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LALIT members criticize Budget in Talks and in Press Comments


“The Xavier Duval Budget does absolutely nothing to respond to the grave systemic crisis that Mauritius has entered, since the closing down of trade preferences by the WTO Court in 2005,” LALIT leading member, Ram Seegobin said at a gathering of trade union delegates of the Federation of Civil Service and Other Unions on Friday, 16 November, 2012 at their Coromandel Centre. He was speaking on a panel with Opposition shadow Finance Minister, Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing and academic Economist, Chandan Junkee. Delegates present, Ram Seegobin reports, asked very informed, sensible questions. The Opposition MP, by contrast, was part demagogic, part rather non-sensical.
Alain Ah-Vee, in his comments to the daily, L’Express, rated the budget, when asked to give a figure from 1 to 10, as 1, but stated that he would prefer to give 0 (“Kanta mwa, mo estim li zero lor 10”). The reporter said, that he would also accept zero. Alain Ah-Vee explains that a few “social measures” to try to do damage control, does not warrant any score at all. What is necessary is to change the economy so that it no longer generates inequality and poverty, he says. Alain Ah-Vee also made a declaration that appeared in an accurate report in Le Mauricien.
Lindsey Collen on a Radio One program with Habib Mosaheb, alongside trade unionist Reeaz Chuttoo and economist, Chandan Junkee, also made the point that it is useless to talk about plans for the economy without saying precisely into what fields the Government intends to put effort, now that sugar and textiles are waning so fast. It is ridiculous to say that since there is no longer a big demand for sugar and textiles, that the State will therefore “promote small and medium enterprises”; the question is WHAT will they, or any other form of organization, will produce. She said that the essential questions of food security and genuinely renewable energy are also ways of creating employment. But planters cannot just be expected to grow food products without the State organizing factories that do preservation and transformation of these products. “In its heyday,” she said, “there were some 10 para-statals doing nothing else but promoting sugar and cane.” Lindsey Collen also commented on the budget for Radio Plus.
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