Most of the announced projects were carried out during the first half of 2013, according to the predetermined schedule. For cons, the deadline for several projects unrealized date is June 2013. We should therefore expect major developments in several areas by next month.
Last week, the Minister of Finance launched a new plan under the Leasing Equipment Modernisation Scheme (LEMS) for exporting companies in the textile sector. This plan of leasing is available in euros and dollars respectively to interest of 2.75% and 2.9% rates. Please note that funding rupee has seen a decline in interest rates from 8.5% to 7.25% since last December, as announced in November.
Among the most anticipated fiscal measures, we note the offer of a touch pad each student to Form IV. At last, 20,000 tablets will be distributed to students involved early in the third quarter of this year. By cons, parliamentarians have had their shelves as announced in the last budget. Also in the field of IT, it is about training online mass collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the beginning announced in June For its part, the BPML (Business Parks of Mauritius Ltd) will come with a project hi-tech industrial park, Rose-Belle.
In the financial sector, the Limited Liability Partnership is on track. Other upcoming projects are legislation on Deposit Insurance, the establishment of a Compensation Fund to help victims of 'hit and run' and the introduction of Ombudsperson for Financial Services as well as strengthening the Borrowers Protection Act. According to the Implementation Chart of the Ministry of Finance, these projects must be no later than June 2013.
In terms of SMEs, it was announced that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) develop the label 'Made with Care at the latest by June 2013. Also, SME Partnership Fund and the NRF Equity Investment Fund will be managed jointly.
As every year, the 'Business Facilitation' plays an important role in the budget. The last time, the budget called for a complete review of the Business Facilitation Act and the idea of extending it to the entire public service, taking a 'whole of government approach'. Last week, the finance minister has even argued that the public expects better public services, after the publication of Manraj report. We therefore expect a revolutionary revision announced for June 2013. Under the same section, the Registrar of Companies will soon accept payments of municipal patent. It is also about eight government departments to accept payments online. To emphasize that the Mauritius Revenue Authority has already adopted this measure.
The institution of a true 'Family Court' is still pending. According to the schedule of implementation, the project should be completed by June 2013. On gambling houses, Budget announced the transfer of these establishments in residential areas to the 'shopping malls'. However, nothing concrete so far.
The 'medical hub' is gradually becoming an important pillar of our economy. To encourage research and biotechnology, a Pre-Clinical Research Bill to facilitate medical research in Mauritius had been announced for April 2013. Note that the Clinical Trials Act has been introduced in 2012.
The Blue Economy
The highlight of the Keynote 2012-2015, namely the development of ocean economy was taken over by the 2013 Budget. The government intends to seek strategic partners for the exploitation of our marine resources. In the same breath, it was also expected that special scholarships are awarded to young professionals who want a career in this field. A sector to follow ...
It was announced that the criteria for conversion of land will be reviewed prior to June 2013 by the Land Conversion Committee. Meanwhile, the number of agricultural grinds increases. The Ministry of Agro-industry has even released a statement to inform the public that no non-agricultural development will be allowed in an agricultural fragmented. Also in the agricultural sector, there is also talk of legislation to encourage landowners to lease their land for cultivation. For cons, the project to subsidize the 'compost' locally produced has already been implemented, with a sum of Rs 40 million allocated for this purpose. But the problem is that farmers have no choice because only the 'compost' provided by a particular producer is eligible.