Shot fired as players, fans clash in match brawl – St Catherine FA investigates incident

first_imgThe St Catherine Football Association (SCFA) has launched an investigation after a shot was reportedly fired during a fracas between players and fans of Newland and New Raiders FC during a Major League match on Monday. The contest, which took place at the Spanish Town Prison Oval, descended into chaos after players and fans traded blows, saw one off-duty policeman reportedly discharging his firearm in an effort to restore order. According to reports, the game was nearing its end when a Raiders player was shown the red card for a hard tackle on an opposing player. This led to players from both teams squaring off in a fist fight, triggering the involvement of rivalling supporters. According to information reaching The Gleaner, the off-duty lawman, who was watching the game, fired a single shot to calm the melee, before helping to restore order and the resumption of the game. The match was completed at full time, 3-1 in favour of Newland. However, SCFA boss Peter Reid said the association is conducting an investigation into the incident and that the appropriate sanctions will be applied after the facts are ascertained. “We take any incident like this very seriously as discipline is the hallmark of St Catherine FA and we will leave no stone unturned. Our competition’s committee is doing their investigation and will make their findings known and then make a decision based on the rules. “If it is something the rules address, we will apply it accordingly, but if it is more than that, we have to refer it to the disciplinary committee. So until those things have happened, we have nothing more to say,” he said. “We apologise to our sponsor FLOW and the football fraternity, because things like this should not happen … . It’s very unfortunate to have a situation like that,” added Reid. Efforts to contact officials from both teams proved futile. SANCTIONS COULD BE APPLIEDlast_img read more

Mechanic killed during home invasion

first_imgNeighbours, family and friends outside of the home after the shootingThe start of a new day quickly turned tragic for the family of a well-known mechanic after he was brutally killed early Saturday morning when gunmen invaded his Guyhoc Park, East La Penitence, Georgetown home.Dead is 44-year-old Reginald Atherly, popularly known “Diesel Boss” and “Reggie” of Lot G26 Guyhoc Park, East La Penitence, Georgetown, who owned and operated a mechanic shop at his home.Reports surrounding the killing indicate that the father of five was shot multiple times at close range by two masked gunmen who invaded his home at about 04:00h on Saturday morning.Guyana Times understands that the gunmen gained access into the home by removing louvred panes from the windows situated on the side of the house.When this publication visited the dead mechanic’s home, his partner, Roxanne Crawford, explained that she awoke to the voices of men inside her home, whom she soon realised had guns. Crawford told this publication that she started to scream, before breaking down into tears.“So I sleeping and I hear like two men talking, so as I hear this talking I open my eyes and I realise two men deh aiming the gun, they had on this black hoodie and one taller than one and they got this old gun…and I start screaming cause I say when I scream they gon panic and they gon gotta go out back how they come in,” the grieving woman said.In tears, she added that Atherly, who was on the bed with her, also awoke, sprang up and rushed towards the men.“I hear the shots dem start fire so I wake up my lil daughter and tell she bandits! Bandits! Go under the bed….and when I peep now to see wuh going on, I see he got one at the front door, he lay down on the ground and he grabble one of them and I run back fuh the cutlass, me ain’t see he moving,” Crawford cried.Meanwhile, the dead man’s mother, Ingrid Atherly, was still in a state of shock but the visibly shaken woman described her son as friendly while expressing uncertainty as to why someone would want to kill him.“All we heard her screaming, and she call out for ‘Miss Atherly! Miss Atherly! Reggie just get shoot’, and we run at the back and saw him lie down there lifeless….he don’t have no enemies, he’s so friendly a lot of people would come to him, he always got a raise to pull out his pocket and gave them. So I don’t know who would want to out his light so cruel, he didn’t deserve this at all,” the grieving mother said.After the shooting, Atherly was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The now dead man leaves to mourn his wife, five children, mother and other family members. The police have since launched an investigation. (Leah Hernandez)Dead: Reginald Atherly popularly known “Diesel Boss” and “Reggie”last_img read more

