CEHL MEEAH : « What does it worth tape l’estomac avec 4% croissance quand zenfant pas pé gagne dilait pour boire et pe alle dormi avec dithé pir ? »



C’est un discours de haute facture que nous publions de Cehl Meeah pour son intervention budgétaire 2012. Cela mérite de qu’on s’y attarde…

Mr C. Fakeemeeah (Third Member for Port Louis Maritime and Port Louis East): 

Praises be to Almighty God, peace, guidance and blessing be among all of us.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I am thankful to  Almighty and to the House to have been  granted the opportunity to address this august Assembly on the current Budget 2012.   I would like to start my intervention by a humble reminder. First of all, I will like to  remind myself and all hon. Members as well that we have been elected to serve the people. Our  election is a pledge to the people of this country to work with all sincerity for their betterment  and the betterment of the coming generations. We are, therefore, the trustees of God towards the  people of this country. We are paid by the public money to correctly manage public funds. We  are, therefore, accountable to the people. Our actions should be a realisation of this pledge with  the purest possible intention.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, man will not earn except what he makes effort for. However, the people cannot read our intention and as man is created weak by nature, chances of doing actions for self and vested interest will always be there.  But, Members of this august Assembly will agree with me that intentions and actions should corroborate in the realisation of the pledge to the people. The Members will also agree with me that although the people cannot read our intention yet the Divine authority from whom all of us seek help in our initial oath of allegiance we all said: ‘So, help me God!’ We have to keep in mind that we are accountable to Him and he is pretty well the …

The Deputy Speaker: Order please! Order!

Mr Fakeemeeah: Almighty God is surely supervising the whole debate in this august Assembly where no single word is being uttered, except that it is being recorded in his divine knowledge.  Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, following the presentation of the 2012 Budget by the hon. vicePrime Minister and Minister of Finance, I understand that we are called to debate on the Budget.  Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, allow me to speak my mind in a complete state of freedom. This is my second Budget speech since my election to this House and I still feel perplexed. I am surprised and astonished to see, je veux dire je m’étonne toujours à témoigner le bafouement de la démocratie parlementaire. We are as if already in an electoral campaign: this one accusing the other and in reply the other accusing this one and even insulting. Au lieu de débattre le budget directement, on a l’impression d’assister à des meetings publics dans des angles des rues. At a certain time, believe me, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I felt as if we are not in Parliament which is eventually our highest institution in this country that deserves very special respect.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Sayed-Hossen, please! Mr Fakeemeeah: Mais vous êtes tous mes amis. En fait, nou pas lors ene caisse savon, nou bizin compren sa bien. Quant même, vous autres, nou dans  ene Parlement et nou besoin debatte budget la directement.  Should I not recall, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir: is this our pledge to the people? Is it in this way that we are going to fulfill the pledge to the people? L’essentiel pour nous est d’accomplir notre devoir envers le peuple dans le respect et la sérénité.

So, I will start by talking on the philosophy of the Budget presented by our hon. Minister of Finance. A first reading of the Budget shows many social measures as well as other measures, visant très certainement à relancer notre économie. Très bien!  However, a budget should not be a mere accounting exercise neither should the economic system be drawn in the light of arithmetical calculations and capacities of productions alone. Rather, it should be drawn and conceived in the light of a complete system of morals and principles.

A budget, certainly, should take into consideration, the prevailing global economic situation, as we are already in the globalisation era, and the Budget should also consider the local realities as its measures will be applied locally.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, the world is witnessing today a clear downfall of the capitalist economic order. We are witnessing today an undeniable ongoing economic crisis in our traditional markets….

The Deputy Speaker: Hon. Quirin, please! Mr Fakeemeeah: …namely the euro zone, and the United States also; and causing huge damages to the economies with drastic consequences: massive job losses, downfall of Governments, leading to people exasperation. What a tragedy we would say – this capitalist  economic world order!

More tragic even is the pessimism of most of the world great economist predicting the  crisis to be deep even and long with no soon recovery. Many of them are already calling for an alternative world economic order that would bring stability, equitability and that would be non oppressive.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, this current Budget has not set a new economic paradigm to address the prevailing world economic turmoil, but instead,  there is, in my opinion – I maintain in my opinion – there is a smell of Masonic touch electorally concocted to appraise the masses.

The Deputy Speaker: Please, order!

