Nova Scotians who need some extra help heating their homes still have time to apply for assistance under the province’s Heating Assistance Rebate Program. The program offers a cash rebate of up to $200 for eligible applicants who heat their homes with oil, electricity, wood, propane, wood pellets, natural gas or coal. “I encourage Nova Scotians who may be eligible to apply for the rebate,” said John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “Staff is on hand to help anyone who needs help completing the application or has any questions and people shouldn’t hesitate to call.” Families with net annual incomes under $42,000 and single people under $27,000 qualify for the rebate. The deadline for applications is Thursday, March 31. Applications are available at Access Nova Scotia centres, MLA offices, Department of Community Services’ offices and online at www.homeheatinghelp.ca. People can call 1-800-670-4357 with questions. It may take up to six weeks for completed applications to be processed and eligible Nova Scotians to receive the rebate. To date, more than 40,000 Nova Scotians received the rebate. All Nova Scotian families are getting extra help with electricity costs since government removed the provincial portion of the HST from home electricity charges. “We are committed to making life better and more affordable for all Nova Scotians,” said Mr. MacDonell. FOR BROADCAST USE Nova Scotians still have time to apply for the home heating assistance under the province’s Heating Assistance Rebate Program. Applications are available at Access Nova Scotia centres, MLA offices, Department of Community Services’ offices and online at w-w-w dot home heating help dot c-a. People can call 1-800-670-4357 if they need help to complete the application. The deadline for applications is March 31st. -30-
HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 107 Closure The Highway 107 extension near Spider Lake Road has reopened to traffic. It had been closed due to a motor vehicle collision. -30-
Help 300 more seniors each year stay in their homes through a $1.5-million increase in the Senior Citizens Assistance Program (for a total investment of $4.15 million) Develop a three-year sexual assault strategy focused on prevention and victim services ($2 million) Invest in public transit in the Halifax Regional Municipality ($2 million) and public and community-based transit outside the capital region ($1 million) Invest in the Community Transportation Assistance Program to help Nova Scotians in communities without bus service stay mobile ($500,000) Help Nova Scotians drive less distance, move more actively and efficiently, use cleaner energy, and access a wider range of sustainable transportation options ($2 million) Recognizing the current economic and fiscal challenges the province faces, the 2014-15 budget keeps the government’s commitment to provide a transparent representation of the province’s finances and its promises to Nova Scotians. The budget also encourages private-sector economic growth fueled by a healthy and well-educated workforce. BUDGET OVERVIEWIn 2014-2015, the province lays the foundation for: Attract investment in the offshore through the Offshore Growth Strategy, which will make geoscience information available to the industry and directly market our offshore to the world ($2.8 million) Enhance the Access to Business, or A2B, and Access for Citizens, A4C, web portals to reduce red tape and provide businesses and Nova Scotians with quicker, easier access to services and programs ($7.4 million capital cost) Align immigrants with our areas of greatest need and improve their ability to settle and join our workforce through the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream ($1.3 million) Promote Nova Scotia lobster nationally and internationally ($250,000) Invest in research and innovation in the mink industry, one of our fastest growing and globally competitive exports ($500,000) Help the apple industry grow more world-class products ($200,000) Market Nova Scotia throughout the Northeastern United States to attract more visitors ($1.5 million) TAXES AND OTHER MEASURESGovernment has undertaken a comprehensive review of taxes, fees and regulations based on the principles of fairness, sustainability, simplicity and competitiveness. The review will be delivered in fall 2014 and will determine how Nova Scotia taxes, regulations and fees can better support private-sector growth. GRADUATE RETENTION REBATEEffective Jan. 1, 2014, the Graduate Retention Rebate will be eliminated. Graduates are still able to receive the rebate for the 2013 tax year. GUARANTEED INCOME SUPPLEMENT The Guaranteed Income Supplement and non-refundable Age Amount tax credit, which exempt low-income seniors from paying provincial income tax, will continue. HARMONIZED SALES TAXBudget 2014-15 will maintain the Harmonized Sales Tax at 15 per cent. EFFICIENCY FEE On Jan. 1, 2015, the efficiency fee will come off all power bills resulting in energy savings for all Nova Scotians. CHILD TAX BENEFITEligibility for the Child Tax Benefit will be expanded to 1,300 more children from low-income families ($450,000). a more aggressive approach to our population and workforce issues a comprehensive review of all our taxes, fees and regulations a fresh perspective on economic development transformative changes to the education system a clear focus