Cabinet Business - Wednesday 26th May 2021
27 May 2021
President Wavel Ramkalawan yesterday, Wednesday 26th May, chaired a virtual meeting of the Cabinet at which a number of legal and policy memoranda were considered.
Cabinet approved amendments to Schedules 4 and 5 of SI 1 of 2015 Revenue Administration (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations. Under these regulations, financial institutions are required to submit certain information to the Seychelles Revenue Commission in respect of accounts held by non-residents. The Regulations would be reviewed to include new jurisdictions participating within the framework of this reporting requirement. The new jurisdictions, which have been added to the list of participating jurisdictions are North Caledonia and Peru. Schedule 5 on the other hand lists the reportable jurisdictions and has been amended to include Costa Rica, Curacao and Grenada.
Cabinet also approved amendments to the Revenue Administration Act, to enable the Commissioner General to write-off outstanding tax debts, subject to the approval of the Minister responsible for Finance. The amendment will allow for the write off of debts that cannot be collected for reasons including serious hardship such as bankruptcy, serious illness and the death of the tax payer.
Cabinet approved for the signing of an Agreement between Seychelles and UNESCO on the Establishment of the Institute for Early Childhood Development as a Category II Institution under Auspices of UNESCO. As a category II centre IECD will play a key role in the implementation of UNESCO’ strategy nationally and internationally to share their expertise and best practices with other early childhood development institutions. The approval will also necessitate amendment to the IECD Act to align it with the requirements of the agreement and international obligations of UNESCO category centres.
Cabinet was briefed on work undertaken to attain the set goals and targets of the Results-Oriented Programme for Strengthening the Quality of the Social Protection System in Seychelles, and facilitate the planned disbursement of US$ 13.5 M for the Financial Year 2021. The main focus of the first series of actions includes improving the allocative efficiency of the social protection programmes as well as the provision of better quality services to beneficiaries hence increasing the effectiveness of social protection programme. The President congratulated Ministers for their commitment to the reforms and urged them to take on further action to ensure actions are achieved on deadline. Funds from the World Bank will be disbursed as and when planned actions are completed by the Government.
Cabinet approved reforms in the oversight status, institutional arrangements, operations, and management of the burial services. An assessment of the activities of the Cemetery Services Agency in line with burial services revealed deficiencies which necessitated the reform approved by Cabinet. Key findings of the assessment revealed that the outsourcing of the services was not done in accordance with the Public Procurement Act and the Management Agreement was also deficient in other aspects.
Cabinet approved for Government to take over the burial services. All assets of the Cemetery Services Agency will be transferred to Agency for Social Protection (ASP). The staff of the Cemetery Services Agency, except for the Director, will be offered employment by the ASP. Further investigation will be undertaken concerning irregularities in the management of Government funds.
Cabinet approved amendments to the Port Victoria Rehabilitation and Extension Project. The amendments include a reduction in the outward extension from 40metres to 10 metres and a reduction in the dredged depth from -16 m to -13.5 m. The implementation of the project will be done in three phases. Additional financing of approximately €30M will be necessary for the completion of the project. Upon completion the new Port facilities will provide better service to the vessels coming into Port Victoria and increase the revenue collected by SPA.
The Respective Ministries and Departments will provide further information to the media.