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The island's government is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system , and Mauritius is highly ranked for democracy and for economic and political freedom. Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna , with many species endemic to the island. Mauritius is the only country in Africa where Hinduism is the largest religion. The administration uses English as its main language. It is the th largest nation in the world by size.

The Republic of Mauritius is constituted of the main island of Mauritius and several outlying islands. Saint Brandon is an archipelago comprising a number of sand-banks, shoals and islets. Its land area is 1, The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. These islands have emerged as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of kilometres to the east of the continental block made up of Africa and Madagascar.

Streams and rivers speckle the island, many formed in the cracks created by lava flows. The first historical evidence of the existence of an island now known as Mauritius is on a map produced by the Italian cartographer Alberto Cantino in In , Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island. The island appears with a Portuguese name Cirne on early Portuguese maps, probably from the name of a ship in the expedition. Later the island became a French colony and was renamed Isle de France.

The island of Mauritius was uninhabited before its first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who named it Dina Arobi. However, the island might have been visited well before by sailors of ancient times; wax tablets were found on the shores of Mauritius by the Dutch, but since the tablets were not preserved, it cannot be said whether they were of Greek , Phoenician or Arab origin.

In , Portuguese sailors came to the uninhabited island and established a visiting base. He named the island "Ilha do Cirne". The Portuguese did not stay long as they were not interested in these islands. The Dutch established a small colony on the island in , from which they exploited ebony trees and introduced sugar cane , domestic animals and deer.

It was from here that Dutch navigator Abel Tasman set out to discover the western part of Australia. The first Dutch settlement lasted twenty years.

Several attempts were subsequently made, but the settlements never developed enough to produce dividends, causing the Dutch to abandon Mauritius in In , the Code Noir was established to categorise one group of human beings as "goods", in order for the owner of these goods to be able to obtain insurance money and compensation in case of loss of his "goods".

Under his governorship, numerous buildings were erected, a number of which are still standing. The island was under the administration of the French East India Company which maintained its presence until From to , except for a brief period during the French Revolution when the inhabitants set up a government virtually independent of France, the island was controlled by officials appointed by the French Government.

Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre lived on the island from to , then went back to France, where he wrote Paul et Virginie , a love story, which made the Isle de France famous wherever the French language was spoken.

During the Napoleonic Wars , Mauritius became a base from which French corsairs organised successful raids on British commercial ships. Despite winning the Battle of Grand Port , the only French naval victory over the British during these wars, the French could not prevent the British from landing at Cap Malheureux three months later. They formally surrendered the island on the fifth day of the invasion, 3 December , [22] on terms allowing settlers to keep their land and property and to use the French language and law of France in criminal and civil matters.

Under British rule, the island's name reverted to Mauritius. The British administration, which began with Sir Robert Farquhar as Governor , led to rapid social and economic changes. However, it was tainted by the Ratsitatane episode. Ratsitatane, nephew of King Radama of Madagascar, was brought to Mauritius as a political prisoner.

He managed to escape from prison and plotted a rebellion that would free the island's slaves. He was betrayed by an associate and was caught by the British forces, summarily judged, and condemned to death. He was beheaded at Plaine Verte on 15 April , and his head was displayed as a deterrent against future uprisings among the slaves. In the same year, there was a move by the procureur-general to abolish slavery without compensation to the slave owners.

This gave rise to discontent, and, to check an eventual rebellion, the government ordered all the inhabitants to surrender their arms. Furthermore, a stone fortress, Fort Adelaide, was built on a hill now known as the Citadel hill in the centre of Port Louis to quell any uprising. Slavery was abolished in , and the planters ultimately received two million pounds sterling in compensation for the loss of their slaves who had been imported from Africa and Madagascar during the French occupation.

The abolition of slavery had important impacts on Mauritius's society, economy and population. The planters brought a large number of indentured labourers from India to work in the sugar cane fields. Between and , around half a million indentured labourers were present on the island. They worked on sugar estates, factories, in transport and on construction sites. Additionally, the British brought 8, Indian soldiers to the island.

