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Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 10 Jun, 2020

Mauritius has focused on tax and financial facilitation measures comprising the removal of penalties for those taxpayers unable to submit returns due to the lockdown) and employment-related measures in the form of Wage Scheme Assistance to ensure that economic operators maintain essential  economic activities. Operating constraints remain led by a national confinement which started on 18 March 2020 and sanitary curfews limiting movement of human capital in an effort to quarantine the coronavirus. Distribution activities, retail and customs are operational  to enable the clearance of goods and outgoing passengers.

Tax measures – Direct and Indirect

(e.g. payment deferrals, rate reductions…)

Click here to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

Particular considerations for employees (under the Workers’ Rights Act 2019)

  • Workers’ rights will not be impacted if they are forced not to work.
  • Both public and private sector are being asked and encouraged to work from home.
  • COVID-19 Work Access Permits have been issued to key persons of all organizations who need access to their place of work.
  • All companies in Mauritius can apply for Wage Assistance subsidy to alleviate the employee cost for the month of March ranging from  15 days basic wage bill to MUR 12,500 per employee.
  • Workers from the informal sector, i.e self employed not registered with the revenue authority will get 50% of the prevailing minimum wage if they register with the revenue authority during the COVID19 lockdown.
  • Priority sectors for assistance are travel and tourism sector, export-oriented enterprises, ICT/BPO sector, SMEs and other sectors of the economy, who become technically unemployed on a temporary basis due to the impact of the Coronavirus.

Extension of the Government Wage Assistance Scheme (GWAS) and the Self-Employed

Assistance Scheme (SEAS):

  • The GWAS has been extended up to 30 April 2020 and will cover salary for the month of April 2020. This is eligible for employees drawing a monthly basic wage of up to MUR 50,000 subject to a cap of MUR 25,000 of assistance per Employee.
  • Under the SEAS, self-employed individuals were entitled to receive an amount of MUR 5,100 for the one month period, 16 March 2020 to 15 April 2020. For the fortnight 16 April 2020 to 30 April 2020, an additional amount of MUR 2,550 will be paid to the self-employed individuals.

The COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill also contains

  • For those that received government wage assistance, a COVID-19 levy Extension of the government wage assistance program.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

  • The Mauritius Government has applied for a grant of MUR 26bn from the world bank.
  • The Central Bank will allow households impacted by COVID-19 a moratorium of six (6) months on capital repayments on their existing household loans as from the 1st of April 2020.  Low income groups will see the Bank of Mauritius bear the interest payable on outstanding household credits with commercial banks up to June 2020.
  • The BOM has initiated a USD/MUR swap arrangement with commercial banks for an initial amount of USD100 million to  enable commercial banks to support import-oriented businesses, except for the State Trading Corporation which will be dealing directly with the Bank of Mauritius for its foreign currency requirements until further notice.
  • The Bank of Mauritius has removed shared ATM fees and will continue to maintain adequate supply of banknotes to commercial banks for their ATMs( Source: BOM website).
  • Non renewal of road taxes and vehicle insurance will not be enforced for a period of one month.
  • Electricity consumption rates have been reduced for low income groups and small businesses.
  • Further to the decision taken on Thursday 16th of April 2020 by the Monetary Policy Committee to reduce the Key Repo Rate by 100 basis points to 1.85 per cent per annum, the Bank of Mauritius has reduced the interest rate applicable on its Special Relief Amount under its COVID-19 Support Program equally by 100 basis points.
  • Accordingly, the interest rate on advances to impacted economic operators under the Special Relief Amount, initially capped by the Bank of Mauritius at the fixed rate of 2.50 per cent per annum, now stands at 1.50 per cent per annum.

Other measures and sources

  • Capital Market activity has been suspended. The Stock Exchange of Mauritius has suspended all trading until further notice.
  • The NBFS regulator ( FSC) will not charge administrative penalties for late filing and reporting obligations due for end March 2020, arising strictly because of the COVID-19 curfew period, provided submissions due for end March 2020 are made on or before 30 June 2020.
  • The Stock Exchange of Mauritius are accepting late filings.
  • The Registrar of Companies and Directors of Insolvency are accepting email notifications and late filings and assisting with derogations.

Main sources of information

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