Can India Become a Cashless Economy

first_imgIndians woke up to an unusual economic googly of sorts in early November. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden decision to scrap the largest existing currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 led to a debilitating financial scurry. Serpentine queues built up outside banks and ATMs. But the new notes quickly ran out in financial institutions and ATMs, which also had not been calibrated for the new Rs 2,000 notes, leading to widespread chaos.With people frenetically trying to exchange their old notes, the use of plastic money in the form of debit and credit cards has found newfound popularity. In a country where 80 percent of transactions are conducted in cash, the government has pitched demonetization as an attempt to uncover black money, as well as to transition the country to a modern cashless economy.According to the “Digital Payments 2020: The Making of a $500 Billion Ecosystem in India” report by Boston Consulting Group and Google India released earlier this year, the digital payments industry in India will rise 10-fold to $500 billion by 2020. The report estimated that by 2020, non-cash transactions (including checks, demand drafts, net banking, credit, debit cards, UPI and mobile wallets) in the consumer payment segment will double to 40 percent of all transactions.“Digitisation of cash will accelerate over the next five years,” the report says, “with noncash transactions overtaking cash by 2023.”Rajan Anandan, vice president at Google for India and Southeast Asia, says: “Spurred by the smartphone penetration and supported by progressive regulatory authority, the digital payment industry is at an inflection point and is set to grow 10 times by 2020. It is telling that half of India’s internet users will use digital payments and that the top 100 million users will drive 70 percent of the GMV (gross merchandise value) — a clear indicator of the growing importance of the digital consumer.”According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, there were nearly 26 million credit cards in India at the end of August 2016. As individuals carry multiple cards, the proportion of Indians with credit cards is puny for a nation of 1.34 billion. By contrast, there are nearly 422 million credit card accounts in the United States; just 22 percent of Americans don’t own a credit card. According to RBI data, 712 million debit cards are in circulation in India. 90 percent of all card transactions are done by debit cards, which also accounts for 85 percent of the monetary value of all card transactions. Vijay Raghunathan: “Demonetization is the perfect scenario for India to take the leap in digital payments.”Vijay Raghunathan, MD, Stellr India, a prepaid payments solution provider in India says: “Demonetization is the perfect scenario for India to take the leap in digital payments. Today 30-40 percent of large retail outlet transactions in India take place in cash. As we move towards smaller spends, such as grocery, the cash transactions increase. Further ahead the unorganized retail sector of course works mostly on cash. With this move, I see digital payments going up by almost 50 per cent at least in bigger metros.”The Google-BCG study foundthat convenience is the most important factor driving the cashless growth. However, the report points out several challenges facing a digital ecosystem. It found, for instance, that Indians are “habituated” to using cash and 55 percent find digital payments too complex. Indeed, according to the report, 68 percent of even online transactions are presently done in cash. The limited acceptance of digital payments and the speed of transactions during rush hours are other important concerns inhibiting its growth.Infrastructure has to grow for the penetration to expand, according to experts. The number of point-of-sale (POS) terminals, a computerized replacement for cash registers, is weak. RBI data shows that at the end of August, there were 1.46 million POS across country, mostly in urban areas.Despite the infrastructural limitations, the Indian government has been trying to convince people that a cashless economy can be a rural reality too by pushing the Akodara success story. Akodara, a small village in Gujarat, is the first ever CCTV monitored and WiFi enabled village.The village of just 1,200 people was adopted by ICICI Bank and helped by the local administration to showcase as the bank’s  vision of a digital India. Almost all adults in the village has a bank account with ICICI Bank, which they can access through the the local branch, ATM or via their smart phones. Residents make even the smallest grocery purchases in local shops using their mobile phones and everything from mandi to small kitchen purchases, like biscuits and milk, are digitized. The villagers have their aadhar cards linked to their accounts and receive all government benefits directly into their accounts.While the model village is a fascinating example of the possibility of a digital India, replicating it in thousands of Indian villages seems like a very ambitious and distant dream. Especially because the rising burden on plastic money in the current demonetization scenario has led to major dislocation even in bigger Indian metros. Economists say that it will be long before a cashless economy is a reality in India.Raghunathan remains hopeful: “Digital payments are the way to move ahead especially for a growing economy like India as they help the economy. Digital payments turn out to be much cheaper.”He explains: “The government has to print notes, stock up in banks and in ATMs. One has to be careful of cash so retail stores have to invest in security. There are pilferage issues with retail units too so the entire transaction turns out to be five to six times more expensive.”Many economists argue that demonetization should have been done systematically and in phases. Cash alternate epayment solutions, such as Mobikwik, Paytm and Freecharge, etc., are available in India and have witnessed a surge in growth ever since the demonetization announcement. But serious limitations constrain India’s ability to transform swiftly to a cashless society, such as Denmark and Sweden. Even for online purchases in India, cash remains the most popular mode of payment, which many online stores have temporarily suspended since demonetization. The vast majority of the Indian population is not digitally savvy and Internet service is still erratic in most parts of the country. A March 2016 Reserve Bank of India report Concept Paper on Card Acceptance Infrastructure said that although the digital transaction in India have risen over the past few years, the infrastructure of ATMs and POS has not been able to complement the demand. The report highlighted that the usage of debit cards at ATMs to draw cash was the most popular form of card transactions and accounted for 88 percent of the total volume of digital transactions. The transactions at POS terminals accounted for just 12 percent of the volume. In August, Rs 440 billion in transactions were conducted at point of sale and Rs 2.2 trillon — almost five times as much — was conducted at ATMs to draw cash.The RBI report also revealed that the average number of card transaction per person is amongst the lowest in the world — 6.7, compared to 249 in Australia and 247 in Canada. Even as millions of Indians reeling under the pressure of queuing up for their own money and getting frustrated by the bank’s inefficiency to deal with the situation, the reality of going digital is a distant dream.Imtiaz Alam, a Delhi based professional who runs Zimisha communications recently received Rs 20,000 from bank in Rs 10 coins, weighing in at 15 kgs. Recalls Alam: “I went to the bank to withdraw money via check. Since the bank was low on cash, they had put the limit to only Rs 2,000 so that everyone got some money. When I pleaded for money, the bank officials suggested that I take the money in coins and I happily accepted the offer.”It is hard to imagine a cashless economy with the sight of a man carrying a 15 kg sack of coins. Terminal Penetration per 1000 cards Barriers to Adoption of Digital CashSource: Boston Consulting Group, Google India, Digital Payments: The Making of a $500 Billion Ecosystem in IndiaUse of Digital Payments in percentSource: Boston Consulting Group, Google India, Digital Payments: The Making of a $500 Billion Ecosystem in India  Related Itemslast_img read more