Mauritius: Some 134 beneficiaries, who opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for the Riambel site, received their title deeds for a plot of land of seven perches this morning during a symbolic handing over ceremony at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA), in Réduit.
The Acting Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security; Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Georges Pierre Lesjongard; the Chief Executive Officer of the MCIA, Mr Satish Purmessur; and the Chairman of the Saint Felix Sugar Estates Co Ltd, Mr Jacques Frédéric Robert, were present at the handing over ceremony.
In his address, Minister Lesjonard congratulated the beneficiaries on receiving their title deeds and for their assiduous work, patience and long years of service. He stated that the sugarcane industry had been the very foundation of the development of the Mauritian economy. “The sector,” he underlined, “has great potential and a very bright future,” adding that Government was implementing several measures to support planters and revalorise, modernise and boost the industry.
“Government,” he indicated, “has committed to achieving 60 % of the country’s energy needs from green sources by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve a greener and sustainable environment.” “The energy sector,” he stated, “is closely linked to the sugarcane industry as it is dependent on the latter to produce electricity through renewable energy such as bagasse and biomass.” The Minister called on planters to avail themselves of the various government schemes put at their disposal and make the industry become a more diversified, resilient and prosperous one.
For his part, Mr Purmessur stated that the VRS had been implemented since 2007 in the context of the reform in the sugarcane industry. “The VRS scheme,” he indicated, “ensures that the beneficiaries receive compensation and a grant of a plot of land of seven perches, equipped with all facilities including water, electricity, drain and road infrastructure.”
“As of now, 18,882 persons have benefited from VRS, amounting to a total of Rs 7 billion,” he pointed out.
He also dwelt on the problems encountered by small planters and producers during the past years and was hopeful that the industry would bounce back with all the support being provided by the Government.