The Government has increased benefit levels for the elderly under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) by some 67 per cent.The boost in benefits, which took effect on August 15, will also see an increase of 15 per cent for all other categories of beneficiaries.Speaking at a special Back-to-School press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, August 28, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon.Derrick Kellier said the recent increases are a further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to protecting the poor and vulnerable in society.Under the new rates, the elderly in PATH families will now receive a monthly allowance of $1, 500 up from $900, while the adult poor, the disabled, and pregnant and lactating mothers will get $1,035, also up from $900.Additionally, the monthly benefits for students from grades one to six have been increased from $825 for boys to $950 and $750 for girls to $865; while students from grades seven to nine will receive $1, 240 for boys up from $1,075, and $1,125 for girls up from $975.Benefits for male students from grades 10 to 13 will be increased from $1, 265 to $1,455, and for females from $1,150 to $1,325.Mr. Kellier noted that the increases are significant in view of the fact that the total PATH registered beneficiaries have moved from 385, 546 persons in April 2013 to 388, 187 in June, representing an increase of some 2,641 persons.PATH, which was introduced island-wide in 2002, is a conditional cash transfer programme funded by the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank, and is aimed at delivering benefits by way of cash grants to the most needy and vulnerable in the society. Story Highlights Increase of 15 per cent for all other categories of beneficiaries PATH benefit for the elderly to increase by some 67 per cent Monthly benefits for students from grades one to six have been increased
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license Ahead of the implementation of new maritime environmental regulations, Norway-based dry bulk shipping company Golden Ocean Group Limited (GOGL) revealed plans to install sixteen scrubbers on its Capesize vessels. The company has signed contracts for the purchase of sixteen exhaust gas cleaning systems, with options including nine additional scrubbers to be installed on certain of its Capesize ships.As informed, the initial sixteen scrubbers will be installed during routine drydocking schedules and the majority of these installations will be completed in 2019 or early 2020.The announcement was made in the company’s financial results which show that the company had a profitable second quarter. GOGL’s net income was USD 9 million in Q2 2018, compared to a net loss of USD 12 million seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.In addition, adjusted EBITDA stood at USD 54 million in the second quarter of 2018, compared to USD 29.7 million posted in Q2 2017.“Golden Ocean generated positive results once again in the second quarter. The market continues to strengthen over the summer, in particular for Capesize vessels. The company is currently benefiting from the strategic decision to focus our fleet on larger vessel classes as this maximizes the company’s leverage to improving markets,” Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, CEO of Golden Ocean Management AS, said.“The steps we are taking to optimize the fleet by installing scrubbers will further position the company ahead of the implementation of new caps on sulphur emissions,” Ringstad Vartdal added.During the quarter, GOGL entered into a USD 120 million loan facility to refinance ten vessels on favorable terms.Additionally, the company delivered Golden Eminence, a Panamax vessel, to its new owner earlier this month. The ship was sold in April 2018 for USD 14.7 million.As of June 30, 2018, the company’s fleet consisted of 78 vessels, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 10.7 million dwt.