Blog: Ambitious Plans
An interesting feature of the address, moving the nation forward, by the acting president at the formal opening of the second session of the fifth National Assembly on April 16 was the performance appraisal of the MMM/MSM government between 2000 and 2005 and that of the Labour/PMSD since 2005.
1. Economic growth increase
2. Investment rise, including an unprecedented increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
3. The unemployment rate decline
4. The level of government debt decline relative to the size of the economy
5. Average income per head in Purchasing Power Parity terms rise by 50%, the best performance since 2000
This argument has demolished SAJ’s claim that he has resigned to save the country as it was on the brink of a precipice.
With the Government Programme 2012-2015, the government has emerged stronger and stable. Despite the worst global environment for 80 years, the remake of Medpoint II between MMM/MSM, the Prime Minister has proved that he has ambitious plans to transform the country and complete his mandate.
He has shown that he has a majority. He has got Pradeep Peetumber elected Deputy Speaker. Cehl Meeah, leader of FSM and Serge Clair, Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues, made positive remarks on the programme.
On the other hand, Eric Guimbeau has publicly stated his difference with Paul Berenger. Ashock Jugnauth has taken his distance from MMM. It is also to be noted that although Dr. Beehuspoteea, daughter of Sir Kher Jagatsingh, has joined Eric Guimbeau, she has stood up against the MMM and MSM. Do we find elections in view? Berenger and SAJ should stop taking everybody to be doormats.
I was very moved at the reference of Mauritius as an Ocean State covering a territory of 2.3 million square kilometres. I remember SSR never accepted that Mauritius was a small country. By giving a license to an American Oil Company to explore oil over an area of 53,000 square miles, he had already made our country an Ocean State, but today Navin Ramgoolam has extended this territory to 2.3m square kilometres.
It is not only the area that matters - the ocean is not a desert. It has life. It has wealth. The program contains measures to manage and harness it. No one knows yet fully what its bed contains. The recent agreement between Mauritius and Seychelles for joint jurisdiction over an area of almost 400,000 km will transform the sense of our geography. In plain language, the ocean will give us food, water and wealth.
The programme also aims at giving us prosperity, connectivity and sustainability. It strengthens the social fabric of our nation. It has detailed plans to address real issues of development and the preoccupations of all sections of the population. Youths, senior citizens, planters, fishermen, SMEs, education are all there.
Above all the Prime Minister’s ambition is to make Mauritius a high income country. The programme if successfully implemented will achieve this greater prosperity. It will raise the skills and capacities of the people. Harness the power of technology, modernise and streamline institutions, accelerate innovation, encourage diversification and growth in new sophisticated sectors.
It is worth noting that over the last 44 years of our independence, Mauritius has never suffered recession. But there is no room for complacency.
A word of caution. It is at implementation stage that the real test will come. Implementation requires hard work. A substitute to hard work is harder work. Examples must come from above.
Our ministers should work at least as they are doing now, and follow the examples of Anil Bachoo, Xavier Duval and Arvin Boolell to translate the mission and vision of the Prime Minister into reality.
If they keep on doing so, there is no doubt that they will earn the trust of the people in 2015.