GIS – 20 May, 2020: The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well
as sugar cane and small planters representatives met the Minister of Finance,
Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, this morning, in Port
Louis, for a pre-budget consultative session.
Around 20 representatives of the furniture, metal, and
jewellery SMEs and small planters participated in the meeting, including the
Camp Diable Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Society, Association Planteurs de l’Est, Association des Petits Planteurs,
Top Nature Co Ltd, and the Mauritius Cooperative Agricultural Federation.
In a statement after the meeting, the different stakeholders
stated that the meeting with the Finance Minister was very fruitful and
positive. According to them, the different recommendations made will help to
further improve and consolidate the different sectors which have been greatly
affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. They expressed optimism that the various
proposals will be taken on board in the forthcoming Budget.
Several issues and propositions were voiced out by the
representative. The SME representatives proposed, amongst others, for the
extension of Wage Assistance Scheme till December; the application of a levy on
imported goods so as to encourage the population to buy locally-made products;
extension of moratorium for the repayment of loans; and training in digital
applications so that SMEs are able to keep pace with the latest technologies.
cane planters’ representatives proposed for the VAT
Refund Scheme to be maintained on agricultural equipment, machinery and other
associated accessories; VAT on agricultural equipment like sprayers, farm tool
equipment, seed trays to be waived; and levy on herbicide to be reduced. They
also proposed that cane planters receive a minimum net rate of Rs 25 000 per
tonne of sugar indexed with the cost of living for harvesting season 2020.
As regards vegetable planters,
they suggested the setting up of the Central Wholesale Market and a virtual
platform to help sellers sell their products online. They insisted that it is
imperative to improve the country’s self-sufficiency in terms of agricultural
production, hence, the need to train more agro-entrepreneurs, enhance
technology exchange and capacity building.
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Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius.
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