Mr Fakeemeeah: Still I will not blame the Government.

(Interruptions)

Après to joine moi mo pou dire toi. I will not hold this Government of ours  responsible, but will lay emphasis on the complete failure of capitalism globally. That very system which decides on people’s life though we were not part and parcel of all decisions that led to the  international economic crisis and downfall. Because, in my constituency, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, be it in Roche Bois, Vallée Pitot, Plaine Verte or even Agalega, they  do not play huge amounts of money on Wall Street there or other financial places,  yet they are made to suffer from the injustice of that same capitalism. How long, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, are we going to allow our people to suffer? Is it not high time to take bold action and decision to shape our people’s destiny and future? When the formal system has failed, we need to empower the informal sector. The budget seems to have been set on the same dying capitalist economic order. This makes me worry profoundly, as it does not project hope for a sustainable economic development. Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I do appreciate that the present budget has made provision for tapping the Asian market. But I am convinced  that still it is not sufficient and I cannot understand why we are not tapping for the vast and rich Middle East market. I, here, appeal to the Government – and in the presence of our Minister of Foreign Affairs , I thank Almighty that he is present – to speed up with the procedures to open an Embassy in Saudi Arabia as well as in other Middle East friendly countries in view of tapping those markets as has already been done by you in Turkey. Based on my exposure and my  contacts in the Middle East, I am at the disposal most willing to contribute for our national interest.

In the same trend, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I feel it is high time to review our air access policy to allow more flight from Africa and SADC countries, where there are emerging rich Africans and Asians residing and they want to explore our market. We should tap them also. We cannot continue anymore in the field of…

The Deputy Speaker: Hon. Ameer Meea, hon. Henry and hon.  Assirvaden, please!

No cross-talking! The hon. Member should be listened to carefully. He deserves it.

(Interruptions)

Yes, please! You know what I mean.

(Interruptions)

If you want to meet eye to eye, you have some other venues. Yes, please, continue!

Mr Fakeemeeah: Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, we cannot continue anymore in the field of protectionism. We need to open the skies to low cost companies that shall bring many more tourists to our country. We want also from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Utilities, concrete answers on the situation of water crisis and climate change. Will Maurice Île Durable still exist or shall we do away from this concept? This is no clear indication either way.

I shall now talk on the Local Government. La déception est immense. M. le président, les collectivités locales meurent à petit feu. C’est le drame qui se joue aujourd’hui au sein de l’administration régionale. Les municipalités jadis, les fleurons des villes connaissent une rapide descente aux enfers avec des conseillers indignes d’assumer les fonctions municipales. Les conseils de district sont dirigés par certains potentats qui ne sont pas élus démocratiquement. At the FSM, let me tell you that we have the solution for the local administration.

(Interruptions)

 I already talked to him!  I will meet him tomorrow! We want to have an honest Government for an honest future.  We need to breathe and to take up a fresh start.  Not only we need Municipal elections, we also need general elections; the sooner, the better for each and everyone.  Even if many persons have expressed their satisfaction at the bold measures taken in the 2012 budget to restore confidence among the entrepreneurs and investors, there is still room for change and improvement, especially for those at the lower rung of the ladder.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I find it very shocking that the current budget does not address the issue of corruption and the last damning Audit Report concerning mismanagement of public funds.  I must also point out, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, that the Budget does not also address the very sensitive issue concerning  la crise alimentaire,  and there is no concrete food security policy.   Ainsi, je me demande si la sécurité alimentaire est vraiment une priorité pour ce gouvernement. Qu’est-ce que représente alors la futile somme de R 128 millions pour adresser une crise d’une telle envergure ?  I sustain my arguments by the fact that there has been a substantial increase of 33% in the importation  of food products, that is, from Rs15 billion in 2006 to Rs20 billion in 2009.  It is really shocking, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, that out of the 650 tonnes of produits alimentaires consommés par notre peuple, 75% are being imported.  I raised this concern in my previous speech on the Budget last year. Ti piment zot faire nou importé – R 28 millions!

