Monday, January 31, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bizlall Saying Medpoint Transaction Opaque

That was this morning on Radio+. He was pitted against former Minister Dulull. What are your views on this transaction?

How State Could Have Spent Our Money Better

By giving the green light for Phase 2 of the Midlands Dam during the last 5 years. Phase 1 cost USD 60 million (Rs1.8 billion) and took Lahmeyer International 3 years to build. That increased our water storage capacity by 40% in 2003. Phase 2 would have added another 17 million cubic metres or 20% more. That would have set us back by about Rs1.2 billion or 25% of the amount the STC claims it lost on hedging but it would have reduced frustration levels and saved a few billions in lost economic output this year alone.

But we have to understand that government was busy ripping us off with abusive retail energy prices and broadcasting dumb propaganda. Plaisir quand tu me tiens...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Planning Maverick Barely Recognisable

Mauritius reduced average fertility rate from 6 to 3 in 10 short years starting in 1963. This essentially saved us from swinging into chaos given how we were to be buffeted by a naughty string of island-sinking events afterwards. We added free education between the first two oil shocks to make sure our greatest asset would help fuel a strong rebound once sunnier economic skies returned.

In 2010 the world economy rebounded without us while this year our output could be down by several billions because we failed to hold a bit more of all the rain we get in a typical year. Mauritius instead borrowed heavily to create a lot of social injustice and to boast a low-tax high-stupidity regime.

Maybe that's because the Labour Party is itself barely recognisable.

Friday, January 14, 2011

How Many Should Die in an Accident?

Depends where it happens. If two trains collide in Germany there may be only crumpled steel involved. Two trains collide in India and hundreds of lives are lost. Mauritian life preservation norms seem to be closer to those of the subcontinent. Well at least for ordinary citizens if we look at recent severe road accidents: sugar truck flattening a bus and a lorry killing 12 passengers of a van two days ago.

We don't have to brace ourselves for more horrific events like these if we start managing better.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Economic Resilience: Ramgoolam Style

Rain is late to arrive and that could halve GDP growth. That's an external factor?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Economy Could Grow By Only 2% in 2011

Or about half the current forecast of 4.2% because of how dumb we've become managing things in general and water in particular. See Minister Beebeejaun is saying that we are facing a 1-in-40 year drought which is exactly what the authorities said to us in 1999 when lower than usual rainfall cut economic growth by 50%.

True the Midlands dam came to life in 2003 but we have to remember that our economy has grown by a third since then. And I don't think it's possible at all to shower with the Mo Ibrahim Index rankings.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Water Problems Confirm Ramgoolam's Economic Model is Junk

Abusive electricity and petroleum prices over the last five years brought a lot of money to the government till. Especially as the VAT rate was kept at 15% during a period oil prices went through the roof and their subsequent collapse was not passed on to us. Rs4.7 billion was mysteriously lost at the STC which doesn't have any oil price risk to hedge.

Record amounts of debt was borrowed -- including Rs9 billion from the World Bank -- while government did not build schools on a scale we saw between 2000 and 2005.

And Ramgoolam did not solve our recurring water problems: he was too busy making speeches while waiting for robust growth rates which never arrived.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Why African Leaders Should Be Wary of Dr. Sithanen's Prescriptions

Who is heading to the African Development Bank as their new Director for Strategy. Simply because if they follow his advice they could soon need a job at the ADB too.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The International Year of Forests Begins Now

So make sure to stroll through them during 2011 to do yourself some good. And don't forget to speak out. This will help bring common sense back to our country.

Happy New Year 2011!