- 27 November, 2017:
The first payment of Negative Income Tax (NIT) allowance to beneficiaries was effected on Friday 24 November 2017 at the seat of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) in Port Louis in the presence of the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
Cheques were handed over symbolically to some thirteen beneficiaries under the NIT scheme which came into effect as from 1st July 2017. Out of the 21 800 applications received, 12 100 persons have already benefitted from an allocation. The NIT consists of a financial support from the Government to be effected by the MRA on a quarterly basis to employees whose basic salary is less than or equal to Rs 9 900 monthly.
In his address, the Prime Minister expressed his appreciation on the early implementation of the NIT previously forecasted for January 2018 and lauded the MRA for the zeal and hard work in making the project a reality. According to him, such measure is a landmark achievement for Mauritius which he added is among the few countries in the world that have successfully implemented such a scheme.
He recalled that the measure of NIT was announced in his summing up speech to the Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017 as a means to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and reduce inequality hence contributing to poverty alleviation in the country. Such measure, he added will help bring social justice and improve the quality of life for those at the lower rung of the social ladder while helping them integrate the mainstream society. He reassured each and every one that the share of growth should be fairly distributed among all segments of the population.
For his part, the Director General of the MRA, Mr Sudhamo Lal, welcomed the NIT initiative as a challenge and a change in the mandate of the MRA from a mere collector of taxes to both a collector and distributor of taxpayers’ money. He expressed his satisfaction that the MRA is called upon to distribute part of the revenues it has been collecting to needy people and be part of the endeavour to directly contribute to poverty alleviation.
The Negative Income Tax system will provide financial support to some 150 000 employees in full time employment, and earning emoluments less than or equal to Rs 9 900 monthly.
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