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, it is heartening to witness the people who have already lost their pouvoir d’achat, facing continuous difficulties in their lives.  On the one hand, we have the world economic crisis already affecting our purchasing power and on the other hand, the prices of food products going up on the international market due to drought and flood in producing countries.  Cela me fait mal au coeur to see the population having much difficulties pour joindre les deux bouts.  What does it worth tape l’estomac avec 4% croissance quand zenfant pas pé gagne dilait pour boire et pe alle dormi avec dithé pir ? (Interruptions)

The Deputy Speaker:  The hon. Member should address either in French or  English, please!

Mr Fakeemeeah:  Alright, thank you! I have one question, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir.  Jusqu”a quand allons-nous laisser la population subir la hausse continuelle des prix alimentaires? When will the Government show genuine commitment and bring forward a strong policy to counter the crisis et  apporter un  soulagement à bane dimoune misere?  Vous aurez à me donner raison pour avoir initialement proposé une baisse des allocations parlementaires pour subventionner l’importation afin de soulager la misère des enfants surtout. M. le président, en tant ki enn papa, ki papa pou capave

guette so zenfant alle dormi sans dilait ?

(Interruptions)

The Deputy Speaker: Continue with your argumentation, please!

Mr Fakeemeeah:   I am trying.  Since my engagement in politics, I have lived by the poor people of this country; I smell, I breathe the suffering of these people.

(Interruptions)

The Deputy Speaker:  Order!

Mr Fakeemeeah:  We need another approach to this problem.  Government should be in  a position to help those at the lower rung of the ladder.  There are several ways.  We should have introduced a luxury tax on valuable items which will serve to help the poor.  We should have had dedicated shops for the poor to help them to survive. Une fois le temps des discours terminés, place aux chocs réels. Les infirmiers également accueillent favorablement les décisions du ministre des finances concernant le secteur de la santé.  Ils ont toutefois émis des réserves quant à la mise à exécution de ces résolutions par le ministère de tutelle.  Pour les pêcheurs, ces mesures ne traitent pas vraiment les besoins des pêcheurs.  Elles frôlent l’effet d’annonce.  Les petits planteurs sont, quant à eux, dans un désarroi total. Even, Mr Somduth Dulthumun has had the courage to express his feelings on this issue.C’est pourquoi nous, au FSM, nous sommes engagés à soutenir les opprimés, les déshérités et les sans voix.  Nous croyons fermement qu’il n’existe d’acte plus élevé que de servir les déshérités, notre fête sera le jour où les déshérités, les démunis et les opprimés parviennent à une vie correcte et aisée et à une éducation saine et humaine.  Et c’est pourquoi au FSM, nous accordions à ces gens la priorité.

Mr Speaker, Sir, the FSM has been mandated by the people and entrusted with the responsibility to collaborate for all that is  positive and prosperous for our society and to disapprove all that is negative and harmful to our society.  The FSM  has always been an aggressive advocate for equality and justice for all, which resulted in our historical victory – behind the bars. And in the last general election,  nous positionons comme une force politique déterminante dans le pays et l’avenir nous le dira.  I am pleased today to speak in a complete state of freedom that I enjoy after being democratically elected to be a Member of this august Assembly.

The FSM, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, has emerged in the midst of the poor people and stands by the side of  these people with a commitment to alleviate their poverty and to bring social justice and inclusion.   C’est ce côté-là du budget que j’approuve ici officiellement. Je félicite aussi le Leader de l’opposition qui a eu le courage d’approuver bien des mesures dans ce budget et pas comme les membres du gouvernement qui ne trouvent rien à dire contre le budgetas if it has been divinely inspired. The Budget sets quite ambitious objectives in terms of macroeconomic and fiscal performances.  I also went through the 178 measures mentioned in the Budget that are projected to meet a growth of 4% next year despite growing global economic difficulties.  In the FSM, we perceive the economic system differently.  Unlike the ultraliberal economy of capitalism, the

