The budget 2020/21 has been presented by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr the Hon. Renganaden Padayachy, yesterday, 4 June 2020.
The budget 2020/21 has been presented under exceptional circumstances and is considered to be momentous in the economical history of the country. It can be considered as the first step to safeguarding the economy from the unexpected impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The total figure discussed in the budget amounts to MUR 162.9 billion, and over 150 measures have been announced. The aim of this budget is to apply some intrepid strategies in order to facilitate and speed recovery of the economy.
Some of the areas on which the budget has emphasised are the revival of various industries, the reinforcement of investors’ confidence and the strengthening of the flexibility and autonomy of the economy.
Some of the measures which have been announced in the budget in respect to the expatriates who are living and working or have invested in the country, are as follow:
- The minimum investment amount for investors to gain the status of Permanent Resident or a holder of an immovable property under an existing scheme to obtain the status of Resident will be USD 375,000 instead of the current USD 500,000.
- In order to attract foreign talents and businesses, the holders of a Residence Permit, Occupation Permit or Permanent Residence Permit will now be allowed to acquire one plot of serviced land not exceeding 2,100 m2 for residential purposes only within a smart city. This option will be available to the permit holder for a period of 2 years ending 30th June 2022, and the non-citizens will have to complete the construction of their residential building within a period of 5 years.
- The basic monthly salary requirement for ICT professionals to obtain an occupation permit is MUR 30,000. The new budget has extended this salary figure to other specified sectors other that the ICT sector.
- The EDB will collaborate with relevant Ministries and Public Sector agencies in order to review, assess and restructure certain licenses issued by these institutions so as to facilitate development of businesses and investments. (Work permit and Residence permit to be potentially combined into a single permit.)
- A Business Obstacles Alert Mechanism has been announced by the EDB, which will have for objective to report difficulties experienced by businesses for the delivery of licences and permits.
- For those who hold a Retired Non-citizen Occupation Permit, they will now benefit from an extension of validity of 10 years instead of the 3 years.
- For investors who are looking to invest into Mauritius, the minimum investment requirement for obtaining an Occupation Permit amounted to USD 100,000, which has now been reduced to USD 50,000.
- There is no longer a minimum turnover and investment requirement for the Innovator Occupation Permit.
- Previously the dependent spouse of a permit holder could not work or invest under such status. The 2020 budget now provides that the spouse of a holder of an Occupation Permit does no longer need a permit to invest or work in Mauritius.
- The Parents of a holder of an Occupational Permit are no longer required to request a special authorization from the PMO to apply for a dependent status of the main permit holder, they are now allowed to live in Mauritius.
- Professionals holding an Occupation Permit and those holding a Residence Permit under the Retired Non-Citizen Scheme are now able to invest in other ventures without shareholding restriction.
- Permanent Residence Permits which were granted for a period of 10 years, have now been extended to 20 years.
However, please note that the above measures announced in the budget speech have not yet been implemented. Further information and details will be provided by the relevant authorities in respect to the implementation of those measures.