Thursday, December 31, 2009
At this time of year, we would like to wish all Seychellois people local and overseas, our faithful writers and bloggers, contributors, cartoonists, friends and family members a happy, prosperous and successful New Year.
We know that 2010 will not be easy, but do remember that each day that goes by, we get closer to our destination. Freedom from all the evils of SPPF-Lepep is close at hand. Let us believe in ourselves, in our rights as a people, and let us continue to write and share with others who have yet to see the light.
Together, we will prevail and rediscover our great nation called S-E-Y-C-H-E-L-L-E-S.
Our best wishes to all. Keep the faith and keep the torch of freedom burning.
The STAR Team
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas To All Freedom Loving Seychellois
Saturday, December 19, 2009
My dear Seychellois Peasants,
Sarah, the kids and I are enjoying our Xmas holidays so much that we wanted to share a little Christmas cheer with you poor Seychellois.
At this festive moment when Seychelles is bankrupt and under IMF management, we simply cannot believe how fortunate we are to be living in paradise and enjoying the billions that we have stashed away over the last 32 years.
The beautifully wrapped presents have been arriving by container loads from all over the world. From my farmers in Australia, to the friends of the late Mario Ricci in Italy who has sent baskets of their finest salamis and cheeses, a few bottles of wine and cognac from my old socialist friends in France, a little hand made doll from North Korea, some vodka from Russia, some fat cigars from my old Cuban friend Fidel who never forgets me, a little tea-set from China, a beautiful hand-made 9mm revolver with bullets from a Rwandan colonel who prefers not to be named but who never forgot the guns and ammo James and I sold him for the Rwandan massacre, and a lot of flowers, fruits and trinkets from my personal bankers and advisors in all four corners of the world.
Even locally, cards and even more gifts have been pouring in. From Central Bank to State House, from Changleng to faithful Danny, from all the District Administrators and Lepep Party MNAs to my best old friends from La Digue and CCCL, and of course, from my personal advisor and confidante at Intelvision, Mukesh. He even gave us a free Extravaganza TV Bouquet with some naughty channels that only I can view.
I tell you, Sarah and I are so blessed and thankful for all these gifts. Sometimes, I simply cannot believe my luck and good fortune. To think that I had "tres peu de sous" just a few years ago, and now this.
But the icing on the cake is of course the cards received from IMF and those guys at Paris Club who have been pardoning some of the debts Mookie, Michel and I created. And I reckon by 2011, you poor peasants will have forgotten the US$ 2.4 billion that has gone missing from our system and you will once again elect James Michel for another term. That is, if Seychelles has not already sunk either from the debts or from all the global warming hot air coming from him lately at Copenhagen. I think that James is starting to like that teleprompter just a little bit too much and really thinks that people believe all that rubbish about sinking islands. Of course, I know first-hand because I grew up on some of those islands. But I do worry a little too because if our islands disappeared, where would Glenny get my turtle meat from, let alone entertain his Mauritian friends? Would be a sad Christmas party indeed without my favourite "Cai Torti" and a few Fouket birds on the grill.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Michel's book will probably be titled "The Seychelles Island Emperor With No Clothes" by James Michel.
Possible Book Cover for Michel's Autobiography
Of course, JAM is not to be confused with James Albert Michener the author of great books such as Hawaii, The Covenant, Mexico, Alaska and Tales of the South Pacific. Michener won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1948 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. Well deserved awards may I add, and nothing like these fake trophies from Lebanon.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
2nd Floor Ebrahim Building – P.O. Box 1399 VICTORIA – MAHE – SEYCHELLES
Tel: 323 812 Fax: 321422 E-mail: scci@Seychelles.net
PRESS COMMUNIQUE - Comments on the 2010 Annual Budget Speech
4th December 2009
The Seychelles Chamber of Commerce & Industry welcomes the ongoing economic reforms
and maintains that efforts must be sustained in a major restructuring of the economy to pave the way
for real growth of the productive sectors to provide job opportunities in the future. Real growth can only
be achieved through the net increase in the gross domestic product after any increase in prices has
been taken into consideration.
