GIS – 08 May, 2019: The first Pre-Budget consultative meeting for Budget 2019-2020 with Trade Unions’ representatives was chaired this afternoon by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth at the Conference Room, New Treasury Building, in Port Louis. The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, Mr Soodesh Callichurn, and the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Eddy Boissézon, were also present. Trade Unions present at the consultative meeting were: All Employees Confederation;Confédération des Travailleurs du secteur publique et privé; Confederation of Free Trade Unions; Confederation of General Trade Unions;Confédération Syndicale de Gauche-Solidarité; Congress of Independent Trade Unions; Mauritius Labour Congress; Mauritius Trade Union Congress; National Trade Union Confederation; and Trade Unions Consultative Congress.
Representatives of Trade Unions made several proposals, which included amongst others: regulating the problem of budgetary deficit by increasing the corporate tax; reviewing old age pension; reviewing tax on petrol; reviewing the income tax scale; reviewing the Public Service Commission Regulation and reforming the Discipline Services Commission as well as the Local Services Commission; filling vacancies in the public sector where there is a lack of personnel (non-teaching staff and paramedical); introduction of a Public Service Bill; salary alignment as is stipulated in the national minimum wage legislation for all employees whether in the public sector or in the private sector; and introduction of an Assise du Social.
It is recalled that the national budget is set to reflect not only the development goals of Government but also the aspirations and priorities of the citizens of the Republic of Mauritius.
It is against this backdrop that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has invited several stakeholders to contribute their ideas and suggestions in the context of the preparation of the forthcoming Budget. Stakeholders are, amongst others: Business and Trade Associations, Professional Bodies, Trade Unions, NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations.
The priorities of the 2019/2020 Budget are about: expanding and modernising our infrastructure; dealing with the challenges facing the sugar and manufacturing sectors, including textiles; investing in new pillars of growth, in particular, AI technologies; encouraging a new culture of entrepreneurship; further opening up and integrating our economy with the rest of the world; investing in the education, training and other skills needed by our youth, so that they are better prepared for the future; addressing the impact of demographic change; promoting gender equality - ‘Think equal, build smart and innovate for change’; promoting a more inclusive and equitable society and further addressing the problem of poverty; and, building greater resilience to the impact of climate change.
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