Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mauritian Taxpayers Handed Rs5 Billion Bill

Because Government lost the arbitration against Betamax Ltd. That's going to be hard to pay given that the Sithanen flat tax has broken our economy and there's tens of billions of rupees missing in the Government till. It's going to be even harder for voters to digest. How did we end up in yet another mess? Has there been any negligence and recklessness along the way?

At the very least salaries of Ministers -- and that of the Leader of the opposition given that he was the DPM until recently -- should immediately be cut by 80% to save around Rs150 million over the next twenty-four months. Government MPs should also take a big pay cut. Per diem rates should be revised downwards and overseas travel reduced to a strict minimum. Official cars should be traded for more reasonable alternatives. Like bus passes and bikes. And running shoes.

We also need to have more tools to deal with these kinds of situations. Like legislation that could better align the interests of politicians with ours. Including mechanisms for seizing a significant portion of the assets of members of cabinet after they play bull with our china shop. This is all the more necessary given that there are other cases pending including the USD1bn of damages lodged by Rawat.


akagugo said...

Is this a surprise?
Unilaterally ending a contract without following the terms of the contract (notification of alleged breach, substantiating the claim, seeking the settlement of the claim, and if unsatisfactory seeking an Amicable Settlement, then Dispute Adjudication Board, then Arbitration, all depending on the terms of the contract) breeds a breach of the Contract, which has its consequences. Painful, but logical.
And by the way, normally, having recourse to an Arbitration process voids the right to appeal, as most often the contract is worded in such a way: "the award of the Arbitration will be full and final": does that STC-Betamaxcontract allow appeal against the award of an Abitration Tribunal? Does the Mauritian Supreme Court have any jurisdiction over this matter? Because beware: Dodoland is signatory to both the New York Arbitration Convention and UNCITRAL for the enforcement of arbitral awards: wherever you go, the Courts of signatory countries are obliged to enforce the Arbitrator's ruling, without going into the merits of the case...
Now let's see them twist and squirm in pointing fingers at who did take the decision to breach that contract, bloody hell!

Anonymous said...

And we haven't seen the details so we don't even know if an appeal is possible! One can hardly believe the govt mouthpiece

Rishi said...

I had suggested back in early 2015 to Vishnu Lutcheenaraidoo that a tax equivalent to the excess over market price be levied on Betamax. That would have been a wiser alternative financially without forgetting the assurance of having a Mauritian vessel ship our fuel.
Cabinet decisions are bound by the principle of collective responsibility. It would be very unfair to seize assets of a minister who had no say in a particular decision. And resigning over every tough issue will bring too much instability.

Sanjay Jagatsingh said...

The minister could lose a good chunk of his assets if he misled cabinet. Or cabinet could collectively lose a portion of their assets and salaries. Or whatever.