on front-line patient care Move forward with a provincial approach to health-care delivery and reduce the number of district health authorities from 10 to 2 to put more focus on front-line care Continue to support programs to train, recruit and hire physicians, with a particular emphasis on rural and remote areas ($10.6 million) Work to meet the national standard for hip and knee replacement wait times ($4.2 million) Continue to support home-care services, allowing older Nova Scotians to stay in their homes longer ($32.6 million) Improve access to cancer drugs and other drugs including Lucentis and Avastin ($1.9 million) Increase the age of eligibility of the children’s dental program to 14 ($525,000) POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION Budget 2014-15 will reflect the value of our post-secondary institutions and their graduates to our economy by increasing support and offering incentives to live, work and start a family in our province. Reduce wait lists for community-based Early Intervention Programs ($1.3 million) Cap class sizes for grades primary to 2 to give students the attention they need to succeed when they most need it ($7.2 million). The Grade 3 cap also remains Help communities tailor school programming to local needs, enrich the educational experience and reduce pressure to fundraise through increases to Student Support Grants ($2.2 million in total: $5,000/school plus $1/student) Re-introduce Reading Recovery for Grade 1 students as part of suite of support for children in grades primary to 3 comprising an Early Literacy Framework ($3.5 million) Help students succeed in math by providing supports for teachers and a bridging program to ensure students complete math in Grade 10 ($2.4 million) Open the door to new opportunities for Nova Scotia students, especially those in small rural schools, by providing a wide variety of courses via Virtual Schools ($1.2 million) Eliminate the interest on the provincial portion of student loans for eligible students who have entered repayment on their provincial loans on or after November 1, 2007 ($1.6 million) Provide tuition relief to encourage more medical graduates ($750,000) Provide new graduate scholarships for innovation and research ($1.85 million) Help new graduates start their careers here by defraying the cost employers incur in the first year of hiring through the Graduate to Opportunities program ($1.6 million) Modernize the Apprenticeship Program to give apprentices the experience they need to access good jobs ($2.6 million) Help high-value businesses recruit and provide meaningful work experiences to university and community college students by expanding the Strategic Co-operative Education Incentive program to a total of 425 funded private and non-profit positions each year ($500,000) Expand the Student Career Skills Development Program to support another 250 not-for-profit summer jobs in high unemployment areas for a total of 750 jobs for post-secondary students looking for career-specific experience ($1 million) HEALTH AND WELLNESS Budget 2014-15 will place the focus firmly on patients and families. Our funding will be focused on front-line care so that more of our health-care dollars can be spent on shorter wait times and improved health outcomes for those with chronic disease. We will invest more to attract and keep physicians and encourage new medical graduates to remain in our province, bringing us closer to the goal of ensuring every Nova Scotian has a family doctor. EDUCATIONBudget 2014-15 will support a new direction for our education system. The first full education review in 25 years will lay out a plan to improve learning outcomes and better prepare the next generation for success in the workplace. Limits on how many children can be in a single class will give teachers the time they need to help students individually and provide extra support to those with special needs. Wait times for early intervention programs will be reduced, reading recovery will be re-introduced, new approaches to math and literacy will be taken, and more support for students with special needs will be provided to ensure that children get the help they need when it makes the greatest difference. FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIESBudget 2014-15 will support families and communities through investments that will allow more seniors to stay in their homes, give children and parents access to more resources and ensure that survivors of sexual assault receive compassionate support. NOTE: A social media version of this year’s budget release is available at http://novascotia.ca/news/smr/2014-04-03-Budget-2014/ . High-res, downloadable photos, video and audio clips will be added after the event. For the complete budget address and other budget documents, visit www.novascotia.ca . Budget 2014-15 includes $9.6 billion in revenues, $9.9 billion in total spending, and a $279 million deficit. ECONOMYBudget 2014-15 makes private-sector economic growth a priority and sets the stage for businesses to invest, produce, compete and grow. Government will help more of our graduates, tradespeople and immigrants connect with opportunities that allow them to build their careers here and contribute to the economy. The potential of our primary industries and tourism sector will be leveraged to attract visitors and investments, and increase exports.
