Mauritius | Finances

September 14, 2012

Budget 2013: Expectations Of Economic Operators

These days, it is paraded through the office of the Minister of Finance Pre-Budget Consultations margin. An opportunity for operators in different sectors of a picture of the situation, discuss their problems and share their expectations for the Budget 2013. Overview.

Textile: favorable exchange rate

All carriers are on the same wavelength. The textile business recorded a decline due to the crisis on their main markets in Europe. "The textile industry is no longer competitive against the rupee strong and fierce global competition. Many factories in Mauritius are in the process of relocating to Madagascar, South Africa, Bangladesh.

We go through an unprecedented crisis and the worst is yet to come, "depicts Swaley Peerkhan, 'Managing Director' of SIMS Group. Hence the urgency, says François de Grivel industry, to provide a "real recovery" in the industry. "Budget 2013 must include consideration favorable rate for the euro, the interest rates charged and 'incentives' for export. We must put in place a mechanism and it requires in-depth discussions with the Minister of Finance, Enterprise Mauritius and professional associations, "recommends François de Grivel. Swaley Peerkhan and adds: "There must be in the budget measures to stabilize the rupee. This will allow the industry to take a breather. "

The side of SMEs operating in the textile sector is expected to measures to address the shortage of manpower in the industry. "It should also be that the government is pushing banks to play their role as facilitator. If they lowered their interest rates, they penalize contractors practicing fees and other charges very high, "highlighted Maxime Koon, president of the Association of Textile SMEs. It also recommends that a space is allocated to SMEs to sell their products. "It will encourage competition and innovation. It will also be a platform to attract tourists, "says our interlocutor.

SMEs: sector must be protected the invasion of Asian products

Rekha Cowlessur, director of Arvani Ltd and President of the Association of Textile and Bag Manufacturers, is categorical. "We expect the government to take measures to protect ourselves from the mass import of products from Asia. If these products are cheaper, the quality is not there. The irony is that some traders affix labels on these products "Made in Mauritius", and there is absolutely no control to prevent this situation. The imposition of tariffs on these products will relieve SMEs, "she recommends.

She reiterated in the same vein as the authorities have once and for all from the front with the "Genuine Mauritian Label", which allow customers to identify products manufactured locally and those imported. In a recent interview with the Daily Challenge, Deerpalsing Amar, President of the Federation of SME, expressed his wishes for there to be a "better access to finance," and "facilities for SMEs to be at the same level than their competitors. " But more than anything, the measures announced bring tangible results. This has not been the case in recent years.

Tourism: Diversify tourism products

In the pre-budget consultations, the Association of Hoteliers and restaurateurs of Mauritius (AHRIM) intends to seek the Finance Ministry on "strategies to support industry face current challenges, and the stimulus sector to correct as soon as the mismatch between supply and demand for hotel rooms. "

"Right now, everyone is affected by weak demand - destination management companies, hotels, tour, suppliers, taxis, subcontractors, shops, restaurants, guest houses, and other activities," says Jocelyn Kwok, CEO AHRIM.

Strategies to support the study, says he would seek a "relief of low cash problem hoteliers in general and transitional deferral or deletion if possible, charges applicable to the some industry, including direct costs of operation are rising. "

"The stimulus should involve increased resources to the effort of marketing and promotion in emerging markets, increased aircraft seats available in these markets, the marketing of the destination as well as the recovery of the product and its position, and institution building. A 'roadmap', the result of collaboration between private operators, authorities and other stakeholders, including the essential orders of magnitude, is, as such, a priority for the industry, "he says.

Mala Chetty, tour operator, advocates, on the other hand, an "aggressive marketing theme" (cultural, rally, ...) to promote the Mauritian destination. "It would make the destination more visible and diversify tourism products. Should also focus more on the cruise, "she recommends. For its part, Ajay Jhurry, president of the Association of tour operators, recently said that the Budget was an opportunity for the government to "restructure the tourism industry", bringing the "real democratization" and by promoting "sustainable development" of the sector.

Sugar industry / agriculture: new agricultural policy

"With our increased expenses against revenues, the government should review the policy sugarcane. It will redistribute income sugarcane fairly so that small farmers can benefit from by-products of the cane, "recommends Kreepalloo Sunghoon, spokesman for the Association of smallholders. Enquiries: Some 16,807 hectares of land occupied by 22,099 small farmers in the country, there are only 2000 hectares of which are mechanized. "It would create a fund to allow farmers to mechanize their own land," he recommends.

