Sunday, June 30, 2013

State Flip Flops On the CNT

First it reallocates routes to private companies because a number of the CNT buses are apparently unfit for our roads. That seemed to have been discovered right after 11 people died recently in a gruesome accident in Soreze. And then workers strike because they feel it's a disguised attempt to privatise their organisation essentially asking why would the most profitable lines be transferred if not to further weaken the company.

Government then u-turns under pressure and hands back the lines. The strike stops but then on Friday Cabinet maintains the reallocation of the routes saying it cannot play with the security of passengers.

Now, isn't that funny? Tolerance for killer buses doesn't seem to be uniform among cabinet members. It would be interesting to find out the safety features of the CNT buses compared to let us say those of the official cars that are provided to Ministers. And about the operational history of each of the buses that the CNT bought over the last 20 years or so. Not bad either if we could be told what exactly was done after the accident in Montebello in 2009 where four people lost their lives.

By the way, how come the state buys sophisticated transport equipment like the Airbus A-340 and then buys crap for the travelling citizens. That too after an early harvest and a bumper crop?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Berenger Back As Himself, Almost

He has grabbed back the leadership of the MMM from Alan Ganoo. But not the post of Leader of the Opposition. Shall we then infer that the latter might just be too tough for him to resume given his current medical condition?

Not too sure about this though. Given that he was seen on a soap box as recently as yesterday. And that he has said that he will be in parliament when the PM brings an electoral reform bill to our National Assembly. And if no bill is presented?

Guess you also noticed that he had to mention that Remake 2000 is still 'on'. I wonder why.

How much do we pay our MPs again?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

ACIM Makes Serious Arguments To MPC

They rightly wanted the repo rate to go up by 15-20 basis points because
  1. year-on-year inflation is already higher than it should be and soon hovering between 5% and 6%
  2. inflation hits the poor harder
  3. the latest household budget survey shows that economic growth of the last five years has not been inclusive
No one in her right mind can disagree with these facts. A few comments on them:
  1. one former Governor likened inflation to radioactivity
  2. South Africa has calculated that the inflation that hits the poor is 3% higher
  3. as expected the flat tax disease has operated like a reverse Robin Hood
Furthermore even the JEC -- not exactly the source of the most progressive economic statements since dinosaurs were wiped out from the face of the earth -- asked that the repo be left unchanged. 

How can you then explain that the Financial Secretary asked for 50 basis-point cut? And that the MPC ended up lowering the key rate by 25 basis points?

Simple: there are way too many people on the MPC and at the Ministry of Finance who don't seem to understand the scope of an MPC. That's unacceptable. Because I am sure that the cost of running the MPC is nothing to be sneezed at. We should be able to count on Mr. Alan Ganoo to find that out for us. And to apply parliamentary pressure so that the MPC works for most of us.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How Long Things Take

  1. Presentation of Financial Secretary to one MPC meeting -- about three quarters of an hour
  2. Presentation of one UK budget by Gordon Brown -- about forty-five minutes
  3. Implementation of free education in Mauritius -- literally overnight
  4. Creation of the world -- 7 days
  5. Kurukshetra War -- 18 days
  6. Creation of the American middle-class -- 7 years
  7. 2005 economic reform in Mauritius -- 8-year poop and still waiting for Godot
  8. Deactivation of Mauritian demographic bomb -- 10 years
  9. Malawi following famine-creating policies courtesy of the World Bank -- 2 decades

Monday, June 17, 2013

Confederations Cup Offers Sneak Preview of Next World Cup

That's what you could take away after watching the first three matches of this competition currently happening in 6 Brazilian Cities between 8 teams. Although Brazil beat Japan 3-0 I was not impressed by the Selecao. I found their passes quite sloppy. True they got some great talent on board but don't they always do? Italy met Mexico and the match felt like a World Cup Final. Italy has a strong squadron and seem to be a lot more organised than the Brazilian side. But don't write Mexico off yet. It is after all the current Gold Medalist of the last Olympic Soccer tournament.

And then Spain played Luis Suarez and friends and won 2-1. Spain is simply unbelievable. As usual they make a debilitating number of precise passes that drive their opponents nuts and then pounce for goal each time they're given half a chance. Which is quite often.

But let's not be in a hurry to sell the bear's skin. The final is on June 30 at what used to be the Grand Daddy of all stadiums: the Maracana.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Club M To Miss World Cup in Brazil

Very surprised to learn that we apparently pulled out of the qualifying rounds in October 2011. A BBC article quoted a source within the MFA attributing the withdrawal to a lack of funds.

Mauritius participated in the qualifying rounds of the last four World Cups.

So shocking!