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New Application To Help Consumers To Make Well-Informed Buying Decision Available In January 2023

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An application that would better inform consumers, enable them to compare prices of some 100 products across different supermarkets and consequently, make more informed buying choices would be launched in January 2023.

This was announced by the Minister of Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Soodesh Callichurn,  during a press conference, in Port Louis, on the achievements, for the year 2022, of the various departments falling under his purview.

“A subsidy of some Rs 1.3 billion had been disbursed by Government, and 371 different brands of commodities were fixed under the Consumer Protection (Maximum Price of Essential Goods) Regulations,” said Mr Callychurn. He highlighted Government’s efforts to assist the population in purchasing flour, edible oil, rice and household liquefied petroleum gas despite their high prices, as well as the grant paid by the Mauritius Revenue Authority to bakeries to compensate for the rise in the cost of production and maintain the current price of breads.

Moreover, Mr Callichurn recalled the re-establishment of the former Price Observatory in order to provide to the public a greater visibility on prices of essential products for more informed buying. He talked as well of the decision to enable the State Trading Corporation (STC) to import certain essential products in order to reduce importation costs, stabilise retail price and make the product more accessible and affordable to the general public. The

On the labour front, the Minister remarked that the unemployment rate dropped from 10.4% in 2020 to 8.1% currently, and that enterprises, mainly in the hospitality sector, had difficulties in recruiting and filling vacancies.

Other amendments to laws and regulations to protect workers’ rights that were introduced in 2022 were mentioned. Among featured the right for an employee to be reinstated, and preventing an employer from dismissing an employee on the grounds of bad performance after the latter had been injured at his place of work.

Furthermore, the Minister indicated that in 2023, the National Remuneration Board would be reviewing the salary and working conditions in several sectors like the hospitality industry. He added that the next review of the National Minimum Wage by the National Wage Consultative Council would be due for 2024. He apprised too of the necessity of conducting research on the establishment of a salary scale that would take into consideration years of service.

As regards training, the Minister reiterated the importance of vocational education in equipping the local workforce, in particular young people, with the necessary knowledge, and skills, and to respond to the high demand for tradesmen. Underlining the various incentives set up by Government to encourage young people to follow Technical and Vocational Education such as free training, and payment of monthly stipend, Mr Callychurn called on the youth to avail of these opportunities.

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