GIS – 13 June, 2019: Budget 2019-2020, with a series of measures announced to consolidate the productive sectors, to reach a higher social development path and that are based on continuity while expressing Government’s vision, continues to take into consideration and targets all social categories so that we can embrace a brighter future together as a nation.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement, yesterday, during a television interview organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in collaboration with the Economic Development Board and the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation in Ebène. His intervention focussed on measures announced in Budget 2019-2020 and aimed at shedding light on some of these measures.
Prime Minister Jugnauth recalled that, in line with Government’s innovative development strategy and its aim of transforming the country into a digital economy, Budget 2019-2020 puts emphasis on the need to equip youths with the required skills, and to that end a range of courses will be offered in areas including Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Fintech. Furthermore, the Budget makes provision for another Governmental measure to boost productivity by maximising the skills and talents of youths through the provision of training that is relevant to the job market. To this end, a National Skills Matching Platform, to assess the training requirement of job applicants and direct them towards the relevant employability scheme with the guarantee of a job at the end, will be created.
This Budget, he added, also focusses on several other areas such as: expanding and modernising our infrastructure; dealing with the challenges facing the sugar and manufacturing sectors, including textiles; investing in new pillars of growth; and further opening up and integrating our economy with the rest of the world. It also takes into account the investment in the education, training and other skills needed by the youth, so that they are better prepared for the future. Measures have also been proposed to address the impact of demographic change, promote a more inclusive and equitable society and further address the problem of poverty as well as building greater resilience to the impact of climate change.
Speaking about the repayment of public debt, the Prime Minister stated that the statutory requirement was to bring it down to 60 percent as a ratio of Gross Domestic Product by end of June 2021, but that Government plans to reach this target much earlier. This will be done by generating revenue from ongoing projects as well as using part of the accumulated undistributed surplus held at the Bank of Mauritius, as the country’s reserves increased by Rs 117 billion during the last four years to reach Rs 241 billion, that is, by 94 percent, and now representing 11.2 months of import cover. It is recalled that the Bank of Mauritius indicated, in a communique, that it is an acceptable international practice by central banks to hold official foreign exchange reserves in support of a range of objectives including, inter alia, to assist governments in meeting their external debt obligations.
With regard to global situations such as Brexit or the increasing price of petroleum products which will have an impact on Mauritius, Prime Minister Jugnauth said that the measures enunciated in Budget 2019-2020 will help to bring more economic growth for the country in forthcoming years. Government will do its uttermost to be as far-sighted as possible so as to cater for the needs of the population, he added.
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