Au parlement hier après-midi : « On ne peut fabriquer des leaders »



Le Premier ministre n’est pas allé de main morte pour critiquer l’absence des membres de l’opposition dans l’hémicycle. Navin Ramgoolam trouve que l’attitude de l’opposition n’est pas digne des parlementaires. Il trouve navrant que le bureau du speaker, du judiciaire et de la commission électorale ait été critiqué dans un passé récent. « C’est du cheap politics » affirme le chef du gouvernement.

Voici le discours complet du Premier ministre

Budget Speech

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Let me start by thanking you and the Deputy Speaker, for having presided for long hours over these debates with your proverbial patience, wisdom and impartiality.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

As Leader of the House, I cannot remain silent on the unruly behaviour that we witnessed last Friday. Even you and your Office have been criticised. Such behaviour is nothing short of parliamentary hooliganism.

The behaviour of some on the other side of the House when they tried to physically intimidate a cameraman who was just doing his job is indicative of fascist tendencies.

These are the people who would hide behind the cloak of parliamentary immunity and regularly indulge themselves in their favourite hobby of mud slugging, character assassination and making all sorts of baseless and malicious allegations.

This Mr Speaker, Sir, is nothing short of cowardice.

They constantly indulge in cheap politics, and attempt to erode confidence in our institutions. (Recall how they wanted to put into question the integrity of the Electoral Commission, DPP, the Judiciary, SLO and now the institution of Speaker). And these are the very ones who brag about freedom of expression !

One important point to stress Mr Speaker, Sir, is that all this has come about because of the decision of the Leader of the Opposition not to intervene on the budget speech.

They failed to say that I agreed to alter the order of the speakers on that day – on their demand.
They also failed to say that I also agreed that the former Leader of the Opposition and the no. 2 of the front bench speaks in the place of the Hon Leader of the Opposition – just before my intervention.

They wanted to impose – an “ordinary” Hon Member in his place – in order to try to boost up his irretrievably damaged image as a weak Leader of his party – as evidenced by the fact that “papi” has been called back from retirement to rescue his party and to be the de facto leader.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

This is proof once again – that in politics – Leaders cannot be manufactured and imposed upon a people. You either are or you are not a Leader of men and women.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Let me also thank the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development for the presentation of this budget, which while taking into account the difficult international economic situation, responds to the priorities, aspirations and ambitions of our people to build a better Mauritius.

The Opposition, as always, have tried to create the impression, that there is a chasm between me and my Minister of Finance.
It shows how desperate they are !
For their education and to enlighten those who do not know how Government actually works – let me tell them –
The Budget is quite unlike any other Government decision.
Consultations are held between the Ministry of Finance and the other Ministries – on expenditure and priorities of each department, depending on the state of the economy – for weeks on end – prior to the presentation of the Budget.
But the Budget itself is not determined collectively – until a special Cabinet meeting is held on Budget day itself.
The only person that the Minister of Finance consults – on a regular basis, is the Prime Minister.
That is how the Budget is prepared.
And once we have the special Cabinet meeting – then it is the Cabinet, collectively, which approves the Budget.

So to try to say that the Prime Minister and the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Finance do not agree on the budgetary measures – is utter non sense and shows the depth of their ignorance and how unfit they are to govern in a parliamentary democracy as ours.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I do not propose to go into the details of how we turned around an economy which was in dire straits when we were returned to power in 2005.
But I need to give an overview of where we were in 2005 and what we have achieved so far, so that the people can see that there is our overall strategic vision and the golden thread that links all our budgets since 2005.

In 2005, Mr Speaker, Sir, the economy was nose diving.

All the macro-economic indicators were in the red – a trend that started in 2001 and continued to deteriorate every year until 2005.

So much so that we were landed with the now notorious admission by the then Prime Minister and former Minister of Finance from 2000 to 2003 – and I quote because it is an unbelievable admission which says it all. This is what the then Prime Minister said in 2005 before the elections:

«La situation est dramatique et sans précédent.
Nous sommes en état d’urgence économique».

And I need to remind this House and the people that when they took over in 2000 – they had a majority of more than three-quarters:
– They inherited a booming economy – the growth rate was 10.2%;
– Furthermore – the sugar protocol was still in place
– the Multi-fibre Agreement was still in place;

– Which meant these two pillars of our economy were fully protected in the face of fierce competition in the new globalised world.