In , the colour bar was officially abolished in Mauritius, but British governors gave little power to coloured persons, and appointed only whites as leading officials.

He also made Port Louis become a municipality so that the citizens could administer the town through their own elected representatives. A street has been named after him in Port Louis, and his bust was erected in the Jardin de la Compagnie in It created elected positions on the governing council, but the franchise was restricted mainly to the French and Creole classes. The labourers brought from India were not always fairly treated, and a German, Adolph von Plevitz, made himself the unofficial protector of these immigrants.

He mixed with many of the labourers, and in helped them to write a petition which was sent to Governor Gordon. A commission was appointed to look into the complaints made by the Indian immigrants, and in two lawyers, appointed by the British Crown, were sent from England to make an inquiry.

This Royal Commission recommended several measures that would affect the lives of Indian labourers during the next fifty years. He stayed on the island for two weeks, and urged the Indo-Mauritian community to take an interest in education and to play a more active role in politics. Back in India, he sent over a young lawyer, Manilal Doctor , to improve the plight of the Indo-Mauritians. During the same year, faster links were established with the island of Rodrigues thanks to the wireless.

In , motorcars were introduced in Mauritius, and in the first taxis, operated by Joseph Merven, came into service. The electrification of Port Louis took place in , and in the same decade the Mauritius Hydro Electric Company managed by the Atchia Brothers was authorised to provide power to the towns of upper Plaines Wilhems. The s were a period of political agitation.

The rising middle class made up of doctors, lawyers, and teachers began to challenge the political power of the sugar cane landowners. Shops and offices were damaged in the capital, and one person was killed. In the same year, , the first public cinema shows took place in Curepipe, and, in the same town, a stone building was erected to house the Royal College. World War I broke out in August Many Mauritians volunteered to fight in Europe against the Germans and in Mesopotamia against the Turks.

But the war affected Mauritius much less than the wars of the eighteenth century. On the contrary, the —18 war was a period of great prosperity because of a boom in sugar prices.

The s saw the rise of a "retrocessionism" movement which favoured the retrocession of Mauritius to France. The movement rapidly collapsed because none of the candidates who wanted Mauritius to be given back to France was elected in the elections. Due to the post-war recession, there was a sharp drop in sugar prices. Many sugar estates closed down, and it marked the end of an era for the sugar magnates who had not only controlled the economy, but also the political life of the country.

Raoul Rivet, the editor of Le Mauricien newspaper, campaigned for a revision of the constitution that would give the emerging middle class a greater role in the running of the country. The principles of Arya Samaj began to infiltrate the Hindu community, who clamoured for more social justice. The s saw the birth of the Labour Party , launched by Dr.

Emmanuel Anquetil rallied the urban workers while Pandit Sahadeo concentrated on the rural working class. The Uba riots of resulted in reforms by the local British government that improved labour conditions and led to the un-banning of labour unions.

More than 30, workers sacrificed a day's wage and came from all over the island to attend a giant meeting at the Champ de Mars. Some went to England to become pilots and ground staff in the Royal Air Force.

Mauritius was never really threatened, but several British ships were sunk outside Port Louis by German submarines in During World War II, conditions were hard in the country; the prices of commodities doubled, but the salaries of workers increased only by 10 to 20 percent. There was civil unrest, and the colonial government crushed all trade union activities.

Police officers eventually fired on the crowd, and killed three labourers including a boy of ten and a pregnant woman, Anjaly Coopen. The first general elections were held on 9 August and were won by the Labour Party. This party, led by Guy Rozemont, bettered its position in , and, on the strength of the election results, demanded universal suffrage. Constitutional conferences were held in London in and , and the ministerial system was introduced.

Voting took place for the first time on the basis of universal adult suffrage on 9 March A Constitutional Review Conference was held in London in , and a programme of further constitutional advance was established. The election was won by the Labour Party and its allies.

