Mauritius finance minister’ pre-budget consultation centres on ambitious growth
Pre-budgetary consultations saw Mauritius finance minister Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo sharing his vision on the next steps to achieve greater economic growth, outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the island economy, and asking stakeholders to suggest solutions to fill in loopholes affecting business activities and jobs creation. (Image: ION News)
Mauritian Finance Minister Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo held a pre-budget consultation with key stakeholders of the private sector, on Monday, March 16, 2015 in the lunch room at the National Assembly, in anticipation of the Budget 2015 announcement lined up for next Monday, March 23, 2015.
The objective of this discussion platform was to share the government’s vision on the next steps to achieve greater economic growth, outline the challenges and opportunities facing the Mauritian economy and also brainstorm over solutions to plug loopholes affecting business activities and jobs creation.
Participants at this discussion comprised the Joint Economic Council (JEC), Chamber of Commerce of the Mauritius Island (CCIM), Mauritius Sugar Producers Association (MSPA), Mauritius Bankers Association (MBA), Mauritius Insurance Association (MIA), the Association of the Hotel and the Restaurant of the Mauritius Island (AHRIM), among others, participated in the meeting. High rise and Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Outsourcing and Telecommunications Association of Mauritius (OTAM).
Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo highlighted the importance of creating a climate of collaboration between stakeholders to embark on an ambitious path of economic transformation and expressed confidence that Mauritius will achieve the targeted growth rate of 5.7% in 2016.
His discussion also centred on funding the pension scheme, where he noted that the Rs 4.5 billion expenditure towards pensions will not be financed through a raise in value added tax and others taxes.
Moreover, he outlined major projects in the pipeline, such as the development of the Port Louis Harbour; the creation of a new town in Highlands and the setting up of new business parks in different regions across the country, which will make Mauritius attractive for business investment and spur growth and employment in various sectors.
As for the director of the JEC, Raj Makoond, he noted that to achieve an economic growth of 5.7%, investment should be boosted in the country together with provision of a better business environment, improved infrastructure, proper regulatory framework to facilitate business, light tax regime and diversification strategies.
Finally, other representative of the private sector pressed for greater clarity in policies and rules that govern investments and business activities in the various sectors, as well as a low tax regime in view to enhance ease of doing business in Mauritius.
They also raised the issue of skills mismatch which is considered as another impediment to growth, especially in value-added activities.