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  • Federal streamer seized by MRA’s Customs Anti-Narcotics Section


    GIS – 19 April, 2019: A federal streamer has been seized on Wednesday 17 April, 2019, by the Customs Anti-Narcotics Section (CANS) of the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) from the luggage of a Zimbabwean while he was leaving through the Green Channel of the SSR International Airport.
    When the passenger was questioned by CANS officers about the presence of the federal streamer in his luggage, he revealed that the streamer was for his own security and that he did not know if it was illegal in Mauritius.
     
    The federal streamer was secured and the case was referred to the Airport Police for further enquiry. The Zimbabwean has been arrested.  The 35 year-old cook arrived on board the Kenya Airways flight KQ270 from Nairobi and he intended to stay in a hotel in Grand Bay.
     
    It is recalled that the MRA aims at combating corruption and other fraudulent activities such as tax evasion, smuggling and drugs tracking.  It also has as objective to protect and facilitate legitimate trade and industrial development and uphold the Mauritius’ trading integrity.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Mauritius’ Financial Services sector is reliable and in conformity to international standards, says Minister Sesungkur


    GIS - 19 April, 2019: Mauritius meets all the international requirements of the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action 5 and therefore does not have any harmful practices in its tax regimes, according to the reports of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 
    The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, made this statement yesterday, during a press conference in Ebène.
    He recalled that Mauritius as a member of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) underwent a mutual evaluation on the country’s level of compliance with the FATF forty recommendations and the level of effectiveness of its Anti-Money Laundering / Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) which was carried out by experts from ESAAMLG Secretariat in June 2017.
    The Mutual Evaluation Report (MER), he said, contained a number of shortcomings regarding quality and consistency, including misinterpretation of the FATF Assessment Methodology and incomplete and inconsistent analysis of qualitative and quantitative data; and flagrant violations of the mutual evaluation procedures of ESAAMLG.
    The Minister stressed that the Government of Mauritius subsequently introduced a number of amendments to the AML and CFT framework in its commitment to implementing the recommended actions to address the shortcomings identified in the MER and submitted an application for the Technical Compliance re-rating of a number of the FATF recommendations. The re-evaluation of the Mauritian jurisdiction by the two European regulators on harmful tax practices of Preferential Tax Regimes, he pointed out, clearly shows that Mauritius conform to the international requirements and regulations while giving a new credibility to the Mauritian jurisdiction.
    The Minister reiterated the commitment of Mauritius to strengthen both its institutional and legal frameworks for combating money laundering and terrorism financing and reassured operators of the country’s strong and reliable financial services sector.   
    Mauritius is a member of the ESAAMLG since 1999. As such, it endorsed the recommendations of the FATF and committed itself to implement these recommendations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Winners of Heritage Short Film Competition announced


    GIS - 19 April, 2019: The winners of the third edition of the Heritage Short Film Competition were announced, yesterday, during an award ceremony held at the Serge Constantin Theatre in Vacoas. The competition organised in the context of the International Day for Monuments and Sites 2019, is an initiative of the National Heritage Fund (NHF) and the Mauritius Film Development Corporation which aims at creating awareness on historical sites in Mauritius.
    Present on this occasion, the Chairman of the NHF, Mr V. Ramchurn, stated that the International Day for Monuments and Sites, provides an opportunity for each and every one to go back in time and reflect on the relevance of rural landscapes and cultural heritage, the challenges and benefits that encompass their conservation, and the correlation between rural landscapes and sustainable development. He added that it is vital to foster communication among the public and encourage them to preserve the richness of rural landscapes, cultures and traditions as well as various art forms.
     
    The Heritage Short Film Competition, Mr V. Ramchurn recalled, has become an annual feature in the calendar of activities of the NHF and contributes to encouraging the youth to demonstrate their skills and talents, come up with innovative ideas and plots to represent the significance of cultural sites in short films. This involvement, he added, contributes to the country’s rich cultural heritage for the promotion and protection of the sites among the population.
     
    On this occasion, winners of a painting competition on the theme “Rural Landscapes” under different categories were also rewarded.
     