The Colonial Office noted that politics of a communal nature was gaining ground in Mauritius and that the choice of candidates by parties and the voting behaviour of electors were governed by ethnic and caste considerations. This led to an intense campaign to halt the population explosion, and the decade registered a sharp decline in population growth. At the Lancaster Conference of , it became clear that Britain wanted to relieve itself of the colony of Mauritius.

In , Harold Macmillan had made his famous Winds of Change Speech where he acknowledged that the best option for Britain was to give complete independence to its colonies. Thus, since the late Fifties, the way was paved for independence. A general election took place on 7 August , and the Labour Party and its two allies obtained the majority of seats. In January , six weeks before the declaration of independence the Mauritian riots occurred in Port Louis leading to the deaths of 25 people.

Mauritius adopted a new constitution and independence was proclaimed on 12 March Later in , the MMM, backed by unions, called a series of strikes in the port which caused a state of emergency in the country. The MMM leader was released a year later. In May , a student revolt that started at the University of Mauritius swept across the country. An act of Parliament was passed on 16 December to extend the right to vote to year-olds. This was seen as an attempt to appease the frustration of the younger generation.

The next general election took place on 20 December However, ideological and personality differences emerged within the MMM leadership. The MMM government split up nine months after the June election. According to an Information Ministry official the nine months was a "socialist experiment".

Industrialisation began to spread to villages as well, and attracted young workers from all ethnic communities. As a result, the sugar industry began to lose its hold on the economy. Large retail chains began opening stores opened in and offered credit facilities to low income earners, thus allowing them to afford basic household appliances. There was also a boom in the tourism industry, and new hotels sprang up throughout the island.

In the stock exchange opened its doors and in the freeport began operation. On 12 March , twenty-four years after independence, Mauritius was proclaimed a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations. Despite an improvement in the economy, which coincided with a fall in the price of petrol and a favourable dollar exchange rate, the government did not enjoy full popularity.

As early as , there was discontent. Through the Newspapers and Periodicals Amendment Act, the government tried to make every newspaper provide a bank guarantee of half a million rupees. Forty-three journalists protested by participating in a public demonstration in Port Louis, in front of Parliament. They were arrested and freed on bail.

This caused a public outcry and the government had to review its policy. There was also dissatisfaction in the education sector. There were not enough high-quality secondary colleges to answer the growing demand of primary school leavers who had got through their CPE Certificate of Primary Education.

In , a master plan for education failed to get national support and contributed to the government's downfall. The landslide victory of 60—0 was a repeat of the score, but this time it was on the side of the Labour—MMM alliance. In February , the country experienced a brief period of civil unrest. Riots flared after the popular singer Kaya , arrested for smoking marijuana at a public concert, was found dead in his prison cell. The resulting report delved into the cause of poverty and qualified many tenacious beliefs as perceptions.

In , the island of Rodrigues became an autonomous entity within the republic and was thus able to elect its own representatives to administer the island. Navin Ramgoolam was again elected in May Under the new government, the country continued with its MID Maurice Ile Durable project, started in , to make the economy less dependent on fossil fuels.

The political landscape stayed rather confused. Parliament remained closed for most of A second republic was proposed by the leaders of Labour and MMM whereby a president, elected by the population, would hold more power and rule the country in joint collaboration with the PM.

Nomination day took place on 24 November and, for the first time, electoral candidates had the option of not proclaiming their ethnic group. Only a few chose to do so. Shortly after the new government took office, the ex-PM was lengthily interrogated by the police on charges related to money laundering. The license of the Bramer Bank was revoked due to alleged lack of liquidity, and the BAI British-American Insurance was suspended from trading and placed in receivership.

A United Nations tribunal ruled that Britain had acted illegally when it created a marine protected area around the Chagos without the consent of Mauritius, thereby depriving this country of its fishing rights.

