September 17, 2012

Budget 2013: State Support Requested

A few weeks before the presentation of the 2013 budget by the Finance Minister on November 9, the expectations of various economic operators to specify.

They cite, among others, the need for incentives to attract foreign investment and boost the construction industry and fishing. Others are waiting for the real estate taxes are not revised upwards. The Mauritius Employers' Federation (MEF) decides it for a public-private partnership for training.

FISHING: "Priorities in a cold room and a fund for fleet renewal"

Objective: To develop the sector. To do this, the Lord Sea Fishing (SLF) wants to build a cold room in the port area. Fish back benches by Mauritian fishing boats will be also discussed. This organization also requires an allowance for the renewal of the fleet of boats. 

According Hemraz Ghina, CEO of the SLF, the cold will enable Mauritian fishing boats unload their catch faster during the right season, especially in summer. In doing so, they can take a larger number of fishing trips.

"These facilities will help attract a larger number of fishing boats in Port Louis and will benefit the shipyards also adds Hemraz Ghina. This will help companies better Mauritian fishing supply the local market. We will also be able to produce value-added products. "

CONSTRUCTION: "Attracting Foreign Investment"

The finding in the building sector is clear: growth continues to decline. And for the restart, a solution is to attract foreign investment, says Nicolas Pougnet, director general of the Building & Civil Engineering Co Ltd. "It is not new large private projects start in the near future. Integrated Resorts Scheme projects are scarce, "he said. Consequence: this could result in a loss of jobs in the sector. 

It regrets, however, that the authorities are taking too long to deal with matters relating to investment projects. "Another problem is that we do not operate on an equal footing with foreign companies building. There is unfair competition, "says Nicolas Pougnet.

AGRICULTURE: "A package to boost revenues sugarcane"

Maintaining the "80% advance scheme" for small and medium farmers. It is claimed that the Planters' Reform Association (PFA). The assistance of the Bank of Mauritius in this sense is a necessity. "In the wake of the 36% decrease in the price of sugar, it helps to ensure early season sugar, a level of income adequate to cover the operating costs that continue to take the elevator," says Salil Roy, president of the PRA.

In the wake of the government and in 2012-15 pending a final formula that meets the expectations of farmers about the bagasse they provide to Independent Power Producers (IPP), it will in the short term, a interim package to boost revenues sugarcane that plateau. PRA offers is the increase in the budget to Field Operations Regrouping and Irrigation Project. The goal is that it can reach as quickly as some 13,000 cane growers.

Another need: to increase funding Planters' Harvest Scheme and reduce the rate of interest thereon. This, so that small and medium enterprises and other entrepreneurs to invest more in buying agricultural equipment. This will help alleviate the shortage of labor. In return, adds the PRA, it will require beneficiaries to provide their services at competitive rates.

The PRA also proposes to maintain the tax refund on the value of purchases of agricultural equipment, create a fund for rapid rehabilitation and structured land formerly under cane cultivation but now abandoned. Also, open space for new Fairtrade cooperatives according to market opportunities.

ESTATE: "Do not raise taxes"

Mauritius is a crossroads, says Sagiterra Limited, the real estate arm of Terra (formerly Harel Frères). "We are in a buyers' market with investment opportunities everywhere, whether in grinds or apartment building," argues Bernard de Marigny Desvaux, General Manager Sagiterra.

Land, he says, remains a safe bet and will continue to invest in Mauritius. But it is "demanding research and quality, proximity to services and return on investment."

Continued: the real estate market is one of the few who resist the crisis and the government must protect. "We expect this budget that the range of taxes affecting this sector is not revised upwards. For each sale of a residential lot, the amount of taxes is about 35% of the sale price, "suggests Bernard de Marigny Desvaux. For him, "the government must facilitate the obtaining of various permits, including land conversion, grinds and also the Environment Impact Assessment. It currently takes about eighteen months to get a letter of intent. This is too much. "

TEXTILE: "Encouraging investment in equipment "

The memory of the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) will focus on two points. First, incentives for investment in factories, machinery and equipment.

Currently, investment in production tools and export is very low. "This could have serious consequences in the future for the export sector and manufacturing. Productivity and quality will go down and it will affect our competitiveness, "claims Yogesh Singh, president of the MEXA.

Another expectation: "The incentives for training in the manufacturing sector," he said.

OFFSHORE: "Encourage the arrival of foreign professionals"

According Hawabhay Kamal, president of the Association of Trust and Management Companies, measures are needed to increase the substance in offshore activities. This can be done through incentives for the establishment of foreign Assets Managers in Mauritius.

"There are plenty of Assets Managers who want to come and provide services to investment funds that are in Mauritius and abroad. To attract them, he will give them incentives, particularly in terms of the value added tax. It will also encourage aircraft and shipping companies to register in Mauritius. For this, the government should use the services of an expert, "said Kamal Hawabhay.

TRAINING: "For a national training strategy"

Among the priorities of the MEF: training. "We must invest more in education and training institutions, mainly because of the economic situation. It will be a good signal. Must focus on training and skills development, "says Azad Jeetun, Director of MEF.

In fact, he says, "it takes a national training strategy." He emphasized that "we have reached a level of development where training must play a crucial role in improving the country's growth and employability." 
second priority for MEF: reducing the rate of youth unemployment. They should receive special attention in order to better integrate into the world of work, said Azad Jeetun. To do this, he says, it takes a targeted training and public-private partnership.  

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