FSM believes in an economic  model where the State plays a crucial role in preventing and correcting the likes of ultraliberal tendencies, and we are profoundly for a non-oppressive, equal and stable economic system. The social measures in the Budget are laudable.  I congratulate the Minister of Finance particularly for increasing the amount of money on overseas medical assistance.  I also welcome the contribution to a Pension Fund for those earning less than Rs3,000. Government is also aiming to aggressive privatisation plan that will see the State disinvesting from some businesses.  In the FSM, we are not against disinvestment, but we cannot disinvest in strategic enterprises such as the Cargo Handling Corporation, the airport and the Mauritius Telecom. Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, the  hon. Minister of Finance has  recognised the difficulty for our youth and women to find a job. I am pleased that he is now encouraging companies to provide proper training to our youth, to our  future. I would request an appropriate study to identify the skills need to avoid mismatch and to provide the market with appropriate human resources. I also request the hon. Minister to give a special attention to women training in view of empowering the women folk that will also help in alleviating poverty.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I welcome the measures taken to support the SMEs as many of my constituents are SME working formally or informally. But I hope that all the SMEs will have easy access to these measures and that all the stakeholders, especially the banks and other financial institutions, will be advised to show commitment to support these SMEs for, very often, the SMEs complain to me that either the procedures are very heavy or the financial institutions are unwilling to finance their project. We have  also to note that the backdrop of the financial crisis, the SMEs which are among the major job creators,  sont réellement dans des situations précaires.

We have also to note that if the SMEs are not properly supported by Government it could result in social disintegration starting by the family because it is the family initially which work together for the SMEs and that will reach the locality and we know what will be the outcome. Dans ce même sillage, M. le président,  I make a solemn appeal to the Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun a ne pas augmenter le fardeau de ces personnes qui luttent pour leur survie en augmentant le tarif d’eau prévu pour janvier 2012.  I appeal to him. Je propose aussi au ministre des finances d’apporter des mesures pour faciliter les  SMEs à exploiter les marchés africains.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I would like also  to point out to the House that although Government has come with a lot of cures for the symptoms of poverty, little has been proposed on how to alleviate the causes of poverty and, as we know poverty breeds poverty, we should have looked at the cause of poverty, first of all. Many of my constituents from poor backgrounds blame the lack of opportunities,  marchants ambulants, they feel victimised and yet they are trying hard to survive. We put a lot of effort in good schools and yet good performing schools are seen as ‘no go area’.  Although we mentioned a social contract we have not yet looked at what causes poverty. Poverty is region specific and the causes vary from region to region. The FSM is the voice of these  defavorisés et je veillerai à ce que ces mesures budgétaires et les promesses gouvernementales arrivent jusqu’à ces gens défavorisés.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, housing is a basic  necessity and not a luxury. I welcome the measures to give ex-CHA tenants the opportunity to become owners, and construction of new houses where buyers will pay a third of the cost. However, for some in poverty, finding a third of the cost is still a burden. I propose to government that we go further to help them obtain the remaining one third. I am ready to help by our contacts.

Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I welcome the measures to maintain solidarity on banks and telecom companies. I would propose that we come forward strongly and  firmly with a wealth tax.  Finally, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, this Budget has promised a lot and I hope that the measures will be implemented for the benefit  of the population as the success will certainly depend on the degree of implementation.

The hon. Minister of Finance says he is confident and that his Budget will be judged within six months. Almighty knows if Government will be still here in six months!

(Interruptions)

This is my conviction and I am expressing my mind.

(Interruptions)

The Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Fakeemeeah: He says he is also confident in  reducing the size of the Government debt to 50% of GDP. But, we, in the FSM, we feel the duty to appeal to the House and to the population at large to place our confidence and  complete dependence on Almighty God alone after having consciously turned every stone as a mean to achieve our goal. Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, in fact, man does not live by bread alone… (Interruptions) The Deputy Speaker: Order! Let the hon. Member conclude, please!

Mr Fakeemeeah: We are composed of physical skeleton with the spirit operating within. Ultimately, we are spiritual beings no matter how blessed we are economically; a life with no joy in the heart is in vain. These measures are important certainly if we are to avoid our country to get into the mess that the European countries are facing. We cannot continue to live beyond our means; this in itself is a tragedy. We also must educate our compatriots to live within their means if we are to have a prosperous nation.  I reiterate that in spite of social measures, this Budget does not bring any new economic paradigm. It fails to address the major issues of corruption, mismanagement of public funds and the sensible issue de la crise alimentaire. And also it does not bring about a shift in economic paradigm to prepare the country to face the challenges of the global economic crisis. But, let’s not despair and be courageous and stand together to face any circumstance. It is not time to criticise neither to insult nor to lower in view to take advantage. But it is the most convenient time to join hands and shoulders in a reconciling spirit to fulfill our pledge to the people, to face emerging challenges resulting from ongoing global crisis.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir.

Posted by on Nov 21 2011. Filed under Economie. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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