And there was no world economic recession at the horizon.

In other words – the captain was at the helm of the ship of State with his team.

The sea was calm
The sky was blue
The sun was shining
And there was no gathering storm around.

Yet they managed to steer the ship of State on the rocks !

They managed to mess it all up – to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory and crash the economy into a precipice.

And they have “le culot” of asking the electorate to get them back at the helm “pour redresser l’économie !”
Let us look at some of the macroeconomic figures so that we can gauge the enormity of their mismanagement of the economy:

(1) Growth Rate – had stumbled from 10.2% in 2000
to 2.7% in 2005

And this with no world recession and specially no Euro crisis and with the safety nets of the sugar protocol and the Multifibre Agreement intact!

Also fortunately for them I had accepted the invitation of President Bill Clinton to go to Washington to persuade the reluctant Members of the House of Representatives to pass the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which was a tremendous boost for our textile industry.

(2) The Unemployment Rate – was on a constantly rising trend year after year to culminate at 9.6% with female unemployment leaping to 16.4%.

Again let me quote the very words of the then Minister of Industry and International Trade:
“On perd les emplois à une vitesse vertigineuse. Je le constate et on ne peut rien faire dans un monde globalisé”.

He went on further and said:
“Le chômage dans ce secteur ne pourra être endigué et des pertes d’emplois sont inévitables”.

(3) The Budget deficit – had jumped from 2% to 5.1% –more than double.

In spite of the constraints we face, we have managed to bring it down to acceptable levels again.

(4) Total public debt – had reached nearly 70% by 2005.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Any economics student at form VI level can tell you what are the disastrous implications of public debt above 60% as you go into a vicious cycle.
We have brought it down to manageable levels – 54.8% and it is well on target to come down to 50% by 2018.

(5) It was the same downward trend for Foreign Direct Investment – from Rs 7.3 billion in 2000 to less than Rs 1 billion by 2001 and only Rs 1.8 billion by 2004 – an unmitigated disaster.

We all know the simple economic fact: The investment of today creates the jobs of tomorrow.

After the elections of 2005 – by the measures we took to attract FDI and make it easier for businesses to thrive – FDI surged dramatically.

Despite the fact that our country is bearing the full brunt of the financial and economic crises since 2008, we have had a remarkable increase in FDI reaching:

– Rs 13.9 billion in 2010 and
– Rs 12.7 billion last year.

In just the first year in office – 2006 we had attracted more FDI than they had during their whole time in office !
People, should reflect on these figures and ask themselves why?

Clearly it did not happen by itself – it is due to the re-orientation of our economic policies and the courageous and bold reforms we undertook. The Business Facilitation Act of 2006 made it easier to do business in our country and Mauritius became one of the lowest tax jurisdictions in the world with a uniform rate of 15% across the board.

This also gave a new impetus to small and medium enterprises by giving easier access to finance and opening up the economy to foreign talent amongst others.

It is no wonder – that we have topped the table for ease of doing business for Africa in every survey worth its salt – from the World Bank, the IMF to the Mo Ibrahim Index for the last seven years.

No mean feat, Mr Speaker, Sir, given the international economic climate.
It is no coincidence that credit agency – Moody’s has upgraded us while much bigger countries and economies like the USA, Italy and France, amongst others, have been downgraded !

The economic legacy of the Medpoint 1 Alliance has been an unmitigated disaster and they are promising as they did in 2000 if ever they come back – God forbids – they will again “redresse le pays”.

While we, the Labour Party – PMSD Alliance, we have shown, that we have managed the economy efficiently and prudently, while maintaining social justice high on our agenda.

We have shown that we do not do things haphazardly but with a long term strategic vision – we have acted and will continue to act responsibly – we are the doers – while they practised “l’effet d’annonces” as we said in 2005 – look at the record of their delivery on their manifesto – They in fact destroyed the economy and never had any innovative ideas and long term strategic vision.

That is the difference between us and them.

And, Mr Speaker, Sir, they are out of touch with the large majority of the people – specially our youth.

They play the same old tune – day in day out, year after year.

