Mauritius

November 14, 2012

The Budget 2013 Misses

Budget awaited has already revealed its secrets. While the Prime Minister said that this budget is shaping the future of young people, economists and trade unionists are not the great vision and without economic stimulus, especially in the current difficult international context.

So, what did we miss? The Challenge Economy analyzes the shortcomings budget ...

First, the good news: high speed Internet to Rs 200 per month, a shelf 20,000 students, a hot meal at school 9200, Rs 750 needy children, dirt bikes, taxes, social housing, student loans, training and employability of graduates universities, higher pensions, the renovation of towns and villages, improving service roads, the cinema ticket and other performances exempt from VAT and a range of measures for SMEs.

But beyond these highly commendable initiatives, especially facilitated granted to poor children, however much sought these stimulus measures if needed to strengthen our economic resilience in the face of crisis, it seems, will continue, but wasted. The second budget bagman will surely raise questions among the members of the jury who awarded twice recently. The Prime Minister has reason to attribute our economic resilience to bold reforms undertaken during the era Sithanen. But if the reforms do not go, then how young people prepare for the future?

Public transport: urgent reform

While it was expected to radical reforms in the transport sector, to encourage more people to leave their cars, there will be no plans to improve public transport. Congestion will increase, despite the huge investment in the 'Road Decongestion Programme'. The light-metro project is certainly coming, but you have to go to the evidence that traffic congestion is not only on the corridor Port Louis-Curepipe, but everywhere. It may be worse at the northern entrance of Port Louis, morning and afternoon.

Growth of the vehicle fleet, accelerated with duty-facilitated post-PRB and the availability of leasing, has an impact on the import of fuel and carbon emissions. Poor organization and planning resulting in outdated space stations, while passengers languishing intermediate stops. Between 5:30 and 7:00 in the morning, the buses are almost invisible, and there are hundreds of vans that occupy our roads' lecols vans, and vans carrying workers.

Informal transport is gaining ground, and not to forget, the contest taxis chestnuts. During the day, they are individual bus that create artificial congestion, running at a snail's pace. The current system of free transportation, which excludes many children, including the poor, traveling aboard 'van Lecol' has not been revised to make it more effective.

Long-term strategies

Economic reforms seem to have stopped in 2010. At the time, we had managed to finish with various 'Schemes' or other plans, to create a 'level playing field' for any activity. All contractors were dictated by the laws of the market, while the State merely to eliminate administrative barriers, facilitate investment and improve the business climate. But gradually, we come back with different 'Schemes' with more or less the same goals, to the point that it can create confusion.

Then we no longer tries to find new areas, new niches and no longer generates new ideas. However, our economic opportunities are endless Island. Simply identify. The Africa Strategy is a step in the right direction, but we do not know yet developed the 23 000 hectares of land at our disposal by the Mozambican government.

A bike for all

Give more mobility to people with a motorcycle policy for all is laudable, but do we also thought about infrastructure? Our roads are designed forgetting two important groups of users: motorcyclists and pedestrians. More than 7,500 motorcycles were sold from January to October 2012, and this number will increase by December. It was imperative to open schools to train regional motorcycle riders on the safety aspect. For cons, the idea of establishing a form of compensation for victims of 'hit and run' is welcome. However, all victims of road accidents (or in some cases their families) should be eligible, with funds drawn from revenues from fines.

Tablets Free

It is understood that the Form 4 students use their tablets to college, where their classrooms will be equipped with Wi-Fi. By cons, they will probably subscribe to a bouquet Internet to connect to the home. However, it was necessary to give a tablet to all students without distinction, when we know that those from affluent backgrounds have better than that? Targeting would have allowed more needy to qualify for this offer.

Hot meals to schoolchildren

Good initiative but we need schools are also equipped with kitchen and dining suitable. This is also an opportunity to use the nutrition experts to educate our children to school on good food at an early age so that they cease to fulfill their bellies all these 'gonaz' sweetened Asia flooding our local tobacconist.