HANTS COUNTY: Avon River Bridge The Avon River Bridge on Highway 1 will be reduced to one lane for joint replacements from Thursday, May 19 until Friday, June 17. Traffic lights are on site. The sidewalk will be closed during construction. -30-
Mumbai: Actress Kiara Advani has landed her first “in and as” film — “Indoo Ki Jawani”. “‘Indoo Ki Jawani’. My first ‘In and As’. So excited to collaborate with Emmay Entertainment, Nikkhil Advani, Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani, Niranjan Iyengar, Ryan Stephen and Abir Sengupta for the first time and it had to be as special as Indoo. We need all your love and support for this one,” Kiara tweeted on Monday. She can’t wait to get started on the project. Nikkhil Advani says it is a “cracker script” by writer-director Abir Sengupta. “We had to swipe right (hope I got that right!). Kiara you’re just going to make Indoo come alive,” he tweeted. Kiara has been on a career roll. Her slate of upcoming films also include “Good News”, “Kabir Singh”, “Shershaah” and the “Kanchana” remake.
New Delhi: Delhiites might get some relief from blistering heat as the MeT department has forecast the possibility of “thundery developments” towards Sunday evening, which might bring the temperature down. The minimum temperature on Sunday was recorded at 30.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season’s average. Humidity was recorded at 64 per cent. The weatherman has forecast mainly clear skies turning partly cloudy later in the day with the possibility of “thundery developments” towards the evening or night. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 42 degrees Celsius. These thundery developments might bring the mercury down by one or two degrees Celsius. On Saturday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 43.5 degrees Celsius while the minimum was recorded at 27.6 degrees Celsius.
Kochi: Concerns related to the spread of Nipah in Kerala were allayed further, with Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja on Friday saying sample of one more person suspected to be infected with the potentially deadly virus has tested negative.One more person currently being treated at the isolation ward of the Medical College Hospital in Kochi has tested negative, the minister told reporters in New Delhi. Amid the Nipah virus scare, Shailaja met Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to discuss the status and the administration’s preparedness for containment and management of the potentially deadly infection. Vardhan, who is regularly reviewing the public health measures put in place in Kerala, assured her of all support from the Centre. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThe State government had Thursday announced that samples of six people, including three nursing staff, who had initially attended on a college student infected with Nipah virus, had tested negative. The government said a total of 318 people, who were in touch with the student, have been kept under observation. Of the 318 people, 52 have been put in the high risk category,a bulletin issued by the government here said Friday. The condition of the college student, diagnosed with Nipah virus, has slightly improved, it said. He is being treated at a private hospital here. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations”He is taking food. He spoke to his mother,” it said. Shailaja, who was in New Delhi to meet Vardhan, said the state will continue to remain alert till mid-July. “There is no need for any concern. Result of the sample of the seventh person is also negative,” she said. They (seven) are currently being treated at the isolation ward of the Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery, here. After meeting Vardhan, Shailaja said more funds have been sought from the central government to set up a virology institute “at least of Level 3 standard” at Kozhikode in Kerala. She also discussed with the Union Minister the situation arising out of the Nipah case Kerala. The government has urged the people to continue to take precautionary measures to prevent spread of the disease. The Nipah virus had claimed 17 lives in the state in May last year. The Union Health Ministry has deployed a six-member team comprising an epidemiologist to conduct contact tracing for early detection of suspects and review of isolation facilities. A designated control room has been established at the district collector’s office and an isolation ward established at the Government Medical College in Ernakulam, the Health Ministry had said in a statement Tuesday.
NEW DELHI: Team India suffered a major setback as opener Shikhar Dhawan, century scorer against Australia in the World Cup 2019, was ruled out for at least three weeks with a thumb fracture. Dhawan was the hero of India’s win over Australia on Sunday with a knock of 117 off 109 balls. Shikhar Dhawan played through pain after being hit on his left thumb by a rising delivery from pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.
