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Mauritius’ new law could oust ‘Sugar Syndicate’ from major deals

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Mauritius' new law could oust 'Sugar Syndicate' from major deals

The Mauritius Sugar Syndicate (MSS), the custodian of Mauritius cane sugars, could be enjoying its last days of quasi-monopoly.

According to a controversial proposed new law, the MSS could soon be called to operate alongside other intermediaries or brokers. This proposal has reportedly provoked an uproar amidst “traditional players in the sugar industry.”

The MSS is governed by sugar producers, comprising corporate and smaller independent sugarcane growers as well as millers. It works towards optimising producers’ revenue through marketing and distribution of sale proceeds.

This proposed change is in the form of amendment to the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority Act of 2011 in the 2022-23 Budget documents which reads as follows: “allow sugar producers to deliver sugar to MSS or any other  Authorized Body as may be approved by the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA)”.

In other words, the new rule will allow entities other than the MSS to market and sell the sugar produced in Mauritius.

Technically, if the MCIA so wishes, it could bypass the MSS for all sugar-related transactions.

The MCIA is a State-run organisation operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Agro-Industry.

Its Board of Directors comprises:

  • Mr. Medha Gunputh,
  • Mrs. Indira Rugjee,
  • Mr. Vikash Ramkelawon,
  • Mr. Jacques M D’Unienville
  • Mr. Amal K M Mungur
  • Mr. Jean Li Yuen Fong and
  • Mr. Nundlall Basant Rai.

According to l’Express newspaper, traditional sugar industry barons have deplored that they have not been consulted for the new scheme, especially since a recent study by the World Bank had concluded that the current structure was beneficial to Mauritius as it allowed economies of scale and better bargaining power.

Most importantly, the current structure is said to be pretty transparent, without the slightest trace of intermediaries or brokers.

Severe criticisms came from Labour Party MP Arvin Boolell – he claimed the proposed amendment proposed could lead to the death of the cane industry.

Speaking during budget debates at the National Assembly on Friday, June 17, Dr Boolell urged the Minister of Agro-industry “to think carefully before proceeding with the amendment.”

According to him, the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate is an “established body with solid international reputation and there is no room for a third party or other authority.”

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The information and opinions expressed in our published works are those of authors/sources believed to be reliable. NewsMoris makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed.