Is Mauritius on the right track?

Carnet Hebdo

By Nita Chicooree-Mercier

Two key components of prosperity are free enterprise and workers’ rights. Easing the process of starting businesses has opened avenues for those eager to invest capital. A new phenomenon is business partnerships that cut across family bonds and ethnicity, driven by motivation, skills, and efficiency.

Traditional economic power holders, from the sugar industry to real estate magnates, often stick with their kin or partner with South African and European businessmen. However, others have tested the limits of family businesses and crossed the line to partner with individuals from different ethnic backgrounds.

You meet people who turn a plot of land into a thriving business. Large-scale agriculture keeps families busy all week with the help of a few employees. Work starts at 5 am and ends at 1 pm. Hundreds of vegetable plants are sold to retailers weekly.

Another entrepreneur started a nursery unit, supplying other nurseries, selling to hotels, and renting plants for special events, expanding his customer base with new residences cropping up. It is a full-time job, and he is quite satisfied and happy about being self-employed.

A widowed woman in Fond du Sac cultivates wild hibiscus, locally known as La Roselle, known for its anti-diabetic properties. She hires a Bangladeshi worker when needed to clean the ground and pick the flowers. She sells homemade juice and jam to bakeries, advertises them on social media, and receives public orders. The entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of our compatriots are impressive.

You meet people who regularly upgrade their skills or turn to different sectors. A young man who worked as a pastry cook in a hotel now runs his own business, supplying pastries to restaurants and hotels.

– “I work for myself now,” Valentino proudly tells you.

Another individual started in low-paying jobs, took courses in accountancy, and now employs a few accountants. He has partnered with two other businessmen to open a classy restaurant. A young lady took over a real estate agency after the owner’s demise instead of closing it down. She acquired all the necessary skills to run the business herself. There may be unemployment among doctors, lawyers, and engineers, but not if you have an incentive for entrepreneurship.

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What is the direct consequence of the minimum wage? Firstly, it makes unscrupulous employers think twice before exploiting their employees. It enhances workers’ self-worth and dignity, reduces the inequality gap, and has a direct psychological feel-good effect. Is that an insignificant contribution to social justice? Above partisan politics and power struggles, the well-being of the developing nation should top all priorities.

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The call to prioritize political identity is an appeal to the public to value national interests and think in terms of a unified people living in one country. It is a commitment to strengthening nation-building and setting aside differences in political ideology, economic outlook, ethnicity, religion, and regional interests. The aim is to join hands with the central government and work for the general upliftment of the people in an increasingly polarized society.

The Indian Prime Minister chooses his words carefully as he gears up for a third term in office, against the backdrop of divisive forces claiming sectarian interests. The message of unity sent by Narendra Modi carries spiritual significance. He undertakes a pilgrimage to Kanyakumari and meditates to mark the great responsibility he is entrusted with at this historical juncture, as his government has taken Bharat to unprecedented heights over the past ten years.

This message implies that the concept of nationhood is deeply embedded in the country’s millennia-old civilization.

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Members of the European Union are heading towards the polls to elect their representatives to the European Parliament. What is negatively portrayed as far-right wing is predicted to secure seats in several countries where citizens are increasingly vocal in rejecting Brussels’ policies that impact their lives.

Political parties with strong nationalist agendas aim to change rules in hard-hit economic sectors, foster re-industrialization, protect local agriculture, and above all, take control of migration matters. Their motto is: Countries have borders, nations have specific cultural identities, and people are sovereign. All these concepts are anathema to the EU ideology.

Once again, opponents demonize nationalism, sovereignty, patriotism, and frontiers, evoking the spectre of Mussolini, Hitler, and others to scare voters ahead of the June 9th elections. Will it work this time around?

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 7 June 2024

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