    Heritage Short Film Competition Winners
     
    14 entries were received for the competition on the theme of “Nou Leritaz nou fierte”. The winners are as follows:
     
    First prize- Mr Manish Ramrooch for the L’Empreinte des Hollandais
    Second prize – Mr Varun Nunkoo for the short film Belle Mare Sugar Factory
    Third prize- Mr Naureck Wally for the short film La Citadelle
    Fourth Prize- Mr Ramprosand Rasesh for the short film Dhanyavad
    Fifth Prize - Mr Jeewooth Dhunnarain for the short film Janta
         Special jury award - Mr Arjun Saccaram for short film Dubreuil Village di the
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Mauritian Gold Medalists in Gymnastics honoured for their outstanding performances


    GIS – 19 April, 2019: Three young Mauritian Gold Medalists in Gymnastics, aged seven and twelve years, were awarded trophies in recognition of their outstanding performances at the Thailand Moose Games 2019, by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, during a ceremony held today in Port-Louis. The three gymnasts are: Iresha Sookalingum, Arshiya Hassarup and Megan Ester Gracieuse.
    Addressing the Gold Medalists, Minister Toussaint lauded their success and achievement in making Mauritius shine on the international level.  It is impressive that such young children have distinguished themselves by performing so well in Gymnastics, he pointed out.  It is high time to motivate and support the younger generation to get involved in sports which are associated with strong values such as discipline and determination, he further stated.
     
    In addition, the Minister stated that no stone will be left unturned by his Ministry in giving due recognition to Mauritian sportspersons for their achievements and in providing all necessary means to ensure the success of athletes.  He also dwelt on the various measures being implemented to encourage citizens adopt a sports culture as well as the ongoing preparations with regards to the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games which Mauritius is hosting this year.
     
    Speaking about the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, Mr Toussaint indicated that options for sending Mauritian athletes to the Games are being examined and that the young Mauritian Gold Medalists in Gymnastics at the 2019 Thailand Moose Games have the capacity to compete in these Olympic Games.
     
    The Thailand Moose Games
     
    The Thailand Moose Games is a competition for new Gymnasts who want to gain more experience in a competitive environment.
     
    On 30 and 31 March 2019, three young Mauritian athletes, namely Iresha Sookalingum and Arshiya Hassarup both aged twelve years old, and seven-year old Megan Ester Gracieuse, participated in the Moose Games Gymnastics Competition 2019 in Bangkok.  Gymnasts from 15 clubs across Thailand as well as 10 schools from overseas were represented at the competition.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Defining sustainable roadmaps for the Textile and Apparel Industry of Mauritius


    GIS - 19 April, 2019: The manufacturing, textile and apparel sector has supported the economic upheaval of several families in Mauritius and it is undeniable that the industry is facing several challenges today, both internally and externally.  Mauritius is also threatened by increased competition from countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and other East-Asian economies which still have the boon of cheap labour to produce their goods at prices which are much lower than what our country can.
    To address the challenges in the Textile and Apparel Industry, the Economic Development Board (EDB) thus organised a two-day workshop at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, in Balaclava, and which kicked off yesterday.  The workshop has as objective to consult stakeholders and obtain proposals in view of defining sustainable roadmaps for the Textile and Apparel Industry to ensure their long run survival and improve their contributions to the national income of Mauritius.
     
    The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, addressed, today, stakeholders of the Textile and Apparel Industry attending the second leg of the workshop.  He spoke of the need to rethink of the industry from the production point of view.  The solutions are here, he said, but there is still certain reluctance, or even resistance, from the industry to adapt to the changing demands of the sector.
     
    Technology, Minister Seeruttun highlighted, offers a solution to the productivity dilemma that Mauritius is facing.  Already, certain textile factories have invested massively in upgrading their machinery and are deploying Industry 4.0 dynamics across their operations, he indicated.  Sensors, Internet of Things devices and robotics have changed the game in the industry, and the increased cost of labour in Mauritius isn’t an excuse for failure either, he remarked.
     
    Moreover, the Minister acknowledged that the implementation of such solutions can be costly, and this is why, he emphasised, over the last few years a plethora of measures have been implemented to support the growth of the manufacturing sector, including textile and apparel.  These include: an annual Investment Tax Credit of 5% over three years in high-tech manufacturing equipment; an accelerated depreciation of 50% on machinery; and, taxing 3% of profits derived from exports of goods as compared to 15% previously.
     