They are the adepts of Goebbels as far as rumour mongering and mud slugging are concerned – which is then also given credence by their “suiveurs” in some quarters of the media.

And it is the same old tactics: Calumny and abuse, propagation of false news, not enough is being done, they would have done this and that, and create a climate of doom and despondency.

The same old tune with the same “effets d’annonces” and their empty slogans.

Let me just give a few examples to remind people of what they say they will do when in Opposition and what they actually do when in Government – Double face.

Let us revisit their Government Programme of 2000 “Anou redresse nou pays”. Just a few examples:

(1) They announced the privatisation of channel 3 of the MBC – at page 48.
The then Prime Minister went even further – he is now well known for his tendency to go to the extreme in his expressions:

He said he will transform the MBC into a new BBC. We all know what happened between 2000 to 2005. And they had more than a three-quarter majority – which means they could have done anything.

Thus the 3rd channel of the MBC was never privatised – instead the MBC accumulated massive debts.

Worse, Mr Speaker, Sir, – They actually directed the IBA not to go ahead with the privatisation of channel 3.

Hardly one year after it came to power the Medpoint 1 Government sent a letter to IBA informing the latter of its decision not to go ahead with the privatisation of Channel 3.

Mr Speaker, Sir, this is what the letter said and I quote:

“I wish to inform you that Government has decided that it is not proposed, for the time being, to proceed with the privatisation of the 3rd TV channel of the MBC in the context of the liberalisation of airwaves.

I understand that the IBA is presently processing applications received from private operators for the grant of radio and television broadcasting licences.

You are therefore kindly requested to take into account the above Government decision when considering the issue of private television broadcasting licence.”

There is a glaring example of their hypocrisy, their double language and how they have mislead the electorate !

(2) They announced the creation of a Competition Tribunal page 14 of “Anou redresse nou pays”.
Again – result – zero.
They were more interested, once in power, to help their “bailleurs de fonds”.

It is my Government which established the Competition Commission in 2009 with now a former Supreme Court Justice at its head – Mr Justice Pillay – in order to promote competition in the interests of consumers.

(3) The Medpoint Alliance 1 promised “a decent revenue for our pensioners” – at page 14 of “Anou redresse nou pays”.

We can recall what they did.

In fact they deprived thousands of pensioners of their monthly pension !
It is us – when we came back in 2005 – who restored universal pension.

(4) The former Prime Minister said once when he would become Prime Minister he would eliminate, the scourge of drugs from Plaine Verte in 24 hrs !

In fact it went on de plus belle.

It is now – thanks to the means we have provided to ADSU that we are catching more of these drug dealers.
We have amended the Assets Recovery Act to ensure that the “barons de la drogue” pay for their dastardly deeds !. And we have included the new synthetic cannabinoids and their derivatives in the list of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

(5) Law and Order
They do as if only they care about law and order – but did crimes cease between 2000 and 2005 ?
On the contrary the rate went up – it is only under this Government that the crime rate has decreased consistently over the last 5 years !

(6) Recently we have seen the problems of the hawkers.

Mr Speaker, Sir, they have been controlling the Municipality of Port Louis and Rose Hill for more than a quarter of century !. What have they done ? – sweet nothing.
In their programme for the Municipal Elections of 2012 – they promised – to “créer des infrastructures pour reloger les marchands de rue durablement et dans le respect de leur dignité”.

Instead – they ignore the ruling of the Supreme Court –
they refuse to recognize genuine hawkers who have had permits for years and they create a new list of hawkers for “leurs petits copains”.

And they want the central Government to give them finance for it !
(7) The same thing for Electoral Reform.

They had the Presidential Commission presided by Judge Albie Sachs.

They then could not agree amongst themselves –
“L’alliance de la Carpe et du Lapin” ! – “Et c’est toujours pareil” !

They then named a Select Committee and then they named another Committee.
Result → In fact no electoral reform for 5 years they were in power.

And now, when I have been saying that we need to think in terms of being Mauritians and have a sense of nationhood and spoke of electoral reform – they are more in a hurry than me !
They are so arrogant that they think one can make Constitutional amendments on the back of an envelope in 5 minutes!
You want me to carry on ?

