Mauritius to get EUR 88 mn from EU for socio-economic reform
Mauritius has earned the budget support because it fulfills the eligibility criteria of a well-defined macro-economic framework; transparent, accountable and effective public expenditure management; and open and transparent public procurement system. (Image: NY Times)
The European Union announced that Mauritius will benefit from funding of EUR 88 million (approximately Rs 3.6 billion) in priority sectors, against a set of objectives mutually agreed by the EU and the Government of Mauritius.
A successor programme to the last budget support programme, called Promoting Sustainable and Equitable Development Phase II, is currently under implementation, with funding for the program to be disbursed directly into the National Treasury Account.
This program will last over the period 2013-2015 for a total funding of over EUR 88 million, combining funding from sugar accompanying measures and the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
Some of the key results expected from this new program are in the form of satisfactory progress in the following areas: implementation of the socio-economic reform programme of the Government of Mauritius; maintaining macro-economic stability; programme to improve and reform public finance management; budget transparency and oversight; and finally, improving efficiency of public service delivery, specially through parastatal reform.
Mauritius has earned budget support because it fulfills the eligibility criteria as set out in the Cotonou Agreement Article 61.2, which are, a well-defined macro-economic framework; transparent, accountable and effective public expenditure management; and open and transparent public procurement system.
It may be noted that in the wake of the continuity of the ‘Islands’ project, the ministerial council of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) signed an agreement with the EU to release funds of EUR 7.5 million (around Rs 309.3 million) for sustainable development of its member states: Comoros, Reunion island, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles.
“’Islands’ project under the second stage of European funding until 2017 will help to build a world where economic growth and social welfare will be synonymous with the sustainability of resources powering growth and development,” said Jean Claude de L’Estrac, Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
Through the Island project, the IOC targeted four priority domains, namely coral reefs, identification of mechanism funding in case of natural disasters, sustainable development and climate change.
Given its satisfactory performance, Mauritius was granted a bonus of EUR 10.2 million (approximately Rs 420.6 million) and this bonus will be used in two ways:
First, EUR 5.1 million (approximately Rs 210.3 million) will be provided in the form of general budgetary support.
Secondly, the rest will be used to support the non state actors and awarded under calls for proposals, to directly finance activities related to the four critical Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), of reducing extreme hunger, child mortality, maternal mortality, and increasing access to water and sanitation.
Moreover, the EU delegation organized a consultation session in Mauritius on February 17, 2014 where political actors of both public and private sectors were present.
Several subjects were addressed, such as reforms targeting professionals, support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as increasing access to financing.