    According to him, these measures have been put in place to encourage manufacturers invest more in better machinery by reducing the effective cost of such investments and by increasing available funds for reinvestment.  Finally, Government has set up three major industrial parks in Riche Terre, Côte d’Or and Rose Belle, and thus, some factories and warehouses are already under construction.  With these developments, where the Government has provided land at subsidised rates, we have ensured that development is scattered across Mauritius so that no one is left behind, the Minister added.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Financial services sector is here to stay for a long time and has glorious days ahead, says Minister Sesungkur


    GIS – 18 April, 2019: Government is leaving no stone unturned to build the country’s brand image. Our performance regionally and globally is a testimony that the Mauritius International Financial Centre has been successful in building its brand and the sector is here to stay for a long time and has glorious days ahead.
    The Minister of Financial Services and Good Governance, Mr Dharmendar Sesungkur, made this statement on 16 April 2019 at the National Assembly, in reply to a Parliamentary Question related to the Global Business Sector.
     
    The Minister highlighted that relentless Governmental efforts have enabled Mauritius to successfully build its brand and consequently perform well on several global indices. He indicated that Mauritius was ranked 1st in Africa and 20th globally in the Ease of Doing Business Index; 1st in Sub-Saharan countries and 49th globally in the Global Competitiveness Index; 1st in Africa and 39th globally for Best Country for Business by Forbes; 1st in Africa for Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance; 1st in Africa and 8th for the Economic Freedom of the World; and 1st in African Transformation Index.
     
    On that score, Minister Sesungkur underlined that Mauritius has a relatively large Global Business Sector with aggregated assets valued at USD 686Bn which is approximately 50 times the size of its GDP.  Contribution of the Global Business sector to the GDP of Mauritius, he added, is estimated at 5.7% in 2018/2019 and has produced a year-on-year growth of 4.0%.
     
    Mauritius, Mr Sesungkur pointed out, has always had a primary role in channeling capital and foreign direct investment to major economies during the past 25 years, and has built up a strong reputation as an International Financial Centre (IFC).  Many investors, he emphasised, have chosen the Mauritius IFC to conduct their business, while adding that the Afrexim Bank has decided to set up their headquarters for the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), in Mauritius.
     
    Moreover, with regard to the taxing by India of 100% of capital gains realised by a Mauritius entity, the Minister indicated that whenever a Mauritius Fund disposes its shares in India, as per Article 13 of the amended DTAA between India and Mauritius and clearly stipulated in its Subsection 3A, it gains from the disposal of shares acquired prior to 1st April 2017 and will be exempted of capital gains tax, irrespective of the date of disposal.   Our figures show that the value of direct investments in India through Global Business companies has remained more or less stable at USD 117.6 Bn as at June 2018, he added.
     
    The Minister underlined that Government is well aware of the strategic importance of the Indian market for the future growth of our IFC and is gearing up efforts to be in the leading position.  Over the years, he observed, Mauritius has contributed significantly in respect to investment flows to India, remaining the second largest provider of investment into India, after Singapore.  Since April 2000 up to December 2018, the Mauritius IFC has contributed around 32% of the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Equity inflows into India.
     
    According to the Minister, it is essential for Mauritius to have a good visibility along with a strong credibility, trust and confidence in order to yield productivity. He emphasised that to resolutely pursue our ambition of becoming a world class IFC of repute, Government has brought vast reforms to build trust and confidence in the Mauritius IFC. In this context, to further enhance the image and reputation of the Mauritius IFC, Government has agreed to make a few additional refinements to the Partial Exemption System following observations made by the Code of Conduct Group (COCG) of the European Union to enable Mauritius restore its reputation as a compliant jurisdiction for the EU.
     
    Furthermore, Minister Sesungkur reiterated Government’s aim to put adequate financial and other resources to drive future growth and development of our financial services sector.  He enumerated some key projects to this end, namely: the elaboration of a vision plan and in this context a Blueprint Report to envision the financial sector for the next 10 years that was launched in 2018; the enlistment of the services of Public Relations Firm Burson Cohne and Wolfe to improve the image and reputation of Mauritius IFC; and, the setting up of a Fintech Committee to build a competitive edge in the field of fintech and blockchain.
     
