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Posts Tagged ‘pay’

Toyota to pay $32.4 mln in extra fines over recalls

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:32 am

 Toyota has agreed to pay 32.4 million dollars in fines over its handling of two auto recalls, bringing total penalties levied on the firm to 48.8 million this year, officials said.

“Toyota will pay the maximum fines allowable under the law — 16.375 million dollars in one case and 16.050 million in the other — in response to the department’s assertion that it failed to comply with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act for reporting safety defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

The two penalties come on top of Toyota’s record 16.4-million-dollar fine assessed in April to settle claims the automaker hid accelerator pedal defects blamed for dozens of deaths.

Toyota has agreed to pay 32.4 million dollars in fines over its handling of two auto recalls, bringing total penalties levied on the firm to 48.8 million this year, officials said.

Toyota issued a series of mass recalls of around 10 million vehicles worldwide in late 2009 and early 2010 that undermined the company’s once stellar reputation and triggered US congressional investigations.

“Safety is our top priority and we take our responsibility to protect consumers seriously… I am pleased that Toyota agreed to pay the maximum possible penalty and I expect Toyota to work cooperatively in the future to ensure consumers’ safety.” said LaHood.

The 16.375-million-dollar fine was tied to an investigation completed Monday over Toyota’s recall of nearly five million vehicles with accelerator pedals that can become entrapped by floor mats, the Department of Transportation said.

“NHTSA’s investigation led the agency to believe that Toyota had not fulfilled its obligation to report a known safety defect within five days, as is required under the law,” it added.

The 16.05-million-dollar fine stems from an NHTSA probe into whether the automaker properly notified the agency of a safety defect in several Toyota models in 2004 and 2005 that could result in the loss of steering control.

The defect led to a 2004 recall in Japan for Hilux trucks that Toyota initially said did not extend to US models. In 2005, Toyota informed NHTSA that the steering relay rod defect was present in several models sold in the United States and conducted a recall for nearly one million vehicles.

NHTSA said it learned in May of complaints from US consumers and others that Toyota had not disclosed additional information.

“Automakers are required to report any safety defects to NHTSA swiftly, and we expect them to do so,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

Both fines levied against Toyota are the maximum in civil penalties for each of the two violations stemming from the pedal entrapment and steering relay rod recalls.

In 2008, Toyota ended the 77-year reign of General Motors as the world’s largest automaker but the road has been a bumpy one for the Japanese giant, facing the impact of the economic crisis, recalls and recently a strong yen.

Sales are falling in the United States, with the automaker slipping from second to third place this year behind reviving giants Ford and market leader GM.

Toyota reported a 7.3 percent sales drop in November and its market share could fall by 17 percent to just over 15 percent in 2010, according to IHS Automotive.

To stem the bleeding, the automaker has added an extra four weeks to new vehicle testing, sped up its decision-making process and appointed regional quality control officers.

Analysts say Toyota has become more aggressive in catching possible defects as part of a campaign to improve its consumer image, but warn that continued frequent recalls damage its branding as a quality carmaker.

Only a week ago, Toyota recalled some 94,000 of its 2011 Sienna minivans in the United States to replace a brake bracket that could get stuck.

Source: SGGP

Government supports kindergarteners to pay insurance premiums

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:40 am

The Ministry of Education and Training has just launched a draft decision on supporting social insurance cost for kindergarten teachers and administrators.

A teacher and her children of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Kindergarten in District 1, HCM City. (Photo: Sggp)

Accordingly, kindergarteners have to meet criteria including graduating from teacher schools; working at pre-schools before 1995,  stopping working or retiring at the prescribed age in accordance with the State’s regulations; owing social insurance payments from one month to 60 months according to the Law on Social Insurance; not receiving the one-time insurance payment; continuing to buy insurance to receive retirement pension in accordance with the State’s regulations.

According to the new draft, the Government will pay 13 percent of the minimum salary level for kindergarten teachers and administrators from one month to 60 months.

Participants can pay insurance premiums by monthly, once per quarter or every 6 months.

Source: SGGP

Jury orders SAP to pay Oracle 1.3 billion dollars

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

A US jury has ordered German business software giant SAP to pay US rival Oracle 1.3 billion dollars in damages in a record-setting copyright infringement award.

“We’re ecstatic,” said Geoffrey Howard, a partner with the Bingham McCutchen law firm, a member of the Oracle trial team. “The jury recognized the value of the intellectual property stolen by SAP.”

