If some believe that faith does not change, others intense lobbying for the continuation of these subsidies.
Controversy swells around the decision of the Lord Mayor, Mahmad Khodabaccus, drastically reduce subsidies annually to socio-cultural organizations. Rs 6 million, it increased to Rs 4 million. "Reducing subsidies was a decision taken after careful consideration. We had to make a decision, even if it will make unhappy. I only do damage control because you never know how it is spent, 'says the chief magistrate of the city of Port Louis, determined to answer his critics.
It is important in a difficult economic context, of spend money wisely City Hall: "Henceforth, we will not give checks to these organizations. We will demand of them received what they have spent the holidays and it is us who will pay for these services. Because we have no proof of how money was spent. " The Lord Mayor said, be aware that the dice are loaded with false receipts: "I try to minimize the damage and send a strong signal. "
Does this mean that Mahmad Khodabaccus is willing to do to pull their socks by the Minister of Local Government? "I have not looked Hervé Aimée as this would take time. At the city council, we made the wise decision to reduce subsidies and I leave it to the townspeople react. I set a good example: the two messengers, who stay until I leave the office, now go to 16 hours to reduce overtime. If I have to make a cup of tea, I'll do it without problem. I even dropped the Lord Mayor's Fund of Rs 200 000. "
In addition to the Rs 4 million in grants, according Mahmad Khodabaccus, the mayor of Port-Louis spends about Rs 4 million in terms of aid for the various festivities: "It is simply enormous and unacceptable! "The Lord Mayor added that he would rather" invest this money each year in the construction of a multipurpose facility that affect a majority of citizens, instead of a few individuals the time a party. "
Dulthummun off the handle '
The main opponent in this debate Mahmad Khodabaccus is none other than the President of the Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation (MSDTF), which includes 275 temples in the country. For Somduth Dulthummun, that give local communities "is only peanuts" compared to what the various mandirs spend on the island: "I note that the mayor of Port-Louis has decided to close the tap subsidies socio-cultural organizations. Does the Lord Mayor knows that different activities would cost much more if they were to be organized by the city? What she gives is only a drop of water, while wasting money on unnecessary travel for matches involving councilors who receive benefits. Why is the mayor of Port-Louis began does not decrease by consulting fees and the Lord Mayor to set a good example? "
This decision is outrageous and thoughtless, according Somduth Dulthummun, because "what is Rs 5000 for organizing a party? The Lord Mayor he knows that without socio-cultural organizations, the city would be like a ghost town on the day of the festivities? Does he know how much money these organizations are paying from their pockets? The MSDTF often receives no local, but we participate willingly spending organizations for the benefit of townspeople and villagers. "
Other councils will they not follow? Not really, because this is a sensitive and political, according to Mayor Sunil Beedassy. No question of touching a tradition that continues for years. "On an annual operating budget of Rs 488 million, the municipality of Curepipe spends only Rs 1 million for grants to organizations and socio-cultural issue is not to reduce them, because the mayor has a duty towards them. "
Yet, in May 2009, Clency Lajoie, then Labour councilor - he just resigned - had dared to propose a motion to cut the net subsidy of Rs 1.5 million in the socio-cultural organizations of Curepipe, to channel that money into social projects. He even said that "we are accomplices in a perversion of religion, because the system favors the partitioning and leaves no room for meetings and interactions between people of different religions and cultures."Of the 18 councilors, only two had argued Clency Lajoie, including Michel and Latour-Adrien Dharmen Gopaul.
Infinitesimal part of the expenses
Of the side Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill also no question of touching, but rigor is implementation, according to Mayor Norbert Froget: "I read with astonishment that the mayor of Port-Louis has reduced its spending Rs 2 million for socio-cultural organizations, while at Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill we don ' We grant that about Rs 500,000 annually. I support the courageous decision Mahmad Khodabaccus because I believe that everyone should make his block. Praying does not mean money, but as this is a strong tradition, I believe that a few thousand rupees enough for a religious festival. If expenses exceed these religious societies have to cope. "
Norbert Froget agrees with his colleague of the PMSD in Port-Louis," we must stop giving checks or cash to these organizations because we do not know what they do with it and with the taxpayer to whom I am indebted. "
On the side of the Arya Sabha, it is argued that the contributions from local authorities are only a small part of the expenses of the organization: "We do not receive money from municipalities or district councils. It is only when we organize a party that we receive help in terms of green room, chairs, light ... ".
Treasurer, Vidhata Jeewuth, adds that its 50,000 members contribute to the financing of Arya Sabha, "but we also perceive our ashrams income through Social Security or the hundreds of our primary schools and pre-primary across the island."
The fact is that subsidies, even if they are qualified of "peanuts" are welcome to these socio-cultural organizations who are currently struggling with the authorities so that they are not reduced, as is the case in Port Louis.