Mauritius: Limiting inflation at the local level, stabilising the rupee and prices as well as facing challenges for the year 2023 were at the core of the interactive session held yesterday during the sixth Public-Private Sector Joint Committee (PPJC), held at the Hennessy Park Hotel, in Ebène.
The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, in collaboration with the Economic Development Board, organised the PPJC chaired by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy.
Business leaders, industry captains, representatives of industry associations, operators of the private sector as well as officials of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development and the Economic Development Board participated in the event.
The institutions present included the Mauritius Export Association, L’Association des Hoteliers et Restaurateurs de l’Ile Maurice, the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Mauritius Bankers Association, and the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
In a statement after the meeting, Dr Padayachy highlighted the importance of the continued dialogue with captains of the private sector so as to identify key challenges and introduce necessary measures to support them.
He recalled that the Mauritian economy had performed well and that the year 2022 was characterised by a strong recovery. However, he underlined that the Ukraine-Russia conflict has led to imported inflation of more than 75%.
He underscored that Government is looking at production factors in 2023, recalling that a Fast Track Committee has been set up to look into work permit applications for enterprises and associations and how to improve the procedure between the application and approval process.
Dr Padayachy stated that another issue raised during the PPJC was the hike in electricity tariffs. He said that discussions focused on finding solutions for small enterprises so as to limit the impact of the surge. Future inflation and the cost of doing business were also on the agenda.
Furthermore, he stated that indicators and outlook for 2023 as well as economic performance for 2022, will be published end of March. These data, he highlighted, will enable the Government to further improve the economic landscape in 2023.
Speaking about the depreciation of the rupee, Dr Padayachy underlined that the strong demand for currencies had put a lot of pressure on the value of the rupee. He, however, reassured that the Bank of Mauritius is looking into the matter and will take necessary actions.
On the economic front, he highlighted that 2022 was characterised by an economic recovery, adding that this year, the economy is being stabilised. He also dwelt on the need to achieve stability and preserve the banking system.
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development further qualified the measure announced by the Prime Minister that pre-primary schools will be free from the beginning of the 2024 school year as historical. He said that the education system will now be free, starting from the pre-primary level to the tertiary level. He rejoiced that such a measure will be a pillar in the fight against poverty and inequality and will impact the development of all children, especially those who are more vulnerable.
The PPJC is in line with the Government’s objective to foster continued and open dialogue between the public and private sectors and to provide an effective and collaborative platform in view of addressing the challenges faced by our economy and tapping into new opportunities.
It is to be recalled that the PPJC meets on a quarterly basis with the chairpersons of Economic commissions and other business leaders to discuss on matters of economic importance.