Mauritius: Government will continue to provide optimal support to employers and employees through various measures, and the allocation of salary compensation of Rs 1 000 across the board, as of January 2023, is a reasonable sum to show recognition to the working class in this economic recovery phase, underscored the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy.
He was speaking at a press conference held yesterday afternoon in the Conference Room of the Ministry in Port Louis.
The Finance Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to place the people at the core of its philosophy as outlined in Budget 2022/2023 entitled With the People, For the People.
Speaking at the Tripartite meeting, Dr Padayachy pointed out that it is an important mechanism in the socio-economic landscape of the country whereby all key stakeholders decide collectively for the welfare of employees through constructive dialogue between different partners.
He commended the solidarity between all social partners, which helped overcome all crises and move towards an upward trajectory.
Elaborating further on economic indicators, Minister Padayachy emphasised that through the concerted efforts of everyone, including representatives of trade unions, employers and employees, following the unprecedented crisis, “we have succeeded in overcoming challenges”.
According to figures published by Statistics Mauritius (SM) in 2022, he underlined, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at a higher rate of 7%, and the inflation rate is estimated at 10.7% by SM adding that the rise in inflation is due to increase in freight.
In 2023, as observed by the Minister, the situation is expected to improve with an inflation rate standing at 5 % or 6 %. “We should continue to work collaboratively while taking into consideration global challenges such as the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war on the international economy”, he stated.
Regarding Governmental measures to assist the population, especially the vulnerable groups, Minister Padayachy spoke of the introduction of the CSG income allowance, providing support of Rs 1,000 every month to some 350,000 employees and registered self-employed individuals in addition to the provision of a bonus in December.
He recalled other various incentives brought forth by the Government against the backdrop of COVID-19 to prevent social and economic chaos comprising the Wage Assistance Scheme benefitted some 540 000 workers, and the Self-Employed Assistance Scheme; and increased subsidies on essential products. The introduction of the minimum salary wage in 2018, which will henceforth stand at Rs 12 075, was also highlighted by the Minister.
Dr Padaychy further mentioned that special consideration had been given to workers through salary compensation while underlying that if the situation is permissible, more measures will be put forth in the next budget to review the basic retirement pension.
As for enterprises facing financial issues with the payment of salary compensation to employees, Government will provide support measures to assist them, he said. This will be tackled on a case-to-case basis, and enterprises may contact the Ministry of Finance, the MRA and Business Mauritius for additional information.