Mauritius: The policy dialogue in the context of the preparation of the 2023-2024 Budget continued yesterday, in Port Louis, with the submission of proposals by several Ministers to the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy.
In a statement after the meeting with Dr Padayachy, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, and Minister of Tourism, Louis Steven Obeegadoo, stressed that the construction and delivery of houses by the New Social Living Development Ltd and the National Housing Development Co. Ltd were high on the list of the priorities for the upcoming financial year.
He talked as well of the elaboration of a Master Plan for Rose Hill and Curepipe, which would incorporate the Metro Express Project and future urban endeavours.
Regarding the tourism sector, the Deputy Prime Minister spoke of measures to be implemented so as to achieve the goal of recording tourism earnings equivalent to the levels of 2019, that is, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. These would revolve around the marketing of the Mauritian destination in both traditional and new markets.
The Finance Minister also met with the Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mahen Kumar Seeruttun. The latter’s main proposals for the upcoming Budget concerned the means and ways to boost the attractiveness and raise the visibility of the Mauritius International Financial Centre; nurture local talents and fill the skill gaps in the financial services sector; and develop an environmental, social and governance (ESG) Framework.
As for the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation, Darsanand Balgobin, he spelt out to Dr Renganaden Padayachy his priorities regarding the digitalisation of services across the public sector. He mentioned the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchains to enhance service delivery.
For his part, the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Soodesh Satkam Callichurn, briefed the Finance Minister on the priorities for the different sectors falling under his purview in the context of the preparation of the 2023-2024 Budget.
According to the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, the meeting with Dr Padayachy reviewed the progress made so far in the execution of projects under the 2022-2023 Budget and identified areas of improvement.
Moreover, discussions covered the enhancement of various schemes and the development of a fishing port with all amenities in the southwestern region of Mauritius.
The Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah, met, too, with Dr Padayachy. Her proposals focused on the required financial support to safeguard the interest of children and promote their fundamental rights, to bring women to the forefront through economic empowerment and promotion of entrepreneurship, and to review policies for the social welfare centres in a post-COVID-19 era.
Finally, the Minister of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms, Teeruthraj Hurdoyal, briefed the Finance Minister on his three main priorities for the forthcoming Budget.
These comprise the introduction of a medical scheme for public officers; increasing training programmes in the light of the completion of the construction of the Civil Service College this year; and a new scheme to support mothers with infants and toddlers in the public service.