Remember what the MMM/MSM said in their Government Programme : “Halte à la corruption”. Then, recall what they have done:

In 2000, they confessed that the Economic Crime Office (ECO) was ‘un pas dans la bonne direction’ BUT in 2002, pour les raisons que nous connaissons tous, they wiped out the l’ECO in 24 hours.

Look at what the press was saying at that time :

« L’épisode ECO a démontré que les puissants du jour sont prêts à tout pour se protéger en cas d’éventuel danger. » (5-Plus 9 février 2003).

Let’s now talk about democratisation.

After having been totally knocked down by this Government’s policy to democratise access to land, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition now comes and pretends that democratisation of land ownership took place under the Illovo Deal – quel culot !

As I was saying all thro’ when the deal was being brokered – there was ‘anguille sous roche’ or perhaps more appropriately, ‘black mamba sous roche’ !! I thought at the time that the then Prime Minister was being taken for a ride by his deputy – Now, the truth came out recently from the mouth of no less a person than Jean-Mée Desveaux who of course is now being described as a “dépravé” !!

Jean-Mée Desveaux has shed light on whether it was democratisation for the many or enrichment of a handful !!

Instead of being a two-third:one-third deal in favour ofGovernment; it turned out to be a one-third:one-third:one third deal:

• One third for Government;
• One third for 5 families;
• As for the remaining third, there are some smart people in the Opposition who can guess where it went !! They are not here otherwise we could have guessed by looking at their red faces !

As I said during the face a face with the Honourable Leader of the Opposition who was then the Prime Minister – Trésor pou zotte – Désert pou lépep !!

(Rs 6 milliards pou 5 familles !) – Now we know it is in fact Rs 9 milliards pou 5 familles !

Remember how Medpoint 1 Government chose to discard the advices of the Registrar General of Companies, the Solicitor General and the Assistant Solicitor General.

The State Law Office gave advice regarding the payment of Capital Gains Tax, insisting that this tax had to be paid in accordance with existing legislation. This would have meant billions of rupees being paid by the promoters of the project.
The then Government decided to discard the advice of SLO and had recourse to advice outside the Law Officers of the State – unprecedented and he advised that Capital Gains Tax can be exempted.

This Government has followed the advice of the State Law Office in the matter of sale of State Lands and amended the law in line with the consistent advice given by the SLO. The latter has not changed its advice of 2005.

To achieve the objective of empowering many of the underprivileged citizens, we took the cumbersome process of going to Parliament to amend the law. We did not hide behind legal obstacles pointed out by the State Law Office to justify any inaction.

Today, they are trying to say that 24 years ago, they had a plan to help these families to become fully fledged owners of their land but they found a “macadam legal” from the SLO. But they found ways and means for the ILOVO deal to go through.

For 5 very rich families a way was found to overcome the “macadam legal”.

But for 17,000 poor families they could not find a way to overcome it.
But I have found a way and am proud of it.
These 17,000 families will soon become the proud owners of their land.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Let me remind the House of
(i) The numerous promises made by the MMM in particular, for paying pensions to ex employees of the Cargo Handling Corporation.

We all know that the MSM was always dead against payment of a pension to them.
Under successive MMM/MSM Governments nothing was done !
This was a blatant case of workers being used just for selfish political gains and being relegated into oblivion afterwards.

It is under my Premiership that the Government took the humane decision to allocate a pension to those workers in May 2000 and in January 2009.

(ii) Again, it is this Government that enabled 20,000 families living on CHA housing estates to become owners of their house.

(iii) It is my Government again, under the programme “Un toit pour toi” 2,000 families living in NHDC estates have also become owners of their house.

(iv) Again, Mr Speaker, Sir, 600 families earning up to
Rs 16,000 monthly have already benefitted under the “Site and Services Scheme”. Another 300 lots will be allocated in the weeks to come.

And now
(v) 17,000 families will become owners of the land where they have built their houses.

Let me give you a final example of the double-speak and the hypocrisy of the Opposition.

The House and indeed the Nation will recall the hue and cry of the opposition about genocide in Sri Lanka. This was echoed by His and Her Master’s voice in the press.

What they did not want the population to know is that in 2005 a prominent member of the front bench of the Government – actually went to Colombo and had a long meeting with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to try to convince him to support his candidature for the post of Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). I am referring of course to the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation.

