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Sunday, April 14, 2024

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Pre-Budget Consultations: Finance Minister Holds Meeting with Fishermen Associations

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The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, chaired a Pre-Budget consultative meeting in the context of Budget 2024-2025, with Associations of Fishermen, this afternoon, in Port Louis. 

Pre- Budget meeting 2024-2025
Pre- Budget meeting 2024-2025

Representatives of several associations participated in the meeting, including the St Patrick Cooperative Society; Des Anges Cooperative Society; Lyons Cooperatives Society; St Louis Fishermen Cooperative Society; Quartier Ville Noire Cooperative Society; Le Morne BT/L Fishermen Cooperative Society; Association of Fishermen Pamplemousses; Association des Pecheurs de Roches Noires; Association des Pêcheurs Professionels Grand Bay; Association de Pêcheurs Professionels de Trou Fanfaron; Marie Reine Multipurpose Cooperative Society; Le Migrateur Offshore Fishing Cooperative Society Limited and, Syndicat des Pêcheurs. 

In a statement following the meeting, Mr James Judex Rampaul, from the Syndicat des Pêcheurs, indicated that the objective of the meeting was to share with the Minister, proposals and suggestions put forth by the fishing community, and to outline previous proposals that have not yet been implemented. 

Moreover, he underscored that the main focus of the consultation was the restructuring of the Fishermen Investment Trust (FIT), which was set up in 2006 to cater to the needs of fishers in the Republic of Mauritius and act as a key player in the fishing industry. 

Elaborating on the purpose of this restructuring, Mr Rampaul remarked that this will assist in democratising the fishery resources so that fishermen can have their budget management system via FIT to develop projects and schemes for the empowerment of fishermen. 

The fisheries sector, he emphasised, is a partner of the Government as it contributes consequently to the socio-economic development of the country given its large Exclusive Economic Zone. 

According to him, fishers form part of the three sectors that contribute to the food sector besides planters and breeders, and are equally affected by catastrophes such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climatic challenges, and presently, Dengue. Thus, it is imperative to implement the FIT to cater to its operational activities and not rely solely on annual budgetary measures and schemes, to ultimately become a pillar of the economy. 

Mr Rampaul also acknowledged the assistance received in previous budgets targeting the elimination of fishermen’s loans of more than twenty years, as well as various other schemes including the bad weather allowance and, assistance for the purchase of boats.

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