Statement made by the Vice-President, Mr Danny Faure, before the National Assembly,to mark 100 days of President James Michel’s new mandate 29th March 2016

Wed, 30 March 2016 | State House

Mr Speaker, dear members of the National Assembly,

I have come before the National Assembly today, on behalf of government,  to inform members and our people of the actions we have taken in line with the commitments made by President Michel for the first 100 days of his new mandate.

1. A special court will be set up to hear all drugs offences. Amendment to the law to allow judges and magistrates complete discretion when passing drug-possession sentences. Amendment to the law to allow treatment of addicts under medical supervision and rehabilitation programmes.

In its meeting of 23rd March, the Cabinet of Ministers considered a very comprehensive and modern bill of law that will cater for the measures I have mentioned.

This bill was published in the Official Gazette of 24th March, and will be presented before the National Assembly for consideration.

2. Proposal to set up a regional structure within the Indian Ocean Commission for intelligence gathering, coordination and operations against drug-trafficking networks.

This proposal was tabled during the 31st session of the Indian Ocean Commission Foreign Ministers Council which took place in Reunion on 26th February.

3. Audit of ministries and the departments has been completed.Following the audit, actions and measures will be implemented as from the month of April.

4. Payment of gratuity and compensation for former members of the defence forces. 710 former members have been paid their gratuity. There are 98 cases involving heirs which are being processed. Concerning compensation, SPDF is finalizing all the necessary documents and the aim is to start making payment as from 18th April 2016.    5. Ex-gratia payment to former RFA servicemen. 196 of 202 ex-servicemen have received their payment.  On top of the 202 ex-servicemen, there are others who have registered for consideration by the Ministry of Finance.

6. Increase of gratuity in public service.  This measure is being implemented.

7. The new “My First Job” programme has started. By the end of February 18 private sector companies were refunded for employing 71 young persons under this programme.

8. Housing allowance for graduates will extend to five years instead of three. The allowance has increased. The two measures are being implemented. The allowance is now SR4,000 monthly and this took effect as from January this year. As at 28th March 132 graduates are benefitting under this housing allowance scheme.
9. Seychellois students in private post-secondary institutions will receive the same allowances as students in state schools. This measure is being implemented.

10. The laptop scheme has been extended to also include S4 students.  Already 92 S4 students are benefitting.

11. Free access to government specialized health services for all Seychellois referred by a private doctor.

12. Start of the solar panel scheme for houses. Already installation has been completed on 15 houses.

13. 13th month salary for public sector employees. This has been undertaken.

14. Implementation of the special loan programme for pensioners, at zero interest rate, to help our elderly citizens who are 63 or over repair their houses. The scheme is in place and is being administered by HFC. On top of that, government is giving a 25% discount on all loans the pensioners are taking under this scheme.

15. Maximum salary level for housing loans from HFC will increase to SR30,000 a month. This measure is being implemented by HFC.

16. Maximum salary level for Home Improvement Loan, also known as HIL, will also increase and will be SR15,000. This measure is being implemented by HFC.

17. The maximum loan for housing will now be SR850,000. This measure is being implemented by HFC.

18. Social security pension increase. This has gone up from SR3,100 to SR3,600. The retirement pension will go up again in April this year, to reach SR5050, in line with the increase in national minimum salary.

Mr Speaker, dear members of the National Assembly,

As you agree, President Michel has kept his promises and government has delivered.

All of us, without exception, have worked hard to deliver on these commitments which have brought benefits to our people and our country in general.

The 100 days have tested our determination and our courage to accomplishWhat is good,

What is right,

What is better,

For our people and our country …

Thank you.  

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