‘The Battle for Chagos Archipelago’

Readers Speak/Opinion

I refer to your article ‘The Battle for Chagos Archipelago’ by Mrinal Roy. The UN vote was advisory. China, Russia, USA and the EU did not vote against Britain. Diego Garcia military base is an important part of security for the Indian Ocean. More than two billion people live on the Indian Ocean. The security of the whole region is more important.

Notice the protesters are in London. Because they have the right to live in the UK and the EU. Better than living in poverty on a remote desert island.


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The Drug Commission

Following TP Saran’s article ‘Duval: ‘Le grand absent du budget’, I would like to state that for all those who have some brains still working, the recommendations of the Drug Commission have been thrown to the bins for more than obvious reasons. The report confirmed what Pravind Jugnauth himself had confessed. “Lepep pa pou krwar a ki pwin trafik ladrog inn penetre bann institision e bann trafikan inn vinn telman riss ki zot kapav ranvers enn gouvernman”.

Would this explain why the Government has refused to legalise cannabis as is presently the case in so many countries? « Nou pei otaz bann trafikan ladrog… Eski ou finn deza trouv enn konsomater leroinn pe naze depi Moris ziska Madagascar pou al sers leroinn? » 

F.L.O. Juste

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The Betamax/STC Imbroglio

I read with interest your editorial titled ‘The Betamax/STC Imbroglio’, by S.C. My question is simple : is a government elected for 5 years morally & legally right to allocate a contract of Rs 15 billion to whatever company (forget about the contract terms) where there is evidence of conflict of interest, for a period of 15 years? Remember when a government loses elections after being in power for five years, ambassadors posted in foreign countries have to resign by default !!!


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Taxe immobilière et justice fiscale

A propos Prakash Neerohoo’s article ‘Taxe immobilière: une question de justice fiscale’ published in your paper recently, please note that the trend for rich people is to buy the deserted sugarcane fields and build their residences in rural areas!

If the issue is about discrimination based on the overpowering determinant of politics, then we should annul municipal rates… and let all the inhabitants of the land pay for the expenses of local authorities…


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PRB’s Interim Allowance

2020 appears to be a boon for salary earners/occupational pensioners… Let’s hope that the value of the rupee does not depreciate as quickly as the new year sets in

At para 430 of the Budget Speech 2019-2020, the Minister of Finance says: “The PRB Report is due in January 2021. I am pleased to announce that pending the publication of the Report, I am providing for the payment of an interim monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 to all public officers as from 1st January 2020.”

Public officers, as defined in the constitution, means the holder of any public office and includes a person appointed to act in any public office. We wonder if the Minister wanted to limit the interim monthly allowance to Public Officers as per the definition above or to pay the interim allowance to all persons/officers covered by the Pay Research Bureau Report – meaning employees of the civil service, local authorities, parastatal and other statutory bodies, the Rodrigues Assembly and private secondary schools.

We would like to think he meant the later, that is the payment of the interim allowance to all those falling under the purview of the PRB. That would cost around Rs 83 million monthly or approximately Rs 1 bn for the year for the 83,000 people concerned.

The PRB Report will be effectively implemented as from 1 January 2021.One of the most important considerations for salary increase is the erosion of purchasing power (for the period under review 2016 -2020). This is measured by the difference between the cumulative rates of inflation and compensation. Taking into account the inflation rate since 2016 (year of publication of the last PRB report), and the compensation already granted by the Government, the PRB does not have much room for a significant increase. In any case the absolute salary increase cannot be less than Rs 1000.

The president of one federation of trade unions is claiming the payment of an interim monthly allowance of Rs 500 to all pensioners as from January 2020, understandably therefore to all retired officers falling under the purview of PRB. It is noteworthy that occupational pensions are recomputed on the basis of the revised pensionable emoluments of the relevant grades as from the date of implementation of the new PRB salaries. The union president appears confident to obtain parity of treatment for retirees as well.

Will officers/retirees have to reimburse the Rs 12,000 /6,000 paid to them as interim allowance? If so, how? At one go or in monthly instalments? Or is there a possibility that they do not reimburse it all? The modalities of the matter have to be worked out. We have yet another budget speech in June 2020 to clarify matters.

Anyway, 2020 appears to be a boon for salary earners/occupational pensioners… Let’s hope that the value of the rupee does not depreciate as quickly as the new year sets in.

Mohun Aujayeb

* Published in print edition on 5 July 2019

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