A second series of policy dialogue meetings is being held, today, between the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, and several Ministers, in Port-Louis, in the context of the forthcoming Budget 2021-2022.
Discussions focussed on the way forward as regards key priority projects in respective sectors at a time where the world economy is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Need to reskill the workforce
Dr Padayachy first met the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, and Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Soodesh Satkam Callichurn.
In a statement after the meeting, the latter underlined the need to reskill the workforce so as to better prepare for the future when the economy will be fully functional. At present, he observed, many people have lost their jobs and the workforce market is very restricted with no visibility.
He also highlighted that discussions with the Finance Minister centred on job creation, skilling, and the training of youth. In the same vein, he dwelt on the need to relaunch the National Employment Department and to allocate necessary funds for this project. The ultimate goal, he stated, is to offer a job to each Mauritian.
Developing the STC into a profitable institution
As regards the Commerce Division, Minister Callichurn highlighted the need to develop the State Trading Corporation (STC) into a profitable institution. According to him, the STC should have its own storage capacity which will enable it to store gas and fuel and to eventually make profits. This in turn, he added, will allow STC reserves to grow which will enable it to eventually diversify into other types of activities.
Focus on Food Security Programme
Dr Padayachy then met the Attorney-General and Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Maneesh Gobin. Following the meeting, the latter stated that the meeting discussed the implementation of the World Bank’s report on the Sugar Sector Reform and the Non-Sugar Sector Reform.
He indicated that the development of the Agro-Processing Zone was also on the agenda, with emphasis on the food security programme and the need to become self-sufficient. Other issues raised, he said, included the livestock and cattle sectors, and veterinary services.
As regards the Attorney General’s Office, Minister Gobin recalled that all posts had been filled so that the department is well-staffed with professionals. He added that discussions focused on the need for the International Arbitration Centre to take off.