Mauritius to become high income nation in six years: Duval
Currently, Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita stands at $9300 and the objective is to reach a GDP per head of $12,000 in six years. (Image: accommodation.io)
Mauritius can become a high income nation in as few as six years, declared Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, if Budget 2014 is followed to the letter.
Currently, Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita stands at $9300 and the objective is to reach a GDP per head of $12,000 in six years. In Sub-Saharan Africa, per capita GDP is a lowly $2500, highlighted Duval.
In Parliament yesterday, the finance minister observed that measures presented for Budget 2014 earlier this month have been welcomed by the population and support the vision to make Mauritius a high income nation, where everyone can enjoy a better quality of life.
The finance minister noted that the forecast deficit of 3.7% for the next year will not be breached, even taking into consideration Rs 6 billion of government payouts on wage increases planned by the Pay Research Bureau (PRB). However, VAT should have been increased up to 18% so as to compensate the PRB increase but was instead maintained by the government at 15%, Duval went on to add.
Duval also commented on private television, asserting that the law was voted in from 2000 onwards but nothing has been done till date. Those who want to telecast entertainment shows will be given first rights, and, if there are no glitches, private news channels might subsequently be authorized.
However, the finance minister noted that Mauritius is facing an issue on the investment front, for example, there is a decrease in the export of textile products to recession-hit Europe.
Accordingly, taxpayers’ contributions of Rs 500 million will be channeled into the Mauritius Africa Fund, to encourage Mauritian people to invest in Africa.
Also, a new fund of Rs 5 billion has been planned under the budget as a financial security measure. There will be also bunkering opportunities in the port with the purpose of making the island a Freeport hub for the region, he added.
The finance minister also touched upon the setting up of a facilitation committee for the development of big projects and a Citizen Facilitation Centre. He also asserted that the deadline for obtaining a certificate of morality will be reduced.
Besides, the government has provided for a fund of Rs 50 million to reward state employees for their performance during the year.
For the education sector, there is an increase of 11% in budgetary subsidy, while for schools the subsidy will see an increase of 30%. This represents a total of Rs 440 million for the management of 30 schools in the education zone.
The finance minister also addressed important events and breaking news in 2013 such as the fateful flash flood in March, the tragic bus accident of Soreze, work accidents, minors’ exploitation, employment for youngsters and women and finally, the financial scams under the Ponzi system.