Mauritius

October 19, 2012

Estimates: Five Cities, Rs 231 Million Deficit

Unprecedented situation! All cities are in the red. And it is not a matter of political color, but rather money. A call for help is launched at the Ministry of Finance.

Each of the five cities will not have enough money to complete its 2013 Budget. They are in a loss position. They fail to complete Rs 231 million next year in good conditions.

This is reflected in the budget that some councils have just given the green light and others will approve next week.

The situation is less desperate than the Quatre-Bornes. The City Council approve the budget next week, with a shortfall of Rs 15 million.

The most critical is that the financial hole Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill will be around Rs 72 million. The budget approved by the City Council of Port Louis, last week announced a loss of Rs 60 million. Curepipe, which approved his Wednesday provides Rs 41 million loss for 2013, while Vacoas / Phoenix bet on a loss of Rs 43 million. Together, they will therefore be short of Rs 231 million.

At the root of this mess, expenses climbing and state subsidies that fall. "The government has cut Rs 52 million in aid it gives us for expenses. Normal that it will pose many problems. We are already in deficit of ten million for the year, but next year it will be catastrophic, "says Sunil Beedassy, ??Mayor of Curepipe.

The only solutions to somehow replenish the coffers are increasing rents properties of the mayor and reviewing municipal lease prices to rise. More urban enter the tank fiscal of the city, while recruitment is frozen until further notice. But despite these provisions, "there will be no money to develop the city," laments Sunil Beedassy.

The Lord Mayor said Mahmad Kodabaccus him, this is the first time that Port-Louis "has a budget deficit." Initially, he said, the loss would be about Rs 120 million: "We were able to reduce the deficit in half by cutting where we could. We can do more. "Last week, the loss approved by the council was Rs 65.6 million, but even more belt tightening, the deficit could be further reduced to Rs 5 million.

At Vacoas-Phoenix, Menon Yetti is in despair. On Wednesday, the City Council approved a budget of Rs 328 million with a deficit of Rs 43 million. "We can not increase the municipal tax as we are unable to provide all the services," said the deputy mayor.

The solution is that the government pays the land it occupies. "Two-thirds of the city center are occupied by the Special Mobile Force (SMF) and another part is occupied by Clarisse House. It is much land for which we get nothing. Should they pay us, we would have had approximately Rs 45 million more in cash, "says Menon Yetti.

If Quatre-Bornes faces a less catastrophic, it is because it has been providing. "The state aid has declined Rs 42 million, but we can get by with a loss of Rs 15 million. Since last year, we have taken steps by cutting overtime and replacing security guards by cameras. As for garbage collection, it is from two to once a week, "says Mayor Arianne Oxenham.

The Villes-Sœurs have approved their budget on Thursday. Mayor Norbert Froget explains that Rs 72 million missing their source in a reduction of the "grant-in-aid" of Rs 42 million. Loss is caused by a wage compensation of Rs 5 million, an increase of Rs 5 million in expenditures, PRB 2008 "which has never been repaid in full" and a shortfall in revenues Plaza, salle de mariage de Plaisance, the library and the incinerator.

"The Minister of Finance has announced that next year will be assigned new values to the properties of the city and the shortfall will be recovered," says Norbert Froget.

The crisis situation that prevails in the cities that mayors want to meet the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Xavier-Luc Duval, and the Minister of Local Government Hervé Aimée to report their difficulties.

 

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