Oracle attorneys called the copyright damages award the highest ever and hailed the verdict as a resounding warning that stealing intellectual property from technology companies will not be tolerated.

SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow recovered and copied massive amounts of Oracle software and confidential data by posing as clients, according to court documents.

A customized software tool dubbed “Titan” was allegedly used to plunder Oracle’s website of patches, updates, fixes and other programs crafted for Oracle’s paying customers.

SAP admitted to the copyright infringement in legal “stipulations” that cleared the way for a jury trial regarding how much should be paid to Oracle in damages.

“SAP wanted to take responsibility,” Oracle attorney David Boies said after the jury revealed its decision. “They now have the opportunity to do that and move on.”

During closing arguments in the case being held in a federal court here, SAP attorney Robert Mittelstaedt conceded the copyright infringement by SAP and focused on minimizing any damage award.

“I’m not proud of this and SAP is not proud of this,” Mittelstaedt said.

SAP will study its legal options before deciding whether to appeal the verdict or petition the judge to reduce the amount, a company spokesman told AFP in the courtroom.

SAP was interested in putting the unflattering case behind it, he added.

“We are, of course, disappointed by this verdict and will pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal if necessary,” head of SAP Americas media relations Jim Dever said in an emailed statement.

“This will unfortunately be a prolonged process and we continue to hope that the matter can be resolved appropriately without more years of litigation.”

SAP could negotiate with Oracle to agree on a reduced settlement payout in exchange for not appealing the verdict.

Jurors interviewed after the verdict said that deliberations focused on how much SAP might have had to pay if it began licensing Oracle’s copyrighted technology in 2005 instead of swiping it.

Award amounts discussed by the jury ranged from 519 million dollars to three billion dollars, according to the jury foreman, who declined to give his name.

“You have something and someone takes it and uses it, they’ve got to pay,” said juror Joe Bangay, a 57-year-old auto body worker.

Jurors were convinced that top SAP executives were aware of what was taking place “every step of the way,” according to the foreman.

He doubted that testimony by former SAP chief executive Leo Apotheker would have changed the outcome of deliberations.

Apotheker avoided efforts by Oracle’s trial team to serve him a subpoena that would have compelled him to testify at trial.

Apotheker was recently hired by US computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) to replace Mark Hurd as chief executive, but HP refused to help track the former SAP boss down for the trial.

Apotheker was on the SAP board that unanimously approved a deal to buy US technology firm TomorrowNow, which copied massive amounts of Oracle software and confidential data by posing as clients.

No matter what amount SAP winds up paying Oracle, the case threatens to cost the German firm its reputation as a trusted vendor of business software.

“This will cost SAP moving forward,” said analyst Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research. “Oracle is going to be asking whether you want to buy from an innovator or someone who is stealing others’ innovations.”

Source: SGGP

Families to pay respects to Cambodia crush victims

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 4:49 am

PHNOM PENH, Nov 24, 2010 (AFP) – Grieving families in Cambodia were due to pay their last respects Wednesday to relatives among the nearly 380 victims killed in a massive stampede at a water festival in the capital.

The annual three-day celebration ended in tragedy on Monday, with survivors recalling scenes of fear and panic as crowds surged on an overcrowded bridge, crushing and trampling people underfoot.

A policeman walks among clothes, shoes and personal belongings left on the Diamond Gate Bridge by the victims of the stampede in Phnom Penh on November 23, 2010. AFP

Relatives were left with a harrowing search through hospitals and makeshift morgues in the capital Phnom Penh, desperate for news of the missing.

Many were faced with the heartbreak of identifying the bodies of their loved ones.

Hundreds of families are set to hold funerals for the victims in the coming days amid a national outpouring of grief.

Prime Minister Hun Sen described the disaster as Cambodia’s worst tragedy since the Khmer Rouge’s 1975-1979 reign of terror, which left up to a quarter of the population dead. He declared a national day of mourning on Thursday.

At least 378 people were killed in the stampede and some 750 were injured, government spokesman Phay Siphan told AFP, adding that the number could rise further.

Exuberant festival-goers had been crossing the bridge to reach an island hosting concerts, food stalls and ice sculptures before the crowd turned to a desperate crush of human bodies.

The dead, laid out in rows under a white tent erected in the city’s Calmette Hospital car park, were photographed and numbered by policemen, their uncovered faces showing that many had sustained bloody bruises during the stampede.

