Finance Minister announces measures to boost economy in Rodrigues
The Finance Minister also announced the visit of the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, to Rodrigues after the presentation of the 2015 budget which he said, bears testimony to the importance Mauritius attaches to the socio-economic development of Rodrigues.( Image: concierge-hotels)
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo has announced last Friday February 20, 2015 at a press conference in Port Louis various measures to boost the Rodriguan economy following his recent visit to Rodrigues in the context of pre-budget consultations.
According to Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo, Government is fully committed to put the Rodriguan economy on the right track and prepare the country for future challenges.
After the standardization of the air fare between Rodrigues and Mauritius, for holders of Mauritian passport or national ID card, at Rs 5, 430 instead of the current fare of Rs 7, 186 effective since 15 February.
The minister has announced other measures for the promotion of an enhanced business climate namely, the investment of Rs 2 billion for the extension of the airport at Plaine Corail to accommodate more aircrafts; elaboration of a Master Plan to transform the harbour of Port Mathurin into a modern one; economic diversification with the creation of new markets; development of a dynamic private sector.
Encouraging young people to engage in agricultural production with focus on organic production, namely: onions, garlic, ginger, saffron and beans which will benefit from guaranteed purchase price; creation of a fishing school; setting up of a branch of the Board of Investment to boost investment; and installation of an optical cable between Mauritius and Rodrigues in two years. Meanwhile, upgraded satellite facilities will be offered.
“The adjustment of the air fare for Rodriguans will not only facilitate the travel of Rodriguans to Mauritius but is also in line with the policy of the Government to supporting the development of Rodrigues as an integral part of the Republic of Mauritius,” said Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo.
Furthermore, the establishment of a direct air link between Rodrigues and Reunion Island with effect from May this year was also evoked by the Finance Minister, which he said will give a new impetus to the tourism industry in Rodrigues with a better connection among the neighbouring islands.
The Finance Minister also announced the visit of the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, to Rodrigues after the presentation of the 2015 budget which he said, bears testimony to the importance Mauritius attaches to the socio-economic development of Rodrigues.
Moreover, with a view to igniting the spirit of entrepreneurship among youth and make of the Small and Medium Enterprises the main engine of growth, Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo announced the setting up of an SME Bank in Rodrigues with a provision of some Rs 10 million over five years targeting young entrepreneurs.
The bank will allocate loans without guarantees or mortgages. In addition, the micro-enterprises launched by a young entrepreneur in Rodrigues will benefit from a tax exemption for eight years.
He further highlighted that emphasis will be laid on the welfare of the youth and on this score he announced that 150 young Rodriguans will benefit from training in companies in Mauritius or Rodrigues under the Youth Employment Programme which will be 100 percent funded by the Government.