GIS – 24 June 2020: The major part of the provision for additional Government expenditure made under the Supplementary Appropriation (2019-2020) Bill (No. IV of 2020) is driven by the unpredictable disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, a total of MUR 28.7 billion of these additional expenses are linked to the COVID-19.
This statement was made, yesterday at the National Assembly, by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, in his summing up speech on the Supplementary Appropriation (2019-2020) Bill.
For the Minister, the course of the world has changed and called for a prompt response to face the challenge posed by the pandemic and Government acted swiftly to protect the nation, businesses and citizens against the virus. The lives of 1.3 million of Mauritians were at stake and therefore all resources, including financial, have been mobilised, he highlighted. These expenses could not have been foreseen, he further added.
On the Wage Assistance Scheme, Dr Padayachy explained that for June 2020, Government will continue to pay the allowance of one month's basic salary for those who earn up to MUR 50 000 rupees monthly, with a ceiling of MUR 25 000. This concerns employees in the tourism sector and employees of companies who had not been authorised to work until the curfew had been completely lifted, and an allowance of MUR 5 100 to self-employed workers in the tourism sector who faced this very same predicament.
In Budget 2020-2021, the provision of MUR 8 billion has been made for the Wage Assistance Scheme as part of the Centrally Managed Initiatives of Government, the Minister recalled. This will apply for the period starting 01 July 2020. An additional MUR 7 billion has been allocated for this purpose through several other public institutions.
As regards the national air carrier, Dr Padayachy observed that Air Mauritius is currently in a precarious financial situation accentuated by COVID-19. The company is presently under voluntary administration to safeguard its interests and those of all stakeholders, he stated. The nine billion rupees allocated under the National Resilience Fund will be mainly in the shape of a capital injection into the company, he added.
It is recalled that the Supplementary Appropriation (2019-2020) Bill (No. IV of 2020) makes provision for an additional financial allocation of thirty-three billion and seven hundred million rupees (Rs 33,700,000,000), with regards to Government expenditure for financial year 2019-2020. It aims at providing for the supplementary appropriation, by votes of expenditure, both recurrent and capital, in respect of services of Government for the financial year 2019-2020, in excess of the expenditure appropriated by the Appropriation (2019-2020) Act 2019.
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