One woman said she recognised her 16-year-old niece among the dead.

“I heard she was killed last night, so I came here and I saw her body,” Som Khov, 51, told AFP.

After Hun Sen promised that the bodies of out-of-town visitors would be sent home, 13 military trucks began taking away corpses.

By late Tuesday most of the dead had been removed from the hospital’s makeshift morgue, delivered back to their relatives.

It was not immediately clear what had triggered the disaster, but another government spokesman said a rumour had spread among revellers celebrating one of Cambodia’s biggest festivals that the bridge was unstable.

Khieu Kanharith said many of the deaths were caused by suffocation and internal injuries, adding that about two-thirds of those killed were women.

One survivor at Calmette Hospital who suffered serious back injuries recalled the anguish of being unable to help others around him as the surging crowd became a suffocating crush.

“I felt selfish when it happened, but I could not help myself. There was a child trapped under me and I wanted to pull him up but I couldn’t,” he said, asking not to be named.

The stampede marked a tragic end to the boat races, concerts and fireworks that are traditionally part of the annual festival to celebrate the reversal of the flow between the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers.

The event — which saw hundreds of brightly coloured boats take part in races on the Tonle Sap — is popular with tourists but there was no confirmation that any foreigners were among the victims.

Source: SGGP

Can cash-strapped Europe pay for NATO’s grand ambition?

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

Time for banks to pay back to tax payers, UK expert tells seminar

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 5:41 am

Hydropower and water supply to pay environmental fees

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Hydropower and water supply to pay environmental fees

QĐND – Saturday, October 23, 2010, 20:48 (GMT+7)

Environmental fees will be imposed on businesses, especially hydropower and water supply, that use and greatly benefit from natural resources.

The newly issued Decree No99 defines that from January 1st, 2011, hydropower and water supply producers have to pay fees for their use of natural resources.

Accordingly, hydropower plants have to pay VND 20 for each 1 kWh of commercial electricity, and water suppliers have to pay VND 40 for the production of every cubic meter of commercial water.

The proceeds will then be given to tree planters to replenish forests and to agricultural, forestry, and natural resources management bodies to take measures against soil erosion, dredge sediment deposits in lakes, streams and river beds, as well as maintain water sources.

According to experts, the policy could improve the environment and promote organisations’ and individuals’ environmental protection and awareness of economization of natural resources.  

Source: DDDN, photo: Vnexpress

Translated by Thu Nguyen

Source: QDND

Government supporting students to pay insurance premiums

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 at 11:23 am

The new regulation that makes insurance compulsory insurance for students dictates that they will only pay 70 percent of premiums, with the government subsidizing the remainder.

A student is treated at the Pediatric Hospital No.1. He will be reimbursed for hospital expenditure after leaving the hospital (Photo: SGGP)

With the aim of encouraging students to buy insurance, the new law took effect last January and has received public backing. Students only pay the equivalent of 3 percent of the country’s minimum salary for employees of State-owned companies (VND 980,000).

Accordingly, over 1.2 million students paid 174 billion for insurance during the 2009-2010 academic year, said Do Quang Khanh, deputy head of the insurance company.

According to the insurance company, 90 percent of the fund would go towards examination and treatment, 10 percent for primary healthcare in schools.

The company also revealed that primary, senior and junior high school students buy insurance more than university students do.

In 2009, many pupils were reimbursed for hospital expenditures after being discharged from medical clinics; some even received nearly VND100 million in rebates. Parents are very happy as the insurance fund has shared the financial burden when their children got sick. For instance, a student of the Primary Nguyen Van Troi in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 2 got a VND80 million rebate from the insurance company, after she received treatment for an incurable ailment for two months at the district hospital.

According to the new regulation, the insurance company will pay 100 percent of students’ hospital fees, if they are lower than 15 percent of the national minimum salary, or if students received treatment at their district medical clinics. If students received treatment at public big city hospitals or at facilities they did not registered with beforehand, the insurance company will pay 70 percent, 50 percent and 30 percent for third, second and first class hospitals respectively.

Schools have been assigned the duty of collecting insurance premiums and propagandizing students and parents about the benefits insurance participants receive, said Mr. Khanh.

Students will pay the insurance premiums of VND282,000 for the academic year 2010-2011 and the government will provide VND78, 000. Students from low-income families in other provinces will pay VND131,000 if they purchase insurance in the city.

