Mauritius: India sanctions USD 500 million credit & agrees to close out tax treaty soon
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (foreground, left), walks with Mauritius Prime Minister Sir Aneerod Jugnauth (foreground, centre) and Mauritius President Kailash Purryag (foreground, extreme right) on the occasion of Mauritius’ 47th Independence Day on 12 March 2015 (Image: Narendra Modi Facebook)
Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi sanctioned a USD 500 million line of credit to Mauritius upon his visit on the National Day yesterday. He noted that India attaches great importance to its relations with the Indian Ocean region, a region of great importance for India, and the visit shall broaden India-Mauritius ties which share the deepest bonds of history and culture.
The funds will be dedicated to various sectors of the economy and the center of focus will be the ocean economy, a sector representing great importance to India as he stated that the blue chakra or wheel in India’s national flag represents the potential of the blue revolution, or the ocean economy.
During the Indian Prime Minister’s visit, India and Mauritius also agreed to push forward their negotiations for a long pending revision of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). Both countries agreed that their objective is to prevent the “abuse” of the convention.
Incidentally, negotiations over the tax treaty have been pending for a long time, amid India’s apprehensions that the treaty is being used to evade taxes and treaty shopping.
Other areas that Narendra Modi considered for collaboration between India and Mauritius were scientific research, security, air transportation, medicine, civil infrastructure projects, petroleum storage, bunkering facility culture and resources for a second Cybercity in Mauritius.
Numerous agreements were concluded, starting with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Mauritius and India in the field of the ocean economy, followed by cultural cooperation, protocol for the agricultural sector and improvement of sea and air transportation for the Agalega Island.
Narendra Modi noted that for those who live by the ocean, climate change is not an issue of debate but a serious threat to their very existence and called for a more concerted and fair global action to address the increasing challenge.
The chief guest also addressed the National Assembly of Mauritius by saying that the Independence Day is not a celebration of liberty but also an occasion to recall the struggles and sacrifices that gave birth to freedom, and added that he admires Mauritius evolution from an agricultural economy to a middle income and diversified economy, tapping the opportunities in textile, tourism and now to offshore finance and information technology.
He ended his speech by saying that all nations in the region should unite to shoulder and share responsibility. He emphasised that the ties between Mauritius and India will always be a source of great joy and strength, bringing immense value to the region and the world.
The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Aneerod Jugnauth, also sent out a strong message to the nation on the occasion of the 47th celebration of the Independence Day of Mauritius. The National Day celebration speech particularly focused on the upcoming budget, which will be announced on 23 March 2015.
He elaborated on the government promise to take action in combating financial crimes, corruption and criminal investigations on the former regime.
Sir Aneerod Jugnauth set the tone on economic development and the growth philosophy that his government intends to follow this year which will based on innovation, economic growth, equality of opportunity, job creation for young people, social inclusion as well as law and order.
Moreover, the Prime Minister firmly believes that the “Second Economic Miracle’’ will be attained mainly due the cooperation with India – a cooperation that will eventually take a new turn after the visit of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Finally, the PM also commented on the recent flash floods taking place around the island. He expressed his solidarity towards the victims and announced that the government will also focus on the construction of new drainage channels to solve problems of potential floods and water accumulation.