodriguez. Internationally, Chávez aligned himself with the Marxist–Leninist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba, as well as the socialist governments of Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua). His presidency was seen as a part of the socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America. Chávez described his policies as anti-imperialist, being a prominent adversary of the United States's foreign policy as well as a vocal critic of U.S.-supported neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. He described himself as a Marxist. He supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South and the regional television network TeleSUR. Chavez's ideas, programs, and style form the basis of "Chavismo", a political ideology closely associated with Bolivarianism and socialism of the 21st century.As soon as he became president he announced a referendum to decide whether a new constitution should be established. Just a few month after referendum decided and a new constitution has been written off via a National Constitutional Assembly. This constitution was a progressive social democratic type. Even its the transformation of representative democracy to participatory democracy,its not replacement its democratization of the political system, increasing other levels of participation. It highly highlighted the rights of the welfare states,sort of radically advanced welfare state. There were some visions that Venezuelan economy will have 3 sectors. state,private and communal. But everything is under state. Oil industry by then became 100 percent state control,PDVSA became nationalized. Overall limbs of private sectors were cut off and subsidies were also like as before. But he prioritized agriculture. Actually issue was the same like it was before. Primarily it was still an oil based economy. In first 2 years(98 -00) was somthing unchanged,unnoticed. But after that opponents began to organize more. That leads to confrontation,government became more radicalized. Their agendas were soo radicalized. Government violated and circulated new laws and regulations,where small to large all private sectors suffered,penny business and others came to an end. Like they abandoned the rights of small scale fishery, drag fishing,known as trawl fishing. Venezuela Bans Controversial “Trawl” FishingIn October 2000, Chávez and Castro signed the Convenio Integral de Cooperación under which Venezuela will send 53,000-barrel per day of oil to Cuba and will receive technical support in the fields of education, health care, sports, science and technology. In February 2005, Venezuela increased its discounted oil shipments to Cuba to 90,000-barrel per day which represents less than 3.5% of Venezuela's total oil production. But for Cuba, 90,000 bbl is of high value. Much of this oil obtained from Venezuela is subsidized. According to 2005 estimates, Venezuela is providing Cuba nearly 20,000 bbl/d to 26,000 bbl/d of oil free of cost, for a total "gift" of $6–8 billion until 2020.https://www.oas.org/juridico/mla/private/rexcor/rexcor_resp_ven9.pdfWhen Chavez came power it was 10$ a barrel in Venezuela. At the same time OPEC was weakened as a consequence of 2 events,Confrontations between arab countries. Saudi and Iran. They could not agree on anything.Venezuelan national oil company wanted to get rid off limits. To see how much they could produce. So in a way it tried to violate its agreements with other OPEC nations. They stated to produce a lot more than quarters. So theres no way that you could agree on the control of quarter,which was the purpose of OPEC.At that time oil price was low when he was appointed. So Chavez government did after its appointment was call meeting of OPEC head of states. As a consequence of Chavez initiatives they managed inspite of disaggrements and everything else to curtail the amount of production and oil price hit high. This type of national shift of Venezuela threatened US control. In that time venezuela played a important role to defeat FTAA,it was a free trade agreement of America. The Venezuelan general strike of 2002–2003, also known as the oil strike or oil lockout, was an attempt by the Venezuelan opposition to President Hugo Chávez to force a new presidential election. It took place from December 2002 to February 2003, although within this period the effectiveness of the call to strike varied. The main impact of the strike derived from the stoppage of the oil industry, in particular the state-run PDVSA, which provides a majority of Venezuelan export revenue. The strike was preceded by the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt in April 2002, and a one-day strike in October 2002. In the next following years economy collapsed by 17%,such dependence of oil. Thats the time when so called missiones came in. Govt realized that they didnot have the capacity to carry out social policies with the traditional bureaucracy. So the started to create parallel structures to carry out policies in different sectors of the society.As a military cadet, Hugo Chávez was "a celebrant of the Bolivarian passion story". Chávez relied upon the ideas of Bolívar and on Bolívar as a popular symbol later in his military career as he put together his MBR-200 movement which would become a vehicle for his 1992 coup-attempt.(The present 8 star Venezuelan flag,including bolivian star,post 2006)Soon as a consequence of the high price of the oil and diminishing level of the non oil exports,the proportion of oil that venezuela exports that came from 68% to 96%. Such dependency of oil.Economic policy of the Hugo Chávez administration - Wikipedia .Country like Venezuela, Nigeria (late OPEC member) budget are adjusted on 100 dollars a barrel. So it's harder to sustain when oil prices fall.Chávez refocused Venezuelan foreign policy on Latin American economic and social integration by enacting bilateral trade and reciprocal aid agreements, including his so-called "oil diplomacy", making Venezuela more dependent on using oil (its main commodity) and increasing its longterm vulnerability. Though Chávez inspired other movements in Latin America to follow his model of chavismo in an attempt to reshape South America, it was later seen as being erratic and his influence internationally became exaggerated,with the pink tide beginning to subside in 2009. Hugo Chavez did drag Venezuela from sphere of US influence. Not only Venezuela,he inspired whole Latin America to follow path of independence and anti imperialism for decade. This was only possible after massive US involvement in many part of the globe. His reign saw many changes