    The Minister also recalled that after the establishment of the regional IMF (AFRITAC) Training Centre in Mauritius, in March 2019, the OECD has set up its Regional Centre of Excellence in Mauritius, which is a testimony of the trust that will surely enhance our international credibility as a Financial Centre.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • IOIG 2019: Prime Minister expresses his satisfaction with regards to works achieved at Côte d’Or Sports Complex


    GIS - 18 April, 2019: The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, expressed his satisfaction with regards to the works being carried out on schedule for the construction of the new Sports Complex during a site visit effected, yesterday, at Côte d’Or. The objective of this visit was to take stock of the ongoing works for the construction of a new Sports Complex in relation with the Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) 2019.
    The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint and other personalities were also present for the site visit.
     
    The Prime minister highlighted that according to latest updates given by the Mauritius Multi-sports Infrastructure Ltd experts, the construction of the Complex will be completed in due time, adding that the overall construction work underway is going in the right direction.
     
    Prime Minister Jugnauth pointed out that after its completion, the Côte d’Or Sports Complex will not only be the centre of sporting activity in Mauritius but a flagship for sporting achievement and training.
     
    Mr Jugnauth underscored that this Sports Complex is in line with the Government’s mission at becoming the Sports Hub of the Indian Ocean region. These facilities will be designed and planned to the highest international standards, he further stated, and the Complex is expected to become a catalyst for sporting achievement from across the country.
     
    For his part, Minister Toussaint reiterated his statement that the Sports Complex will be ready to host the swimming and judo competition for the IOIG 2019. He pointed out that around 70% of the construction works are completed and expressed satisfaction with regards to the progress achieved pertaining to the ongoing upgrading works.
     
     
    The Côte d’Or Sports Complex
     
    The complex will comprise a multi-sport stadium, an athletic track and multi-sport arena providing basketball and volleyball courts, with facilities for boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, yoga, and gymnastics. It will also include a swimming arena with Olympic size pool, diving facilities and training pools.
     
    The objective of the construction of this Sports Complex is to provide local and international athletes with proper sports infrastructures both during and after the IOIG 2019. The activities and events at Côte d’Or Sports Complex are expected to inspire people, locally and internationally, of all ages and communities to get involved in sport, fitness, and healthy lifestyle programmes.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Economic growth, employment, and foreign investment are on a rising trend, affirms Prime Minister Jugnauth


    GIS - 18 April, 2019: Government has put in place several economic policies in a bid to spur growth, create jobs, improve employability, and attract foreign investors. The rate of unemployment is presently at its lowest since 2001; and the rate of economic growth and foreign investment are steadfastly rising.
    This statement was made on, Tuesday, 16 February 2019, by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, in the National Assembly in reply to a Parliamentary Question on economic indicators with regard to youth unemployment, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
     
    Speaking on the rate of unemployment, the Prime Minister indicated that it has been on a clear declining trend for the past three years adding that the rate of unemployment fell from 7.1% in 2017 to 6.9% in 2018. The number of workers has increased from 559 200 workers in 2014 to 573 100 in 2018, he said. This, he underlined, is indicative of the expansion of the growth potential of the economy
     
    Furthermore, he underlined that the youth unemployment rate, stood at 25.1% in 2018 and added that it also includes young people who are enrolled in part time courses at the Open University, tertiary institutions and other training establishments and  are in search for a job.  According to statistics, 52% of the unemployed youth find employment in less than 5 months and in almost all countries around the world, the rate of unemployment among young people is higher than the overall unemployment rate, he added.
     
    As regards the growth path of the economy, the Prime Minister underlined that the growth rate, is firmly on a rising trend, while adding that for the past three years including 2018, the growth rates have increased and stand at 3.8%. He recalled that GDP declined since 2009 with GDP growth reaching as low as 3.4% in 2013.
     
    The Prime Minister further indicated that according to Statistics Mauritius, the growth rate is estimated to be at 3.9% for 2019 and added that the International Monetary Fund is forecasting a growth rate of 3.9% for both 2019 and 2020 and 4% in the medium term. He also dwelt on Moody’s,  according to which, Government’s proactive approach via a wide range of projects and measures will support GDP growth of around 4% in 2019 and 2020.
     
