Taxing the Villagers

Mauritius Times – 60 Years

Without fear of contradiction, it can be averred that local government in the rural districts has developed rapidly and evenly since its inception over a decade ago. The local Village Councils were governed by the District Councils where the Civil Commissioners were playing the central role. It was foreseen that after some time the Civil Commissioners would disappear leaving the whole movement into the hands of the local councillors. The time is perhaps not far when most of the powers of Civil Commissioners will be transferred to the direct representatives of the rural population.

“Levying of taxes is a very unpleasant affair, especially for the ruling party. The tendency of expecting a lot of services without paying for them will take time to die. There is, in addition, the political aspect of the problem…”

So far the District Councils have no revenue of their own; they are not authorised to levy any sort of tax. They have to manage with the annual grants allowed to them by the Central Administration. And their commitments range from road scavenging to granting of scholarships to primary schoolchildren. Levying of taxes is a very unpleasant affair, especially for the ruling party. The tendency of expecting a lot of services without paying for them will take time to die. There is, in addition, the political aspect of the problem.

Nonetheless, Government is bent upon making the District Councils play a more effective part in the overall development of the rural areas. In order to increase their income, District Councils are authorised to raise entertainment tax. This is a new departure. The present law relating to entertainment tax is amended so as to enable the District Councils to strengthen entertainment tax regulations.

The Governor-in-Council has approved by-laws empowering all the District Councils to collect entertainment duty in connection with any public exhibition, performance, amusement, games or sport’s meeting to which the public is admitted on payment. The duty will represent ten per cent of the admission fee.

The by-laws exempt non-profit making organizations from paying entertainment duty. Such duties will not be raised on the admission fee at an exhibition of the products of an industry, or the display of skills of workers, or works of art, or craft, or displays of skill which are of material interest in connection with questions relating to public health.

Performance of music by a band or an exhibition of work by children under sixteen will not be taxable provided that the whole admission proceeds are devoted to charitable purposes. Duty will also not be claimed when the entertainment is intended only for the amusement of children and the charge for admission of each child does not exceed twenty-five cents.

It is stipulated that no tickets other than tickets duly stamped by the District Councils shall be used for admission to any entertainment. Moreover, no person shall be admitted to any entertainment without payment unless that person is holder of a complimentary ticket. Proprietors of entertainment places shall be bound to submit returns of admission fees.

The District Council may require a proprietor to keep registers of payments for admission and record tickets or books of season tickets which have been duly stamped. He shall pay to the District Council the full amount of the duties due by him within five days after the submission of his returns.

The new by-laws laydown that anyone acting in breach of the laws is liable, on conviction, to a maximum fine of Rs 100. This penalty will have to be revised if experience happens to show that it is ineffective. It is also said that any officer authorised by the District Council may enter any place of entertainment to ascertain whether the provisions of these by laws are respected. But it is not clear whether he is legally empowered to compel a member of the audience to produce his admission ticket. The particular by-law relating to complimentary tickets is wrongly worded; it is inadequate because it does not limit the percentage of such tickets which can be allowed. There may be abuse on this score.

In The Civil Service

The following promotions in and appointments to the Public Service during the week ended 6th Aug 1959, are released from the Colonial Secretary’s Office:


Mr J.L. Allier, Senior Executive Officer, promoted Finance Officer Grade I.

Mr S.P.Y. Valadon, Meteorological Assistant Grade II, promoted Assistant Meteorologist, Meteorological Department.

Mr G.S. Naidu, Clerical Officer, promoted Chief Storekeeper, Telecommunications Department.

Mr M.A. Beebeejaun, 1st Class Teacher, promoted Head Teacher.

Mr M.A. Musbally, Clerical Officer, promoted Executive Officer.

Mr M. Gungabeesoon, Clerical Officer promoted Higher Clerical Officer.

Mrs A. Remy, G. Xavier, and Miss M. Maugendre, Typists and Stenographers, promoted Confidential Assistants.

Mr H. Salaun, Store-Clerk Class II, promoted Assistant Storekeeper, Public Works Department.


Messrs S. Vythilingum and I. Nobeebocus appointed Messengers.

Acting Appointments

Mr A. Dupavillon, Superintendent of Police, to act as Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Mr L.A.P. Vallet, Executive Engineer, to act as Senior Engineer, Public Works Department.

Mr R. Seeruthun, Chief Finance Officer to act as Accountant, Accountant General’s Department.

Mr N. Nalletamby, Finance Officer Grade II, to act as Finance Officer Grade I.

Mr M. Osman, Executive Officer, to act as Finance Officer Grade II.

Mr Vinayagam S. Pillay, Storekeeper, to act as Senior Storekeeper, Granary.

6th Year – No 260
Friday 7th August 1959

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 12 January 2024

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