And you know what Mr Speaker, Sir ?
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka then was a person by the name of Mahinda Rajapakse – the current President of that country !
Quelle hypocrisie !
Quels opportunistes !

When it comes to their personal interest they will not hesitate one second to swallow the most basic of principles.
All this shows the true “Double Face” of the Medpoint Alliance!

I will now invite those on the other side of the House to check how many measures announced in our three Government Programmes since 2005; have actually been implemented.

Mr Speaker, Sir, I always say there is no expiry date for learning but these prophets of doom are beyond redemption.

They just want power to continue their juicy deals they are used to doing for their own benefits – “leurs clans”!

Monsieur Le Président,

Nous avons affaire à des démagogues – et quand ils étaient là – nous avons assistés à un concours de démagogie entre uns – les uns surpassant les autres – qui sait pour s’empresser d’avoir une meilleure place dans le futur cabinet fantôme – car c’est là qu’ils resteront – tout bonnement – forever !

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Economics is known as the dismal science and remains an unpredictable science.
Practically no one foresaw the Housing bubble and the toxic assets in the USA which spread like wild fire across continents and culminated in the worst economic depression the world has known.
That is why we have to be on our guard, stay ahead of the curve – as we did in 2008 – be ready to act and adapt to changing circumstances and respond to the imponderables while not losing sight of our long term strategic vision for our country and our people.

The famous phrase of Lawrence Summers – Director of the US National Economic Council remains pertinent. He said “when circumstances change, I change”

This will continue to be our approach to the management of the economy and our politics will always be based on principles and values not opportunism and power at any cost.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Let me just briefly mention some of the salient points of the budget which gives an idea of where we are heading.

We need to have more growth – at least 6% to be able to achieve our goal of transforming our country from being a middle income country to a high income country. At least 6% but probably more !

The Budget shows the depth of our commitment to our long term vision of a high income economy, democratised economy, without absolute poverty, and our vision of Maurice-Ile-Durable. These goals are all intertwined and we are making progress on all of them.

VISION OF A HIGH INCOME ECONOMY

Mr Speaker, Sir, there are some 76 countries in the world that are on the list of the World Bank’s high income countries, that is those with a per capita income exceeding USD 12,615 in 2012.
By pursuing our long-term vision of a high income economy, the Budget has made us realise how close we are and how rapidly we are approaching that threshold.

Since 2005 to date, this Government has raised the income per capita in US dollar by an average of 7.5% annually. Let me emphasise that we have delivered this kind of performance through a period of turmoil, global recession and lingering crisis.

Mr Speaker, Sir, if leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality, then we will definitely realise that vision. And there can be no doubt that Budget 2014 puts us firmly on that path to a high income economy.

As the budget clearly brings out, a next wave of prosperity beckons us. We should not wait for it to happen. We must act and we must act now.

As the French philosopher George Bernanos says: ‘L’avenir on ne le subit pas. On le fait.’

C’est un budget pour l’avenir et l’avenir se construit.

In fact, Budget 2014 lays the foundations for up to seven new economic pillars:

• The ocean economy,
• The bunkering hub,
• The petroleum platform,
• The aviation hub,
• The green economy,
• The film industry, and
• The expanded Africa strategy.

Clearly, it is not a budget about economic management only. It is a budget that is reconstructing the economy, creating a new economic architecture so we can create a new wave of prosperity for our people.

It is not a budget for 2014 and the medium term only it is a budget that builds the Mauritius of the future.

Indeed Mr Speaker Sir, since independence Budget 2014 is the only one that lays the foundation for several new economic pillars at the same time.

OCEAN ECONOMY

And we are being consistent with our policies. Since 2006, we have said that we were moving from a four to ten-pillar economy. And we have. Budget 2014 is taking us further to a possible 15-pillar economy and even laying the foundations for developing an ocean economy that can ultimately transform Mauritius into an ocean state.

There are significant interests in the southwest Indian Ocean region. There are successful explorations that are now leading to exploitation of deep sea resources. And all these are happening in the vicinity of our Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelves.

Oil experts are increasingly speculating that Africa’s eastern coast could represent one of the few remaining major petroleum frontier regions in the world.