Maurice Ile Durable: absent Budget

Surprising, but the term 'Maurice Ile Durable' is absent in the Budget Speech 2013. However, since 2008, 'Maurice Ile Durable' became a refrain in all essential official speeches and pamphlets. This term appears six times in the 2008-2009 Budget, 4 times in the interim 2009, also 4 times in Budgets 2010 and 2011 and once in Budget 2012. For 2013, the sentence was deleted completely. However, it appears many times in the speech program 2012-2015.

However, some measures have been announced in this direction, namely a reduced paper consumption by the public sector, the adoption of online services, especially for the payment of licenses, wind farms in the lagoon at Rodrigues, a Budget Rs 30 million for the general cleaning of roads and Rs 200 million for solar water heaters, among others. But is it enough?

Those who expected more incentives to encourage investment in photovoltaic panels are disappointed. No new ecological project for the treatment of medical waste incineration archaic system being net phase with our modern concept of 'Medical Hub'.

Fiscal Policy

No change next year, at the amount of personal tax deductions. By cons, spending on medical insurance are deductible up to Rs 12,000. This will give a new boost to the market for health insurance. To stimulate the insurance industry stagnant and encourage a culture of always being insured, other types of insurance such as Home Insurance, should also have been deductible.

On real estate, tax measures, including the exemption from Land Tax Conversion for construction projects of factories or schools, exemption from registration fees for a first real estate acquisition and permission to foreign holders of certain types of homes allowed to buy an apartment in Mauritius revive the construction sector. However, we must also review the plans IRS and RES in order not to saturate the area, as the sale of apartments to foreigners have a negative impact on the sale of villas RES.

SMEs

Budget 2013, as well as previous Budgets, spends much of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Access to finance is also discussed. Small shops in city centers and villages benefit from measures to renovate their premises in order to compete with the stores 'shoppings malls'. However, tariffs will be refunded on items on a list only if the predetermined investments exceed Rs 10 million, which is already many shops offside. Also, one of the main factors that affect small businesses is the availability of parking spaces, which scares customers in favor of 'shoppings malls'.

Must develop spacious parking areas in the nerve centers of towns and villages that businesses retain their customers. On the other hand, the threshold for VAT registration password Rs 2 million to Rs 4 million. The objective is to reduce the administrative burden on SMEs. It is not known if this new measure will allow the 'unregister' companies already listed.

Ocean State

While the keynote speech presented last April gives pride to the ocean state, there is only one passing mention in the budget, to the effect that Maurice seek strategic partners. However, the exploitation of our water is not limited to the search for mineral or oil, but also includes fishing, seaweed farming, energy waves, 'Land-Based Oceanic Industry, still pending, and other interesting opportunities. Unfortunately, the budget does not actually reflected in details and track to adopt any policy to encourage investment.

Tourism

In the absence of clarification of our policy of air access, the Budget calls for direct flights by Air Mauritius to China and Russia, two large potential markets. Hopefully we will also be provision for the training of employees in the sector, especially in learning Mandarin and Russian languages and cultures. Other countries with high potential for tourism to Mauritius, like Pakistan, Malaysia and Korea, are neglected.

Business climate

The payment of 'Trade Fee, the Registrar of Companies (RoC) will only transfer the long queues of local councils to the office of RoC downtown! The ideal would have been to abolish the Trade Fee and incorporate it into the Income Tax. After the abolition of the 'Trade License', there is not long, it is time to abolish the Trade Fee, which has several disadvantages: The Trade Fee must be paid before the start of an economic activity, the impact on the budget of small businesses.

The Trade Fee is discriminatory and regressive, because the amount per activity is the same, regardless of the turnover. In some cases, the annual amount to be paid even if the activity starts in the middle of the fiscal year. On foreign government policy changes too often, creating instability among the expatriate community.

Sometimes we give permits to those earning a salary of Rs 30,000, sometimes increases the threshold to Rs 75,000, then it is back to Rs 45,000 and Rs 30,000 then for some areas! At first, we were promised a permanent residence permit after three years to certain categories of expatriates, with the option to buy a property anywhere, which prompted many foreigners to sell everything in their country to settle here, and then be told that the permanent license is not automatic, and only entitles an apartment only.

 

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