Salil Roy, president of the Planters Reform Association, wishes, for its part, that the payment of income of farmers by 80% by the Union of Sugar and FORIP program - a fund to allow farmers to come together - are extended. "It is high time to review the price of bagasse once and for all," said he.

Kreepalloo Sunghoon also feels the need to review the country's agricultural policy. "We'll know how much land under cane cultivation or in various other activities. There must be a system of information on agricultural production in the country. Some farmers will lose and neither time nor money to produce vegetables that are already in abundance in the market. " It also recommends the establishment of a 'Land Bank Fund' so that farmers can rent land abandoned by their colleagues to expand their production.

"It is time to come forward with a blueprint for the production of vegetables and other foods in Mauritius. It should also encourage farmers to produce imported goods. For example, we can easily produce 8,000 tons of apples love the country imports canned form. It should also encourage farmers to produce organic food. " Other pre-budget submission: "It is also financially support farmers who want to produce vegetables under protected structures. Which will reduce the problem of manpower, space, water shortages and disease, "concludes Kreepalloo Sunghoon.

Financial sector / offshore: expanding our product base

Nikhil Treebhoohun, CEO of Global Finance Mauritius, believes it is imperative that the financial sector, which includes 21 banks, about 160 'management companies' and some 25,000 'global business companies' has more substance. "The basis of existing products should be expanded and should improve the value chain," he recommends.

It is important, he advocates, to develop a new vision for the industry taking into account the evolution of the international financial sector, diversify the destination and our product base to attract new players, while strengthening the capacity of existing players. Another recommendation: promoting jurisdiction. "The technical committees of Global Finance Mauritius identified areas where there is a potential for growth, and shared its findings with the government to ensure effective synergy in the actions to be taken to enter new markets.

We therefore expect that the authorities come forward with a clear vision of the future direction of financial services. But the most important thing is the overall business climate. Costs of doing business should not increase at a time when the world is in recession and productivity should be improved, "says Nikhil Treebhoohun.

BPO: lower rates of Internet

Seetohul Roshan, president of the Outsourcing & Telecommunication Association of Mauritius (OTAM) requires lower prices on the Internet. Especially at the meeting, says he, Internet rates are three times cheaper than in Mauritius. "This would make the sector more competitive especially as wages and transportation costs have increased," says Roshan Seetohul.

Another recommendation: a favorable exchange rate. "With the strong rupee, traders, especially small businesses, record shortfalls. A favorable exchange rate would allow the industry to remain competitive vis-à-vis its competitors, "says Roshan Seetohul. Other applications: a division between 'retail' and 'wholesale' service telephone operators to promote greater competition, the introduction of an exemption from import duty on computer furniture, the establishment an 'industrial steering committee' for the lack of coherence and coordination on projects affecting the sector, among others.

Sadiq Dawood Ebrahim, Director of Storm Telecom company, wishes, for its part, the government provides 'incentives' to operators so they can participate in international fairs in order to obtain new markets. It also decides to revive the project ICT Academy, but proposes that the government at its own expense as youth who wish to work in the sector.

Construction / real estate:  more social housing and residential homes

In the building too, expectations are not lacking. "The government should come forward with a Master Plan to build more social housing, while protecting local industry from unfair competition from foreign operators through guardrails," recommends Anwar Ramdin, Chairman of the Building & Civil Engineering Contractors Association (BACECA).

Uckoor Gerard, president of the Association of small construction contractors, wishes, for its part, the reintroduction of VAT exemption on residential homes. It also calls for better access to financing. "Banks are reluctant to lend to small businesses and the conditions are really discouraging," says he. It also recommends that the State is more fair when allocating contracts for government projects. "It would also introduce a social contribution of 10% for small contractors for any construction project worth over Rs 100 million," he recommends.

Savreemootoo Laval, president of the Association of Real Estate in Mauritius, wishes that more residential houses for the middle class. "We need the government plans in its budget plans to help the middle class to acquire decent houses in decent areas. That the authorities should buy land with the sugar industry at reasonable prices, including installing residential infrastructure and sell the middle class at affordable prices, with payment facilities and a prime rate, "says it.



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