    Prime Minister Jugnauth, also highlighted that in 2017, FDI inflows reached the highest level ever recorded that is, Rs 21.2 billion and added that for 2018, they are estimated at Rs 17.4 billion. These figures, he underscored, testify the growing confidence of foreign investors in the country’s economy.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • The Textile and Apparel Industry called to reinvent itself by adopting technology to improve production methods


    GIS - 18 April, 2019: The manufacturing sector of Mauritius remains the major contributor to GDP, with a share of 12.3% of national income, with both domestic and export-oriented enterprises playing a critical role in generating investment, exports, jobs and employment opportunities.  However, the industry presently is at a crossroad with a need to reinvent itself.
    It is against this backdrop, that a workshop aiming to examine major challenges faced by the Textile and Apparel Industry, opened this morning at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, in Balaclava.  The two-day event is organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB).
     
    In his address, EDB’s Chairman, Mr Charles Cartier, recalled that the manufacturing sector, in particular textile and apparel, has contributed massively to the emergence of a nation of entrepreneurs who are brave, inventive and adaptable.
     
    Today, Mr Cartier indicated, Mauritius exports 1 500 products to 125 countries and the relevance and importance of textile and apparel, which represent 54% of total manufacturing exports, still remains the backbone of the country’s industrial fabric.  The textile and apparel industry comprises 32 large, 65 medium and 60 small companies employing 44,000 persons, and producing a wide range of products, namely: t-shirts, shirts, denims, cardigans, pullovers, beachwear, suits, and uniforms.
     
    However, emphasised Mr Cartier, the sector faces several challenges, and the official figures show a decline in exports confirming that the industry needs to break from the legacy of the past, reinvent itself, think outside the box and challenge the traditional approach and subsequently turn to best practices to thrive globally.
     
    According to him, rising costs of production, Brexit, exchange rate volatility, the rise of low-cost competitors closer to the main markets, shortage of labour, and duty-free access being extended to our competitors have contributed in making a dent in the competitiveness of Mauritius.  These threats, he stated, can be addressed.
     
    Both the Government and the private sector as well as all stakeholders of this Industry need to improve productive capacity and make the sector more flexible to the shifting sands of the global economy, Mr Cartier highlighted.  Thus for EDB’s Chairman it is important to adopt technology to improve production methods, promote e-commerce and multiply diplomatic efforts to broaden our economic horizons.
     
    Textile and Apparel Industry workshop
     
    An Overview of the Manufacturing Landscape in Mauritius was given by EDB’s CEO, Mr François Guibert.  The presentation focused on the need to adopt Artificial Intelligence automated machines, robotics, and Internet of Things smart manufacturing to reinvent the sector as well as the importance of creating the right ecosystem with qualified and skilled workforce, the elaboration of a new business model, and forming alliances with African countries.
     
    The two-day workshop is the third event organised by the EDB as part of the discussions being held at the level of the Commission for Economic Affairs of the National Economic and Social Council. It follows the one organised on Agro-industry and food security and on Micro Small and Medium enterprises and Start-ups.
     
    The workshop’s agenda comprises presentations and round table discussions on the following: status of textile and apparel sector; desirability and inspiration - the new drivers to increase brand and product value; the new business model to be more competitive; high-value manufacturing supply chain; human resources requirements to meet the challenge; made through Africa as an alternative supply chain for sourcing; the coming robotics revolution on apparel manufacturing; and, the business case for sustainable approach in manufacturing.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • President of Africa Finance Corporation pays courtesy call on Prime Minister


    GIS - 18 April, 2019: The President and Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) from Nigeria, Mr Samaila Zubairu paid a courtesy call, this afternoon, on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.  
    In a statement to the press, Mr Zubairu said that he had a cordial meeting with the Prime Minister and discussions focused on AFC’s interest to seek investment opportunities and work collaboratively with Mauritius.
     
    Mr Zubairu emphasised that a list of projects has been identified with the Government while adding that the AFC invests in high quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport and logistics.
     
