Friday, November 8, 2013

Budget 2014 Mauritius - What do you think about it ?

The FM says that We're are 3/4 of the way to becoming a high income economy country ! .. in 6 budgets we will be there ! Translation: They are looking for another mandate ! hehe.. that's a down to earth opinion .. but quite plausible.
Here we go, budget measures:
[UPDATE: The budget speech can be found here : LINK]
  • Focus on budget is on infrastructure. Rs. 18.4 Billion and in the 3 next years approx. Rs. 54 billion Extension of Airport - 525 Million on 72 hectares of land - terminate in July 2014 Construction of Airport Hotel. 3.2 Billion for portuary development and development at Jin Fei to accommodate for ships carrying fuels. Construction of storage facilities for oil and petroleum - Creation jobs for engineers. Opening of Terre Rouge- Verdun and Verdun - Trianon roads. 
  •  New projects to alleviate congestion.
    1. Phoenix Jumbo Round About Project.
    2. bridge over GRNW to link Coromandel to Sorez
    3. Tunnel through signal mountain to Champs-De-Mars 
  •  Purchase of 200 semi-low floored buses equipped with latest features and more Eco-friendly. 
  • Subsidy of Rs 1 million per bus .. no vat on the new buses .. 
  • N.T.C, restructured 
  • 100 semi-low floored buses to be bought from Japan. complete overhaul of existing fleet. Maintenance to be transferred to authorized agents. 
  •  Vehicles of 5 tons and above to be equipped with hi-tech equipment for security and fitness test each year. 
  •  L.R.T on Port-Louis to Curepipe corridor - Singapore corp. helping to prepare the project. 6 Pre-selected companies to submit detailed proposals. 
  •  Utility sector - Rs. 3 billion to increase St. Louis by 60 MW A new water authority bill next year to improve efficiency. 
  • CWA/WMA/Irrigation authority will be merged Rs 1.3 Billion to replace old pipes and implement new technologies. 
  •  Faculty of Ocean Studies to be setup at the University of Mauritius Biomass development scheme introduced under MID funds to give incentives to small planters. 
  •  Removal of VAT on Photo-voltaic panels, reduce cost by 15%. 
  •  Rs. 6 Billion for implementing MID projects, lagoon, parks projects and studies for research and extraction of petrol. 
  •  Film Industry - B.O.I expects the film industry to generate Rs 500 millions in 2014 Africa strategy to support companies investing in Africa - Budget of Rs 500 millions in 5 years. 
  • subsidy of 25% on freight for doing business in Africa, subside on insurance premiums. 
  •  50 renewed bursaries to African students. 
  •  Permit for construction- Creation of e-Monitoring system to track all applications for permits for construction all applications will have to receive clearance within 15 days, all utility companies will have to give clearance within 10 days. If no answer within delay from utility companies, means that application has been accepted. 
  •  Tourism Sector - Government and Tourism Industry to setup a public/private committee to see what can be done. 
  •  M.T.P.A to give training on foreign languages and cooking Creation of serious fraud office and implement best practices from abroad. 
  • SICOM to be listed on Mauritius Stock exchange. 
  •  Rs 7 billion investment over next 5 years by operators to move to optical fiber cables 
  • Cross-connection of LIONS and SEAS cables over Seychelles. 
  •  New loan guarantee scheme for small entrepreneurs - Government will guarantee directly the amounts. 8 additional bursaries for ICT Laptops to be given but Rs. 690 insurance fees to be paid by parents. ZEP schools to benefit for additional help. 
  •  Exemptions for contributions to NPS/NSF for foreign employees will be removed. 
  •  15 additional inspectors to check work places. 
  •  Recruitment of additional 100 fire fighters.
  • Budget of Rs50 Millions for setting an enquiry office and creation of project management to reduce delays in projects.
  • Health: Rs 9.2 Billions - To treat diabetes and Cancer - National diabetes center and National Cancer Agency to detect cancer at earlier stages.

  • Rs 500 millions to extend services at Candos hospital + setup of 3 medi-clinics at a cost of Rs. 50 millions approx.
  • Rs 500,000 to Rs 800,000 grant for medical surgeries
  • Plantation of 200,000 trees in the next 2 years.
  • Sports: 35 scholarships for high level athletes for next year, increase of allowance by 5%.
    Sports act will be amended.
    Football: Reviving traditional clubs as far as nothing communal is in the names.
    Creation of a semi-professional league
    Budget Rs. 387 millions [ 4 new stadiums, upgrading of football / volleyball, rehabilitation of Maryse Justin,.. ]
  • Basic Pension and all pension schemes increase by 3.7%
  • 4th Recreation center to be constructed at Riambel.
  • Social allocations increased by Rs. 1000
  • Accommodations to be made at trochetia at cost of Rs. 24 millions
  • Changes to be made to child protection act
  • Additional Rs. 40 millions for renovation of Plaza Theatre, Rs. 40 millions reconstruction of forum at Curepipe and renovation of Serge Constantin at Rs. 30 millions and construction at Tombeau Pere laval at Rs 18 millions.
  • Setting up of Sanskrit Speaking Union
  • P.M.O will receive applications for broadcasting of films/TV programs (local) to 3 broadcasters.
  • Housing Empowerment Schemes - (up to Rs50,000 income) depot reduced to 5%, 2 years moratorium. Govt. guarantees 20% of the loans. Government will reimburse TVA up to Rs 300k for loans up to Rs2.5 millions
  • Social Housing Units to be built
  • Social Housing fund revamped into a National Habitat fund with a wider scope
  • 12 types of Construction plans freely given from the MHC
  • NHDC flat environments to be upgraded.
  • Rs 2000 to buy leased land from government ( 17000 families concerned )
  • Pre-paid meters released by CEB and available at no cost to low income households. Waver if bill under Rs.175
  • Extension of water tank schemes for families up to Rs.15,000 income
  • Tourism Package in Rodrigues maintained.
  • Consumer Welfare fund to help consumers
  • Removal of VAT on Soya products
  • 9 year schooling to be introduced - CPE exams to be stopped.
  • Duty on Cigarettes and alcoholic drinks - increase of 5%
  • Duty on Air-conditioners to give incentives to customers for buying less power consuming equipment
  • Land transfer tax, applicable 1st January 2014 - 5% flat rate
  • 58 additional officers at MRA to be recruted.
VoilĂ  ! .. Please write your comments below on the Mauritius Budget 2014 !

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