Friday, November 4, 2011

Measures for Rodrigues Island in the 2012 Budget

XLD,Minister of Finance Speech:

  Mr Speaker, Sir, I will now announce a game changing measure for
Rodrigues - a development that will make a notable transformation in the
life of every Rodriguan.  Every successful town, city or country has known
a major turning point in their history. Today we are creating that turning
point for Rodrigues by connecting its people, its businesses, and its
professionals to the rest of the world.  
337.  Mr Speaker, Sir, a submarine fibre cable will be laid to link
Rodrigues to Mauritius.
338.  This will usher in an era of cutting edge communication technology
in Rodrigues while at the same time  connecting the island to rest of the
world.   This will provide fast and reliable bandwidth to the island.  And Mr,
Speaker, Sir, it will significantly bridge the digital gap for Rodriguans.
339.  The estimated cost of this  ground-breaking venture is 600 million
rupees.  Government will provide financing which will be reimbursed over
twenty years.  
340.  The Universal Service Fund (USF) will provide an annual grant to
service the loan and keep prices at the levels in Mauritius.    
341.  Mr Speaker, Sir, Rodrigues  has numerous qualified and educated
youth. Opportunities for work and advancement will be at their doorstep.
At a stroke their career prospects and their lives are being transformed.  
342.  The Prime Minister and the Minister for Rodrigues have been
particularly supportive of this initiative.  And I thank them for that.
343.  Mr Speaker, Sir, the grant to the Rodrigues Regional Assembly will
amount to 1.649 billion rupees - an increase of 45 million rupees over the
previous year. This will enable the  RRA to have a stronger development
focus.  As a result, the RRA will be able to clear land for airport
development and dredge access to the port.   38
344.  We are also subsidising airfares to Rodrigues until the end of
December 2012.
345.  At the request of our colleagues from Rodrigues, Government will
provide residential accommodation for families of Rodriguan patients
coming to Mauritius for treatment

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