Fresh negotiations began with Jin Fei in view of reviving the project started in Tourism continued to be the main source for foreign exchange, and the number of visitors to the island reached 1. Despite this boom in the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Xavier-Luc Duval placed a two-year moratorium on the construction of new hotels.

The bill was intended to transfer the power to prosecute from the DPP Director of Public Prosecutions to an appointed commission made up of three judges. On 21 January , Anerood Jugnauth announced that in two days time he would resign in favour of his son, Finance Minister Pravind Jugnauth, who would assume the office of prime minister.

Operating from to the Truth and Justice Commission was established to explore the impact of slavery and indentured servitude in Mauritius.

The Commission was tasked to investigate the dispossession of land and "determine appropriate measures to be extended to descendants of slaves and indentured laborers. Mauritius is subdivided into nine Districts, they consist of different cities, towns and villages. The politics of Mauritius take place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, in which the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government , assisted by a Council of Ministers.

Mauritius has a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Government. Legislative power is vested in both the Government and the National Assembly. The National Assembly is Mauritius's unicameral legislature, which was called the Legislative Assembly until , when the country became a republic.

It consists of 70 members, 62 elected for four-year terms in multi-member constituencies and eight additional members, known as "best losers", appointed by the Electoral Service Commission to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities are equitably represented. The island of Mauritius is divided into 20 constituencies that return three members each, while Rodrigues is a single constituency that returns two members.

After a general election, the Electoral Supervisory Commission may nominate up to eight additional members with a view to correct any imbalance in the representation of ethnic minorities in Parliament. This system of nominating members is commonly called the best loser system.

The political party or party alliance that wins the majority of seats in Parliament forms the government. Its leader becomes the Prime Minister, who selects the Cabinet from elected members of the Assembly, except for the Attorney General, who may not be an elected member of the Assembly.

The political party or alliance which has the second largest majority forms the Official Opposition and its leader is normally nominated by the President of the Republic as the Leader of the Opposition.

Mauritius is a democracy with a government elected every five years. The most recent National Assembly Election was held on 10 December in all the 20 mainland constituencies, and in the constituency covering the island of Rodrigues.

Elections have tended to be a contest between two major coalitions of parties. Laws governing the Mauritian penal system are derived partly from French civil law and British common law. According to Justice E. The result is a reluctance to give due weight to the liberty of the citizen and the presumption of innocence. The provisional charge, part of criminal procedure law since , is a practice that allows anyone suspected of a crime to be detained — sometimes for up to two years — before being charged.

The chairman of the company was also arrested. In , the Supreme Court found the provisional charge to be null and void, as the offence set out on the provisional charge "publishing secret news" was not known to the law. Sodomy opposite-sex and same-sex anal sex is banned by the laws of the country.

Although same-sex relationships are not recognised in Mauritius, LGBT people are protected from any kind of discrimination, with the Constitution guaranteeing the right of individuals to a private life. Mauritius is one of the 96 countries to have signed the " joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity " at the United Nations , condemning violence and discrimination against LGBT people.

Mauritius has strong and friendly relations with various African, American, Asian, European and Oceania countries. Considered part of Africa geographically, Mauritius has friendly relations with African states in the region, particularly South Africa, by far its largest continental trading partner. Mauritian investors are gradually entering African markets, notably Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country's political heritage and dependence on Western markets have led to close ties with the European Union and its member states, particularly France.

It also depends on the United Kingdom as a trading partner. Relations with China and India are strong for both historical and commercial reasons. All military, police, and security functions in Mauritius are carried out by 10, active-duty personnel under the Commissioner of Police. The 8,member National Police Force is responsible for domestic law enforcement. Both units are composed of police officers on lengthy rotations to those services. Chagos was administratively part of Mauritius from the 18th century when the French first settled the islands.

