Seychelles’ Constitutional Review Committee issues Report

Posted in Seychelles government at 9:21 pm by Robert Klien

On December 23, Lawyer Francis Chang-Sam, who headed the Constitutional Review Committee, gave a report to President James Michel at State House.

The report consists of 60 pages. The team finished this report 6 months behind schedule because most of the members of the committee have been very busy.

According to Mr Chang-Sam, the Constitutional Review Committee welcomed contributions from the public and received a few. The committee recommended to make its proposals public.


IMF approves USD 31 million for Seychelles reforms

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 8:02 pm by Robert Klien

On December 19, 2009, the Seychelles government said that a new USD 31 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would support the 2nd wave of reforms on the heavily indebted Indian Ocean archipelago.

IMF approved the loan and cancelled an existing 2-year standby arrangement (SBA) for USD 26 million which had a year outstanding.

According to Finance Minister Danny Faure, the new Extended Fund Facility (EFF) would kick in immediately. He said: “The EFF will bring funds of $31 million to support our medium term reform strategy which is looking at debt restructuring, public sector reform and preserving the macroeconomic stabilisation”.

The Indian Ocean archipelago launched an exchange offer on the USD 230 million bond and 3 other debt instruments aimed to help place it on a more sustainable footing.

It should not be neglected that the impact of the global crisis and decades of unsustainable spending had left Seychelles close to collapse. It is expected that in 2009 the tourism-driven economy will contract by 7.5% before re-bounding to 4% in 2010.

According to Central Bank Governor Pierre Laporte, disciplined monetary policy and aggressive cuts in government spending had stabilised the economy faster than had been predicted.

It should be noted that Seychelles’ external debt topped USD 800 million at the beginning of 2009.


Seychelles signs military cooperation pact with UAE

Posted in International relations, Seychelles government at 6:49 pm by Robert Klien

On December 22, 2009, it was announced that the Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement for military cooperation.

The agreement was signed on December 21 by Seychelles’ Minister of Environment Joel Morgan and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Abdullah welcomed the visiting Minister of Seychelles and expressed his praising of the progressive ties of friendship and cooperation between the countries.

The agreement provides for promotion and facilitation of military cooperation between the Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates in various fields.


Trades tax on commercial vehicles to remain unchanged

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation at 6:42 pm by Robert Klien

The Seychelles’ Ministry of Finance has announced that the rate of trades tax on commercial and specialised vehicles will remain unchanged in 2010. It will be 25% and 0% respectively, but the tax on buses will be 5%.

When announcing the 2010 Budget Address in the beginning of December, Minister for Finance Danny Faure said that, as from January 1, 2010, rates of trades tax on passenger motor vehicles will be reduced across the board from between 75% and 225% to 25%.

Also, an excise tax will be introduced to offset some of these trades tax reductions.

It should be noted that the decision on taxes is in line with the government’s intention to bring Seychelles’ tax regulations up to international standards.


Seychelles celebrates its fight against corruption

Posted in Seychelles government at 12:33 pm by Robert Klien

On December 9, Seychelles for the 1st time celebrated the International Anti-Corruption Day.

Though the United Nations took up the fight against corruption long ago, and its special day was initiated in 2003, the Public Officers’ Ethics Commission in Seychelles came into force only in 2008. The Commission organised the event.

The commission’s chief executive Lekha Nair has joined the battle against corruption with the help of the Commonwealth a 1-day symposium held at Le Méridien Barbarons Hotel. This event was aimed to shed light on anti-corruption strategies.

According to Nair, the new commission is playing a role as a political watchdog, so anti-corruption strategies will be pointed out. Law-enforcement agencies, policing and monitoring units, and oversight institutions such as the judiciary, as well as members of the National Assembly will attend the symposium.


Seychelles takes measures to enforce minimum wage

Posted in Seychelles government, Seychelles legislation at 12:24 pm by Robert Klien

Legal action is among new measures that can be taken by the Employment Department in order to ensure employers comply with the minimum wage regulation set up in January 2008.

The new measures are necessary now as a rise of R1 an hour in the minimum wage has been announced. The new rate will be R16.50 an hour as from July 2010 – this increase was announced by Minister for Finance Danny Faure during his 2010 Budget Address.

Director General for employment Jules Baker said that despite the regulation, there are still complaints being received from workers who are not being paid properly. If found guilty, employers will be fined from R1,000 up to R10,000 depending on the offence. Those who go on refusing to comply with the regulation will pay an extra fine of R200 a day.