in sociopolitical system and economy of Venezuela. But still early issues,cut off of subsidiaries were still there. One of the objective of Bolivarian Revolution was need to have an autonomy in relation to the financial capital of the globe. But the problem,Venezuela didn't concentrate all its resources to interpreting more and more basic commodity of current capitalism. They relied upon increased production. But lonely increase productivity won't work. It needs association of good technology,massive foreign investment,massive debts,policy etc etc. This was like an core issue to the possible transformation of the Venezuelan society,but was less debated,less prioritized.There's a national consensus that Venezuela is a oil producers and have a oil based economy. When 2012 election came, programs presented by parties. There were complete difference in every single aspect except how much oil Venezuela will produce? They both provide exactly same figure,it's 6 millions barrel per day by 2019. Venezuela has largest sweet water lake, Maracaibo 2nd largest city of country situated in Maracaibo basin. People used to drink water from lake Upto 1920,30. When oil began, American oil corporation decided that it was too expensive to get the oil and take it out of the sea and put on tankers. So small canals were connected when the lake opened up at sea. After 70,80 years this huge water deposit has been destroyed. Now the threat is upon Orinoco River and delta for collateral damage. So there is environmental issues.Lake Maracaibo: an oil development sacrifice zone dying from neglectOver the years socialist Chavez redistributed the oil money to public. So quality of life improved. Poverty reduced from 50 to 25 percent, extreme poverty reduced 25 to 8 percent,HDI improved. He did a huge land reform. People got health care, education,food, ration. It was a comprehensive effort to deliver basic social services but that improvement was short timing. He decided to radicalise the whole process. He implement whole things which were privatised will be nationalized. But that process of nationalisation was very clumsy. He initiated to nationalize really big assets. Electricity, telecom along with oil sectors. He bought Banco de Venezuela from Spanish bank Santander. He went out and bought almost all cement companies. Assets of people were taken by states,they were prosecuted. In last part of first decade of this century when oil prices were down again crisis erupted. After years Chavez died after battling with colon cancer. It was one of the hardest time. So after a decade of Chavism Bolivarian Revolution state became more indebted. They spend high level on bureaucracy, duplication of responsibility by parallel structures. This onerous and expensive model was sustainable for Venezuela through foreign borrowing. So it became imminent that the biggest sucker of Venezuelan history will be who follow Chavez as president. And this happened. Country has become measurably worse since Maduro appointment after election in 2013.Maduro's cynical political ambitions came evident in December 2015. Coalition opponents won 66 percent majority in National Assembly,putting Maduro's reign at risk. In response Maduro forced out several supreme court justices and filled them with his hand picked puppets. After few months Court verdicts against coalition opposition,leads to a massive protests over the country. Maduro came to the power when oil prices came to fall,when Venezuela has gone bust. But still he nurtured the legacy of oil dependence and radical policies of Chavez. They have been gradually slaying private business and small businesses using tsunami of rules,regulations,price control and government take overs.Further in recent years as a result of El Niño and climate change leads to severe drought,water supply is available once a week in Caracas,which is brown,unsafe and not wholesome. With drought their Guri national hydroelectric dam won't work according to demand. So it leads to power crisis also.As a result in 2018 Venezuela’s GDP is expected to contract by double digits for the third straight consecutive year. Economic output in Venezuela fell by 16% in 2016, 14% in 2017, and is expected to drop by 15% this year. Meanwhile, after jumping from 112% in 2015 to 2,400% last year, inflation in Venezuela is expected to hit five-digit levels in 2018. Venezuela’s slow-burning economic collapse is quickly becoming a regional humanitarian crisis as Venezuelans flee in ever larger numbers, looking for refuge in neighboring and nearby countries. More than 600,000 Venezuelans have already fled their country and sought asylum in Colombia.So that's it. Over dependency upon a single product,cut off of subsidiaries,Dutch disease due to overpricing of Venezuelan currency in early 20th century,decades of corruption and incompetent leadership, geopolitical and sociopolitical instability culminating this crisis.All they need at first is to develop a post oil economy, prioritization of subsidiaries,private business. This need is not per 2018. It's a century long need for Venezuela. As oil price is dynamic,there are two views dominating the oil market discourse. There are those who strongly believe that the market has undergone structural changes and that low oil prices are here to stay for a prolonged period. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who think that this is yet another cycle and oil prices will recover sooner rather than later. These two scenarios – structural versus cyclical – reflect the high degree of uncertainty engulfing the oil market. This presupposes that we can separate neatly the cyclical from the structural, but this would be an oversimplification.Recently they changed currency exchange system,now it's bartering instead of Bolivar.http://Forget the Bolívar: In Venezuela, Bartering Is the New Economy | Fortune fortune.com › Finance › Venezuela (http://Forget the Bolívar: In Venezuela, Bartering Is the New Economy | Fortune fortune.com › Finance › VenezuelaIt's a good news for many of Venezuelan that oil price hits high 74 dollar a barrel,which is highst in last three and half years. Perhaps it will bring welcome wishes,bliss to Venezuela. Oil price hits three-year high of $74 a barrel | Business | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com › 2018 › aprThank you for long scrolling.Image:: Google.Source::youtube and mentioned in respective places in answer.please see the full series of 9 episodes for more and deep knowing, featuring Edgardo lander,a famous Venezuelan sociologist and researcher.

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