    According to him, by working together, both AFC and Mauritius will be able to drive the Mauritius-Africa Strategy which is committed towards developing Special Economic Zones in several African countries such as Senegal, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana, and Madagascar.
    Established in 2007, the core mission of the AFC as an investment grade multilateral finance institution is to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa.  It acts both as a leading financier and adviser offering project, trade finance and structured debt, greenfield equity, and buy-out capital as well as fixed income products.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Flooding at Fond du Sac: Financial compensation to the tune of Rs 1,8 million being paid to households affected by floods and necessary measures being taken, says Minister Sinatambou


    GIS - 17 April, 2019: A financial compensation to the tune of Rs 1,8 million is being paid to the 111 households affected by the flooding at Fond du Sac, as decided by the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund Board. Each adult will be paid Rs 6 000 while any child under 18 years will receive Rs 3 000 in each household.  Moreover, Government will invest in appropriate infrastructure so as to minimise the impact of flash floods and works are expected to start mid-May 2019.
    This statement was made by the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, yesterday at the National Assembly, in reply to a Parliamentary Notice Question related to the recent cases of flooding at Fond du Sac Village.
    A Consultancy Contract, he said, was awarded to Mega Design Ltd in September 2016 in order to identify the best option for long term remedial measures since the village has been regularly affected by flooding due to the local topography, poor drainage capability and the fact that major run-off is generated from sugarcane fields located at higher grounds.
    The Minister highlighted that a Detailed Design Report, following a study conducted, was submitted in December 2017 after consultations with major stakeholders. A consultation meeting, he said, was also effected with concerned land owners to explain the importance of the project and the need to acquire land for implementing the works.
    With regard to construction of drains, Minister Sinatambou pointed out that there were 92 plots of land which needed to be acquired over a total area of around 21 arpents at Fond du Sac. Transcription with respect to 86 plots of land, he added, has been completed and would be vested with the Prime Minister’s Office (National Development Unit) by 18th April 2019 while the remaining six plots will be transcribed after 21 days, around 17 May 2019.
    He further underscored that the Consultant Mega Design Ltd has already submitted draft bidding documents for the appointment of a Contractor to execute works at Fond du Sac but normal procurement procedures would require about four months. However, he emphasised, in view of the urgency of the situation, decision has been taken this month to implement the project of ‘Construction of flood mitigation measures at Fond du Sac” under emergency procurement.
    The Minister added that following approval to undertake the project under emergency procurement, it is expected that a contractor will be appointed by the 1st week of May 2019 and the duration of the works is expected to be 18 months.
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Anti-influenza vaccination exercise for winter 2019 kicks off


    GIS – 17 April ,2019: The annual anti-influenza vaccination exercise for the winter season 2019 kicked off today at the Bambous Social Welfare Centre in the presence of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou.
    In his address, Minister Sinatambou highlighted that for this year, the Ministry has bought 75 000 doses of vaccine to the tune of some Rs 15 million. He stated that the elderly population and people with disabilities should take all necessary precautions as they are more vulnerable and prone to seasonal influenza. He consequently appealed to each and every person eligible to get themselves vaccinated and thus take full advantage of the current vaccination exercise for a healthier lifestyle.
     
    Furthermore, the Minister spoke of the various measures that Government is providing to cater for the needs of the vulnerable group of the society.  To this end, he underlined that the basic pension scheme has been increased from Rs 3 500 in 2014 to Rs 6 210 in 2019.
     
    Speaking about cases of elderly abuse, Mr Sinatambou indicated that there are several Elderly Watch Committees spread around Mauritius to promote the welfare of the elderly and there are hotlines, namely 199 and 172, which are available to report cases of elderly abuse. On this score, he urged the elderly population not to tolerate any type of abuse and accordingly report such cases when they occur.
     
    Vaccination campaign 2019
     
    The vaccination campaign, which will end on 16 May 2019, will provide coverage all throughout Mauritius.  Vaccines will be provided to elderly persons aged 60 and above, children with disabilities attending specialised schools and inmates of charitable institutions and private licensed homes.
     
    A calendar has been established to ensure the coverage of the whole country. The vaccination programme will also be carried out in Rodrigues and Agalega. The public will be able to get vaccinated in several Area Health Centres, Social Welfare and Community Centres, Mediclinics, and regional hospitals across Mauritius.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Mural painting activity by youths to increase visibility of IOIG 2019


    GIS – 17 April, 2019: A mural painting activity engaging youths, on the logo ‘Krouink’, the mascot of the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) 2019, was launched by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, this morning at the Floreal Youth Centre. 
    In a statement, Minister Toussaint underlined that this initiative aims at increasing the visibility of IOIG 2019 and to encourage Mauritians to take an interest in this key national event.  The mural painting of ‘Krouink’ will be replicated across the 27 Youth Centres of Mauritius, he pointed out.
     
