President Wavel Ramkalawan, chaired a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet yesterday, Wednesday 22nd February in which a number of policy and legal memoranda were approved.
Cabinet approved amendments to the National Payment System Act (NPSA). The National Payment System Act (NPSA) was enacted in 2014 with the aim of having a modern regulatory framework governing the operations of payment, clearing and settlement systems as well as retail payment instruments and services in the economy. The Central Bank of Seychelles has under this Act, the power to regulate and oversee the country’s national payment system for the purpose of ensuring its safe, secure, efficient and effective operation. The aim of the implementing the amendments approved by Cabinet yesterday is to address deficiencies identified in the law during implementation and to align the legislation with international standards and best practices. As a result of amendment to the Act the affiliated regulations will also be amended to ensure alignment between the two instruments. The amendments to the law are also in line with Government’s plan to have a modern electronic payment system that will allow for a quick and efficient payment system in a secure environment; improve the ease of doing business and eliminate potential for fraudulent activities.
In discussions of the National Payment System, Cabinet reiterated the need for retail shops to abide by the law and make use of electronic cash registers which will issue receipts for transactions made. Members of the public are encouraged to report to either the Fair Trading Commission or the Seychelles Licensing Authority, situations where retail shops are using calculators instead of a cash register. Actions will be taken against those retailers.
Cabinet approved thesignature of the ‘Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Seychelles on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters’, in accordance with Section 57 (1) of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2022 (“MLA Act”). Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters is a process by which States seek for and provide assistance to other States in matters relating to criminal investigations or proceedings that are ongoing in their respective jurisdictions. Assistance includes the gathering of information and evidence, the servicing of judicial documents, taking of measures on search, freezing, seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime, and any other forms of legal assistance for use in criminal cases that are in accordance with each States’ domestic laws and international obligations under international treaties.
Cabinet also approved the enforcement of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between the Government of the Republic of Kenya and Government of the Republic of Seychelles in July 2022 during the State visit of President Kenyatta. The main aim of entering into this Treaty is to strengthen the close cooperation between Kenya and Seychelles and to facilitate the widest measure of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters by improving the effectiveness of the competent authorities of the Parties and agreeing on the rules for the exchange of related information between these authorities.
In approving the two treaties on Mutual Legal Assistance, Cabinet reiterated the Government’s commitment for Seychelles to remain a jurisdiction that does not tolerate crime.
Cabinet was briefed on the number of Human Rights Treaties that Seychelles was party to. Cabinet thereafter approved the allocation of Human Rights Treaties to specific and relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). This allocation will allow for better data collection and reporting on the country’s achievements. Cabinet also approved the setting up of a Human Rights Treaty Reporting Committee that will facilitate Seychelles reporting on its national commitments. Cabinet pointed out that the protection of human rights is an important element in creating a healthy, happy and secure nation.
Cabinet discussed the financial and housing challenges that some citizens were facing and approved for the implementation of phase two of the part rental programme. The aim of the programme is to continue to address and support the housing needs of citizens. Final discussions will be held between the Housing and Finance Departments to finalise the programme. Details of the phase two programme will be announced once the programme is finalised. Cabinet raised concerns about situations where the tenants and the landlords were not respecting the laws applicable to renting. Cabinet pointed out that to ensure a smooth and transparent rental environment, it is necessary that both parties undertake to respect their side of the contract; that contracts are indeed issued and receipts given for payment transactions.