New Delhi: Kicking off celebration to mark two years of the GST implementation, the finance ministry will on Monday come up with further reforms in the indirect tax system with the introduction of new return system, rationalisation of cash ledger system and a single refund-disbursing mechanism, among others.The ministry said it will introduce the new return system on a trial basis from July 1 and on mandatory basis from October 1. “Sahaj & Sugam returns for small taxpayers are proposed,” it said. Also Read – Balakot strikes show major shift in govt’s handling of terror attacks: IAF chiefWith regards to single cash ledger, the government will rationalise the ledger in such a manner that earlier 20 heads are merged into 5 major heads. There is only one cash ledger for tax, interest, penalty, fee and others. A single refund-disbursing mechanism will come into play wherein the government which sanctions refund disburses all four major heads of refunds namely CGST, SGST, IGST and cess, the ministry said. “Threshold limit of Rs 40 lakh is offered of suppliers of goods as per the choice of states. Introduction of composition scheme for small service providers up to an annual turnover of Rs 50 lakh with a tax rate of 6 per cent, electronic invoicing system in a phase-wise manner for B2B transactions is proposed to be introduced and GST Appellate Tribunals are being established at various state headquarters and area benches also,” it said.
After grabbing eyeballs for his quirky character ‘Jana’ in the horror-comedy Stree, Abhishesh Banerjee played another interesting role of a compounder in the acclaimed Amazon Prime series ‘Mirzapur’. Taking his choice of out-of-the-box roles forward, the actor recently appeared as the ghost in ‘Typewriter’ (a Netflix original). In an interview, the new ‘ghost’ of web space talks about the series, his character, how web as a platform helps him experiment with his craft, and much more: Also Read – An income drop can harm brain What is ‘Typewriter’ about? Typewriter is a show about Jenny, a girl who comes back to her grandfather’s villa with her family where she has spent her childhood and things start going wrong. How is your role in this show different from what you have done in the past? In this show, I’m playing a devil Fakir – a cunning and convincing person who is very powerful. He doesn’t need to speak much, his intense looks speak for him in the entire show. It’s obviously very different. The society has not done good to him, and whatever he’s doing is a revenge back on the society. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma Award Except you, who all other actors are the part of this show? The show has a plethora of talented actors like Paulomi Ghosh, who has already given some terrific performances in the past and this is another great performance by her. Apart from her, there is Samit Kochhar, Purab Kohli, KC Shankar, Harish Khanna, Masoob Akhtar. And of course, all the kids who have been a part of this show are amazing, especially Sam. There is quite a lot happening in your career right now. How are you balancing it? How difficult is it to switch gears? I’ve always loved multi-tasking in my life. Even in school, I was good in studies, sports and in the extra curricular activities as well. Trying to do one thing at a time becomes really monotonous for me as a person and artist both. Therefore, I love being engaged in as many things as possible at one point of time. Even though acting and casting are two different fields, I am very passionate about both of them. What I like the most about them is that both of them require you to be on toes all the time. They help me love what I am doing without making it feel like a ‘task’. Frankly, I think I am doing really less for my growth right now, so, with the idea of doing more in life, I aspire to use at least 20 hours of my day working and learning new things as an artist. Having said that, I think Amar Kaushik says it very appropriately about me that when I’m in front of the camera I’m an actor and the minute they say “cut”, I’m the casting director who starts working on his phone. Even if I am on vacation, I’m always in touch with my team. I came to Mumbai only to work in this industry and the fact that I’m getting to do it is a very big thing for me. How is web helping you shape your career. Would you try for films as well, or rather enjoy your presence in the digital space as for now? I’m getting a considerable amount of work in movies as well as web series. In web series, I feel I can experiment with the characters, that I might not do in the mainstream movies. Next year, I’m doing a show under Anushka Sharma’s production house Clean Slate productions. That show is incredibly important to me; I have played a very crazy character in that. I have three important movie releases lined up this year, and all the characters are different from each other. For me, more than the platform, working as an actor matters. I look for stories and interesting character, which I can pull off. I am one of those actors who don’t wait for the result. My main focus is to see that I enjoy the whole process of shooting for that character. If I’m not enjoying the process then it’s futile for me. But fortunately I have almost always enjoyed the process of every character I’ve played.