GIS – 14 May, 2020: The economic machinery is set to take off
once again as Mauritius enters the second phase, that of reconstruction, and prepares
to lift the lockdown on 1st June 2020. Hence, the importance of the COVID-19
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill in initiating a gradual, robust and coordinated
resumption of activities.
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and
Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, made this observation, today, at the
National Assembly, in Port Louis, during his speech on the COVID-19
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.
The Bill, he indicated, has been designed
based on a logic of redistribution and innovation. “At a time when this health
crisis has shaken many of our convictions, we need to rethink our model and
accelerate the transition that started almost five years ago, and with the COVID-19
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, we are giving ourselves the means to achieve
our goals,” he emphasised.
. Strategic investments,
social justice and flexibility will be the credos of the country’s economy post-Covid-19,
In terms of strategic investments, the
Minister recalled that the Bill will introduce the possibility for the Board of
Directors of the Bank of Mauritius (BoM) to invest, at its discretion and
independently, in the Mauritian economy.
As it is, the BoM owns reserves equivalent over a twelve-month period
and these reserves are currently invested on the international front. Accordingly,
by amending the BoM Act, the reserves of the BoM will be used for the benefit
of Mauritians, stressed the Minister.
The objective is, in the immediate future, to preserve the country’s
economic and banking system in line with the BoM’s mandate, and, in the long
term, to generate positive returns to increase national wealth for the benefit
of the present and future generations.
For Dr Padayachy, in terms of social justice, the
Bill is supporting the most vulnerable groups of Mauritius. Only companies which are financially robust
will be called upon, through the
Covid-19 Levy, to contribute in this collective national effort. Thus, only profitable companies that have
benefited from the Wage Support Scheme will bring in their contribution. The
Minister further recalled that the Scheme has helped around 260 000 employees
while the Self-Employed Assistance Scheme has relieved more than 180 000
self-employed and informal workers.
Regarding the proposed revision to the Income
Tax Act, the Finance Minister remarked that this will allow the Covid-19
Solidarity Fund contributors to deduct the amounts from their tax base. In addition, Government is being flexible towards those
who are experiencing great difficulties, he pointed out. To that end, the Companies Act, the
Foundations Act, the Mauritius Revenue Authority Act, the Insolvency Act and
the Limited Liability Partnership Act will be amended, by extensions of
deadlines or by revisions of thresholds, taking into account the current
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