Source: SGGP

Government efforts to control prices pay off

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Government efforts to control prices pay off

QĐND – Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 20:59 (GMT+7)

The very slight increase in July’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) is attributed to the government and local authorities’ efforts to curb inflation, reports the General Statistics Office (GSO).

According to the GSO, July’s CPI is estimated to have risen by only 0.06 percent over last month, much lower than the earlier forecasts of 0.2-0.3 percent and is the lowest monthly growth in CPI for a past year.

The government’s policies to stabilise prices have started to pay off in recent months driving July’s CPI growth to a record low, said the GSO, citing the gradual decrease in the CPI, from 1.35 percent in the first quarter to 0.21 percent in the second quarter and to 0.44 percent in the third quarter.

However, there are still many things to do to achieve the government’s target for this year’s growth in inflation to be under 8 percent, as so far inflation this year has climbed to 4.84 percent, the GSO said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) seems to be more optimistic, predicting that the CPI in August will continue to increase slightly and inflation for the whole year will be kept below the target.

As the economy is still to make a full recovery and people’s incomes have not improved much, a rise in the prices of essential goods items will have a considerable impact on people’s lives, according to the GSO.

Moreover, factors emerging from the world’s economy recovery that may affect input costs as well as natural disasters are likely to result in a surplus in demand, making the prices of essential goods surge suddenly, leading to a rise in inflation, it said.

Therefore, according to the GSO, central government and local authorities should be well prepared to take flexible measures and stabilising exchange rates and ensuring the market’s liquidity are top priority.

Recent moves taken by authorities in the larger provinces and cities to help local businesses stock up with goods in anticipation of a possible surge in prices and the Ministry of Finance’s decision to ask petroleum traders to restrict changes to petrol prices are down to the government’s determination to stop inflation from rising.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Oil spill claims arriving faster than BP can pay them

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

 New claims against BP from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are pouring in more than twice as fast as the British energy giant is paying them out, US officials said.

Analysis by a consulting group hired by Louisiana to track claims and BP payments amid the worst environmental disaster in US history also showed that the claims have risen in dollar amount, and that BP sped up its payouts specifically when the state pressured the company to do so.

The group, Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc, said the total number of claims reported by BP jumped by 170 percent in June, from 30,000 to more than 85,000, and that by June 30 there were nearly 2.5 times as many new claims as there were checks issued to claimants.

A BP claims center in Houma, Louisiana. New claims against BP from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are pouring in more than twice as fast as the British energy giant is paying them out, US officials said.

It said BP added 441 new claims adjusters during the period, for a total of 951 — an increase of 87 percent, about half the percentage increase in new claims.

“The state believes that claims processing will be detrimentally impacted unless BP increases its number of claims adjusters,” Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Kristy Nichols said in a statement.

“BP must immediately address its apparent inability to keep up with daily incoming claims and pay claimants in a timely manner,” said Nichols, who is overseeing Louisiana’s response to the BP claims process.

The Louisiana statement also said that BP check numbers and total claim payouts spiked in the days immediately after state officials leaned on BP to make the process more efficient.

Within a week of the extra pressure, BP issued the most checks of the month, 2,500 on June 21, but by June 26 the number dropped to fewer than 500 checks.

Average daily payouts were around two million dollars per day from June 1 to June 15, then spiked to around 11 million dollars on June 16 before falling back down to two million per day in the last week in June.

“The head of BP Claims, Daryl Willis, has said several times in the press that the transition of the BP claims process to the independent commission set up by the federal government wouldn’t affect the speed of payments, but we are seeing just the opposite,” said Nichols.

“The state needs BP to stand up to its word and put these claims payments into the hands of Louisianians who are struggling because of the oil spill.”

The analysis showed that the average cost for loss of income, property and commercial damage claims is “extremely low and indicates that many claimants had not received any payments by the end of June,” said Nichols.

“This is extremely distressing; families and businesses are depending on those payments to keep roofs overhead and food on tables,” Nichols said.

The average claim payout in Louisiana is 3,500 dollars.

BP’s total payouts in June rose significantly, from around 40 million dollars at the beginning of the month to more than 130 million by the end.

At US President Barack Obama’s urging, BP set up a 20-billion-dollar claims fund with the aim of paying every eligible claim brought by victims of the disaster.

Source: SGGP