'Government has at heart the welfare of the population and is doing all in its capacity to limit the impact of an increase in prices of food commodities and petroleum products including Domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)', stated the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this morning, at the National Assembly in reply to a Private Notice Question (PNQ).
The PNQ pertained to the social disturbances which occurred last week in the country and the urgent and immediate actions Government has taken to address the grievances of the population.
The Prime Minister moreover made a strong plea to the citizens to show their sense of responsibility and to guard themselves against demagogues that can disrupt social unity and peace in the country.
He also enumerated several Governmental measures to fight poverty and improve the standard of living of the population particularly the most vulnerable, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war.
Mr Jugnauth underlined that the Ukraine and Russia war has aggravated the increase of commodities on the world market and he attributed the increasing cost of living as a direct result of rising international prices.
Some key Governmental measures introduced are: increase in basic retirement pension to
Rs 9,000; payment of PRB 2021; subsidies on rice, flour and LPG; support to SRM families; subsidy on SC and HSC examination fees; and, introduction of the Wage Assistance Scheme, the Self-Employed Assistance Scheme, and the Self-Employed one-off Grant.
Prime Minister Jugnauth further highlighted that despite the subsequent increase of LPG on the international market, Government has over the years subsidised the price of LPG to protect consumers especially those at the lower rung of the society. He indicated that Government is closely monitoring the prices of different food commodities and petroleum products to ensure continuity of supply and prevent any possible shortage.
He pointed out that following consultations with importers and the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the following measures are underway: review of current price of food items under control and medicines and provision of subsidy for these products; and increase in subsidy on long grain white rice and flour to maintain them at their current price.
Additionally, a Ministerial committee has been set up to look into additional measures to support the population, he announced.