    The Minister expressed satisfaction as regards the active participation and interest of young people in this activity and other preparations in the context of IOIG 2019.  He also called upon more organisations to spearhead such initiatives to ensure that IOIG 2019 gets optimum coverage across the Island.
     
    IOIG 2019
     
    Mauritius will be hosting the 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games which is scheduled from 19 to 28 July 2019.  Some 2000 athletes of seven islands of the region will participate in 14 sports disciplines.
     
    It is recalled that the IOIG is a multi-sports event held every four years among athletes from Indian Ocean islands.  The objectives are to contribute to regional cooperation through the development of sport in the region, and build friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the islands of the Indian Ocean, in the spirit of the Olympics.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • National Assembly: Immigration (Amendment) Bill voted


    GIS - 17 April, 2019: The Immigration (Amendment) Bill was voted in the National Assembly yesterday. The main objectives of the Bill are to amend the Immigration Act in view of the increase in the number of cases where non-citizens marry citizens for the sole purpose of acquiring the status of a resident. Hence, the Bill will: regulate the entry and stay of non-citizens in Mauritius and make provision for the grant of Residence Permit, Occupation Permit and Permanent Residence Permit to non-citizens signifying their intention to reside in Mauritius.
    Presenting the Bill to the House, the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, emphasised that as a sovereign democratic country, Mauritius has the absolute right to take such measures with a view to strengthening and consolidating its immigration legislation, while also protecting our citizens from being the victims of ill-intentioned foreigners.
    The Bill makes provision for the following:
     
    ·      With regard to the status of a non-citizen who is the spouse of a citizen, the bill   provides that he/she shall not have the status of a resident where he was a prohibited immigrant at the time of becoming such a spouse.
    ·      The distinct category of prohibited immigrants shall exclude persons who suffer from any physical or mental infirmity or persons who are dumb, blind or otherwise physically defective or physically handicapped and who are likely to be a burden on the State.
    ·       If the Minister obtains reliable information or advice that certain persons are likely to be undesirable inhabitants of, or visitors to Mauritius, or likely to be prejudicial to the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health, they would be deemed to be prohibited immigrants.
     
    It is to be noted that one of the areas of focus enunciated in the Government Programme 2015-2019 pertaining to immigration matters, relates to the formulation of a new immigration policy so as to reinforce the Immigration Act in order to cater for increasing cross-border movement of persons and its associated risks. Furthermore, the Programme also includes the introduction of regulations to address the issue of fake marriages involving locals and foreigners.
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov
  • Jeux Des Jeunes Elites 2019: Promoting sporting values among young Mauritians


    GIS– 16 April 2019: The Jeux Des Jeunes Elites (JDJE), aiming to promote sporting values among the youth and encourage them to take up a sports activity, kicked off, yesterday evening, at the Glen-Park Multisports Complex, in Vacoas. The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and other personalities were present.
     
    Addressing the youth on this occasion, Minister Toussaint highlighted that the aim of these Games is to provide a platform for young elite athletes to develop their interests and practical skills in sporting disciplines as well as to set themselves challenges in the sporting field.
     
    The Minister encouraged the youth to continuously show their dedication to sports and to stay away from the drug scourge. Participation in these Games will enable young people to stay physically fit and prepare them for upcoming games such as the Indian Ocean Island Games 2019, he further added.
     
    Jeux Des Jeunes Elites
     
    The Jeux Des Jeunes Elites, scheduled from 15 to 17 April 2019, targets boys and girls aged between 14 to 17 years old.  Eleven competitive sports disciplines are on the agenda: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Football, Handball, Judo, Swimming, Table Tennis and Volleyball.
     
    This edition, organised on a residential basis, is allowing youngsters to cohabit as a group.  Thus, encouraging their personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, and responsibility towards themselves.
     
    There were some 3 595 preliminary entries for the Games. Some 1 000 athletes from Mauritius; around 180 participants from Rodrigues and 15 from Agalega are participating in the finals of the Games.
     
     
    Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: gis@govmu.org  Website: http://gis.govmu.org  Mobile App: Search Gov