At the outset, it is very important to remind the Minister of Finance that the country necessitates a “paradigm shift” for a fresh departure with fundamental reforms which might not be an asset politically but to help the country to regenerate financially and in the long term socially.
Despite not being a professional in the Financial Sector, it is understood that the last budget has been sustained by the reserves from the Bank of Mauritius. However, after your “mise en place” as Minister of Finance and introduction of the controversial CSG, it is now time for you and your team to take necessary and responsible steps for the future of citizens of this country.
It is important that the budget be that of Padayachy and not that of the Financial Secretary. I agree with you that the experience will surely help but the population is in quest of “new ways” and “changes”. Status quo or cosmetic changes privileged by the “old school of thoughts” will not meet the aspiration of the citizens of this country.
I am hereby submitting the following proposals :
1. Reform in the public sector.
Taking into consideration the prevailing situation of the private sector, it is the role of the government to provide employment for youngsters. As such, the age for retirement in the public sector should be decreased to 60 years old and for manual workers with a maximum of 30 years of service, consideration may be given for retirement at the age of 55 years. Furthermore, because of Covid-19 it would not be safe for persons over 60 years to continue to work.
2. The Town and Country Planning Act is amended so that the “Economic Development Board” becomes a permit authority for major projects over Rs 25 million. A new committee and a new department will have to be established including urban planners and representatives of concerned ministries. The government should envisage “One Permit Policy” as we have too many permits.
3. Boosting of the agricultural sector for agricultural autonomy (food self-sufficiency). A survey will have to be done by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Housing to take stock of available uncommitted agricultural lands. The uncommitted agricultural lands will have to categorize for livestock (rearing of animals) and plantation of fruits and vegetables and the same will be distributed to unemployed persons. AREU will have to provide for courses and it should be mandatory for farmers to make a declaration of harvest (declaration des recoltes) for follow-up.
4. Incentives for construction of Housing units (New Hosing Schemes)
The interest rate should be reviewed for those wishing to invest in the construction of residential buildings for rent.
5. Construction of 12, 000 Housing Units. Despite that the demand in Mauritius is for low-cost housing, I cannot understand the “precipitation” of the government to invest in housing for the middle class. I am hereby proposing a new entity for the construction of low-cost housing which will recruit Mauritians. We should also be able to distinguish between those seeking a plot of land and they will be able to construct. As such, plots of lands should be subdivided with infrastructures and the same be allocated.
6. The Ministry of Housing will have to come forward with dedicated zoning for small and medium industries. For instance, zoning for industrial developments, for services and farming.
7. Travelling and retirement pensions for persons still working over the age of 60 years should be abolished.
8. Tax rebates for those who have children attending private schools and benefitting from private health care.
9. Local authorities should be abolished and the workers should be redeployed in Ministries. The government cannot continue to inject money into municipalities and district councils. The services should be centralized with CSU Sub Offices in different regions.
10. Tax rebates for the use of sustainable materials in the construction sector.
11. The mandatory labelling for “vegetarian products” should be implemented and the same be extended for “vegan products”.
12. Incentives should be given to Mauritians to encourage local tourism.
13. As previously suggested and ignored, I am appealing to you and the government to include in the forthcoming budget provision for full payment of expenses for patients requiring overseas treatments including air tickets (patient and one person accompanying), accommodation, hospital fees and any other related expenses.
Yours in Peace
Mr Pajani Pariachy Chinasamy (Kavinen)
Bsc in Town and Country Planning
Planning Assistant at the then District Council of Grand Port / Savanne from 2006-2011
Planning Inspector (including assignment of duties as Planning Officer) at the Municipal Council of Curepipe from 2011-2015
Town and Country Planning Officer (TCPO) at the Ministry of Housing and Land Use Planning from 2015-2021
Replacement of the Land Use and Planning Executive as Ag. Senior TCPO in the Ministry of Local Government from August 2019 to November 2019.
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