The peace and stability that prevails in our multicultural society is a pride for our country, and has been lauded by foreign eminent personalities who visited the country, including His Holiness Pope Francis. The Government will continue to step up efforts in order to consolidate our unity and brotherhood, while catering for the well-being of the population as well as spearheading development and progress across the country.
This was the gist of the message of the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, yesterday, during the handing over ceremony of title deeds to beneficiaries of La Clemence site, held at the Farmers Service Centre in Rivière du Rempart.
Some 109 beneficiaries, former employees of the Mon Loisir Sugar factory that was closed down in 2013, received each a title deed for a plot of land at La Clemence, under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. This has been one of the main components of the Sugar Sector Strategic Plan 2001-2005 to reduce the operating cost of production of sugar in Mauritius.
Prime Minister Jugnauth dwelt on the daunting challenges and unfavourable conditions that the sugarcane sector has been facing over the course of the years and recalled that that one major steps taken by the Government is the Voluntary Retirement Scheme which considerably enabled the sector to continue to operate and remain viable, and this endeavor, he said, has proved to be successful for both workers and entrepreneurs.
According to Mr Jugnauth, there is an imperative need to boost and bring forth a new dynamism in the sugarcane industry, which necessitates a reform, so that the sector becomes more efficient and profitable. He emphasised that the reform agenda which is underway, essentially aims at building the long-term resilience of the industry, whilst taking into account the well-being of all those involved in the sugarcane industry so that they all equally benefit from it. On that score, he reiterated his support to small sugarcane farmers and recalled that the necessary facilities and favourable measures are being provided, so that they can maintain their activities.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister reiterated his firm determination to wage war against the challenging drug scourge to protect of the population, in particular its youths. He expressed satisfaction as regards the good progress being made in connection with arrests and seizures related to drug trafficking while lauding the excellent collaboration prevailing between foreign authorities that provides useful information. He added that tackling this social ill should be the concern of everyone, and urged the population to support the government in its efforts.
Mr Jugnauth highlighted that the development agenda of the Government also takes into account the social progress of the population wherein Government ensures that the quality of life of everyone is enhanced. To this end, he said, recent initiatives such as the Negative Income Tax and the Minimum Salary, free tertiary education and increase in old age pension, have been implemented. In addition, the Prime Minister pointed out that Government is investing massively in improving healthcare and that there are several new projects in the pipeline regarding the health sector, namely: the new ENT Hospital at Vacoas; new Teaching Hospital in Flacq; a new Cancer Hospital at Solferino Vacoas; and, an Eye Hospital at Réduit.