Over the last several decades, seismic surveys have revealed an abundance of natural gas deposits and promising signs of oil from Somalia to Mozambique along a geological structure known as the Davie Fracture Zone. As a result, numerous international oil companies and national oil companies are increasing their upstream operations there.
In early 2010, Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation announced the confirmation of a giant gas deposit off the Mozambique coast.

Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique are issuing more offshore exploration licenses, which has in turn attracted major petroleum companies.

Mr Speaker, Sir, we must move forward with the confidence that in our maritime economy lies the next wave of prosperity.

It is in this context that, in July this year, Government organised a National Dialogue with the participation of all stakeholders with a view to developing the right framework and policies to implement the Ocean Economy project in a sustainable manner.

Following the national consultation, a Roadmap has been developed in consultation with the various public sector agencies and the private sector and it will be made public soon. The Roadmap provides a broad conceptual and policy framework for the development of the Ocean Economy in the short, medium and long term. Apart from food-related activities, other economic activities that have been identified as possible priority areas include:

(a) Seabed Exploration for Hydrocarbon and Minerals;
(b) Deep Ocean Water Applications;
(c) Marine Services and Marine Renewable Energy;
(d) Seaport-related Activities; and
(e) Ocean Knowledge.

Mauritius must have the right regulatory regime and framework. This will require the development of specialised human resources and skills in order to manage the ocean-based activities and services.
I am pleased to announce that in the case of the continental shelf shared between Mauritius and Seychelles, we have established a Joint Commission responsible for the co-management of the so-called Joint Management Area in the region of the Mascarene Plateau. In March last year, I signed with the President of Seychelles an agreement establishing the legal instrument for our two coastal States to jointly manage the area. The Joint Commission has now finalised a Joint Fiscal and Taxation code as well as a Model Petroleum Agreement for future activities in this region. An environmental code of practice is also being prepared with the help of the Commonwealth Secretariat for the Joint Management Area.

Furthermore, two Deep Ocean Water Application Projects, worth Rs 6 billion are in the pipeline. Upon completion, these two projects will provide for a total of 80 mega watt of green cooling, resulting in savings of 40 mega watt of electricity. Additionally, these projects will unlock a series of new downstream activities including high-end aqua culture, algae culture, premium water bottling, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

With the ocean economy project, we are turning Mauritius for the first time in its economic history into a nation focused on exploration for minerals and oil deposits. This marks a new era in our economic history – a bridge to our future.

THE OTHER COMPONENTS OF THE NEW ECONOMIC ARCHITECTURE

The other components of that new economic architecture, namely the aviation hub, petroleum platform, bunkering hub, the film industry, the expanded Africa strategy and the green economy will also play a significant role in redefining our economic architecture. These are potential new pillars that will create jobs in the thousands with good prospects for expanding the export sector and modernise and expand trade logistics in an unprecedented way.

In fact, Mr Speaker Sir, we are heading to a new economic architecture that will underpin our vision of a high income economy.

As these projects unfurl we will see a revived dynamism in the equation: investment – growth- employment.
Mr Speaker, Sir,

This Government has put our country resolutely on the path of modernity.

PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Government is investing massively for the continuous upgrading of our overall infrastructure.

One of our objectives is to transform the SSR International Airport into an Aviation Hub. Mauritius enjoys good air connectivity, linked with over 35 destinations around the world and having a modern and safe airport infrastructure, compliant with international aviation standards. This lays the proper foundation for the setting up of an aviation hub for the region.

A Democratised Economy

On our vision of a democratised economy as well, we have made noticeable progress.

My conviction is that no one should be doomed from their birth to the low rung of the social ladder, working hard without the opportunity to have any share or part in the good life that they help to create for others.

ROLE OF EDUCATION IN OUR VISION

As we pursue our vision of a high income democratised economy we cannot overlook the role of education.

We all know – it is thanks to the vision of the Father of the Nation – who gave all young Mauritians free access to education that allowed us to be where we are today.

I have given free transport to them – all this demands massive investments and therefore continued growth.

For too long now we have been judging the effectiveness of our education system on the passes and overlooked the thousands that the system leaves behind.

We know that we must put an end to testing children on a narrow set of subjects at a tender age of ten, and select their education path or even career path.