All of the islands forming part of the French colonial territory of Isle de France as Mauritius was then known were ceded to the British in under the Act of Capitulation signed between the two powers. The islands were formally established as an overseas territory of the United Kingdom on 8 November On 23 June , Aldabra, Farquhar and Desroches were returned to Seychelles as a result of its attaining independence.

The UK leased the main island of the archipelago Diego Garcia to the United States under a year lease which expires in [ needs update ] to establish a military base. Since , only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, home to some 3, UK and US military and civilian contracted personnel. Chagossians have since engaged in activism to return to the archipelago, claiming that their forced expulsion and dispossession were illegal.

The dispute was arbitrated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. It is the first time that UK's conduct with regard to the Chagos Archipelago has been considered and condemned by any international court or tribunal. In reaching these conclusions, the Tribunal made several findings. UK argued that those undertakings were not binding and had no status in international law.

The Tribunal rejected that argument, holding that those undertakings became a binding international agreement upon the independence of Mauritius, and have bound UK since then. It found that UK's commitments to Mauritius in relation to fishing rights and oil and mineral rights in the Chagos Archipelago are legally binding. The Tribunal also found that UK's undertaking to return the Chagos Archipelago to Mauritius when no longer needed for defence purposes is legally binding.

The Tribunal observed that UK's failure to balance its rights and interests with those of Mauritius is to be contrasted with the approach adopted by UK with respect to the United States.

Those elements were noticeably absent in UK's approach to Mauritius. The parties differ on the characterization of the dispute. Mauritius states that its case is that the MPA is unlawful under the Convention. UK argued that the dispute concerns sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago.

Mauritius requested the Tribunal to adjudge and declare that UK is not entitled to declare an "MPA" or other maritime zones because it is not the "coastal State within the meaning of inter alia Articles 2, 55, 56 and 76 of the Convention.

The sovereignty of Mauritius was explicitly recognised by two of the arbitrators and denied by none of the other three. Three members of the Tribunal found that they did not have jurisdiction to rule on that question; they expressed no view as to which of the two States has sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago.

The Tribunal's decision determined that UK's undertaking to return the Chagos Archipelago to Mauritius gives Mauritius an interest in significant decisions that bear upon possible future uses of the Archipelago. The result of the Tribunal's decision is that, it is now open to the Parties to enter into the negotiations that the Tribunal would have expected prior to the proclamation of the MPA, with a view to achieving a mutually satisfactory arrangement for protecting the marine environment, to the extent necessary under a "sovereignty umbrella".

The environment in Mauritius is typically tropical in the coastal regions with forests in the mountainous areas. Seasonal cyclones are destructive to its flora and fauna, although they recover quickly.

Mauritius ranked second in an air quality index released by the World Health Organization in Situated near the Tropic of Capricorn , Mauritius has a tropical climate. There are 2 seasons: The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.

The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching Although there is no marked rainy season, most of the rainfall occurs in summer months. The prevailing trade winds keep the east side of the island cooler and bring more rain. There can also be a marked difference in temperature and rainfall from one side of the island to the other. Occasional tropical cyclones generally occur between January and March and tend to disrupt the weather for only about three days, bringing heavy rain.

Assess and resolve non-standard and standard issues or problems. September — March Award: Certificate of course Completion [upon proficiency achieved] Duration: Performing a variety of cleaning activities such as sweeping, mopping, dusting and polishing.

Ensuring all rooms are cared for and inspected according to standards. Be responsible for efficient and orderly management of cleaning, servicing and repairing of guest rooms. Be responsible for hotel linen and check its movement and distribution to room attendants. Keep an inventory of all housekeeping supplies and check it regularly. Setting up workstations with all needed ingredients and cooking equipment.

Preparing ingredients to use in cooking chopping and peeling vegetables, cutting meat etc. Cooking food in various utensils or grillers.

Cleans food preparation areas as determined by law and company policy. Prepares foods to the specifications of the client Makes adjustments to food items to accommodate guests with allergies or specific diet concerns. Manages other employees in the kitchen.

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