We know it is right to put an end to the trauma of failure on children who are barely ten years old.

And we know it is right for children to study and grow up with the conviction that they are on the education path that best fits their aptitudes and talents.

That is what 9 year schooling is about.

If a young person drops out of early schooling – he or she is condemned never to succeed and to a life of poverty.
Education is the answer to exclusion.
But 9 year schooling does not mean we will bring standards down. We need to cater for the best and the brightest – but competition must come at a much later stage.

We need more to have more of our young to enter universities –
Our enrolment at tertiary level has increased dramatically under this Government but we need to attract more of our youth to tertiary education.

And we need to ensure quality education.
Without quality education, we will not reach our target.
The world is now driven by fierce competition.
We need to meet the needs of the knowledge economy.
That is the path to success.

Law and Order

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I have already referred to the continuing downward trend for crime statistics.

But white collar crimes are on the increase.
We have indentified two phenomena which need to be addressed:
The tax rate is already low as compared to other countries.
Those who should be paying their taxes should.
We have identified – a significant tax gap – which we intend to plug with the assistance of experts.
And white collar crimes – such as the Ponzi Schemes we have witnessed.
I intend to nip the greed of these peoples in the bud.
That is why we are setting up a Serious Fraud Office. Consultations are being held with Officials from the UK and we will set up its legal framework.
We want to give a clear signal – that we will not allow any abuse or wrong doing. Greed should have no place here.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

We shall tighten our present border control system with the introduction of state-of-the-art biometric system and an Advanced Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record Systems. Such Systems will, no doubt, reinforce security of our borders and keep track of malefactors.

THE MAURICE ILE DURABLE VISION

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I now come to the Maurice Ile Durable vision. It is just amazing that the very first intervention during the debate on the Budget found that the MID vision was absent. Yet from beginning to the end, the Budget is about the MID vision. Budget 2014 is probably one with the most elaborate list of measures and policies on the environment. I need not list them all for they come out so strongly and so clearly that only in bad faith can anybody say that there has been no mention of the MID vision.

Last year we launched the National Civic Education project which is part of the Government’s endeavour to promote nation building. The NICE project aims at fostering a sense of shared human spirit, partnership for a common sense of purpose and enterprise for the advancement of the nation. The NICE Pilot Project which was held in December 2012 saw a vibrant success amongst its youth. This project cannot come at a more timely conjuncture where young Mauritians are called upon to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial and partaking a significant role in the development of their country as proud Mauritians.

This year, we shall continue with the project and 400 Form IV students as compared to 200 last year, will participate in NICE 2013 in December. We have brought an innovation in the project and Rodrigues has been given a special consideration and a full-fledged NICE Project for Rodriguan students will be implemented in Rodrigues during the 1st term holiday in 2014.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Our policies speak of our values as a progressist Government.

• We have always believed in leadership with a purpose;

• We have always believed in our power to change our Nation for the better; and
• We have always believed in empowering through opportunities.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I refuse to accept the view that people are equal only in the eyes of God.

This is why my engagement in politics has always been driven by my vision of Mauritius as a Society of equal opportunity.

– A Society where each and every citizen – regardless of his origin is given the means to realise his potential and live up to his dream.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

We have come a long way in charting out a road map to the land of equal opportunities.

We are not dream-pedlars like those in the Medpoint Alliance. Theirs is a track record of betrayed hopes !!
Ours is a track record of great achievements !!
Achievements on the economic front !
Achievements on the social justice front !

The road may be long.
The road may have many a windy turn.
The road may be rough.
BUT we shall never relent on our determination to reach our destination: The well-being and happiness of one and all !!

Mr Speaker, Sir,

To those in the Opposition who keep saying everything is wrong we create this climate of despondency and doom and who doubt the energy and the determination of our people I will respond by quoting President Obama:

“Out of many, we are one,
while we breathe, we hope
and where we are met with cynicism and doubt and those who tell us we can’t
We will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people in three simple words:

Yes we can

Thank you.

************

Posted by on Nov 27 2013. Filed under Actualités, Economie, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply


Air Mauritius - Financial Results for the 3rd Quarter of financial year 2016-17


Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google

Photo Gallery

Copyright © 2011-2016 Minority Voice. All rights reserved.