To this end, the SCCI welcomes the general principles of fundamental reforms being
introduced in the National Budget for 2010. However, the SCCI regrets that many of its proposals for
reform have not been considered or included in the provisions for the 2010 Budget and that the
fundamental issue of creating a level playing field in which all businesses within the economy will be
given equal and fair treatment is not sufficiently addressed in the Budget; a number of proposals as
mentioned below create more inequalities and the SCCI wishes to draw special attention to the
1. Taxation Reforms
The SCCI welcomes the expressed intention of Government to carry out a major reform of the
taxation system based on ensuring a level playing field for all businesses and broadening the
taxation base to ensure more equality and a fairer distribution of the tax burden. However, the
SCCI is deeply concerned by the inequalities and unfairness that is maintained for too long a
period and by new inequalities introduced by the present reforms. To this end, the SCCI draws
attention to the following features of the budget which will likely hinder expansion to small
Business Tax - Reduced thresholds will affect the small businesses negatively. Whereas the
SCCI welcomes the reduction in top rates of taxation and notes that it will bring direct benefits only
to larger businesses, the proposal to tax all companies, which include small proprietary companies
(Pty Ltd) at higher initial tax rates compared to similar businesses operated as “sole traders”
brings in a taxation policy based on legal status and introduces unequal treatment for taxation
purposes within the same industry. The 15% withholding tax on interest will affect the savings of
small savers which is already exacerbated by a lower interest rate now down to 2% compared to
3.5% per annum prior to November 2008 and will have the effect of discouraging savings
altogether. Further the proposal to implement withholding taxes on all dividends paid will have the
negative effect of taxing the same “income” twice; a trend not in conformity with practices being
applied regionally e.g. Mauritius which has recently abolished all taxes on dividends. Furthermore,
the decision to exempt liability for social security contributions on staff accommodation, meals and
transport for the construction and tourism accommodation industries only should be extended to
all economic sectors in the interests of fairness and equality before the law.
GST – Pending the introduction of the VAT system, the proposed arrangement will benefit
businesses that import raw materials and the SCCI welcomes this. However, for the importation of
goods, the current practice of adding 12% GST to the 30% mark up effectively brings the GST
charged to 15.6%. It is therefore unlikely that there will be any major reduction in the costs of
imported goods. Furthermore, if services continue to be taxed on their turn over, the 15% GST
payable by the business (effectively 17.65%) is unlikely to reduce the cost of these services to the
Trades Tax & Excise Duty – It is not clear whether the existing concessions and exemptions
granted under the Tourism Incentives Act and the Agriculture & Fisheries Incentives Act will
continue to apply and to what extent.
Personal Income Tax – Whereas the SCCI welcomes the general principle of widening the tax
base to have all citizens participate in the national economic effort, the SCCI is concerned of the
cost factor involved in the new system and expresses regret that once again an opportunity is
missed to level the playing field by allowing special rates for certain elements within the economy.
Moreover, the increase in gross salary of all workers will have a negative effect on the
compensation for long service which is already a serious financial burden and hindrance to
employment and which remains in force as long as the current Employment legislation subsists.
Furthermore, the PIT places the entire tax burden on the employer and will not assist in sensitizing
citizens on their individual responsibilities.
2. Cost of Doing Business
The SCCI also regrets the absence in the Budget speech of a firm commitment by Government to
address the high cost of doing business in Seychelles which has been exacerbated as a result of
the economic reforms of the past year and which will continue to be affected under the existing
The SCCI regrets in particular the effect of the new personal income tax which will increase the
cost of employment and impact adversely on the element of compensation for long service which
will be calculated on a higher salary base as from July 2010 and the increase in the pension fund
contributions and the minimum wage.
Furthermore, without an effective reduction in the interest rate for borrowing and the forecast of
further increase in utilities, the cost of doing business is expected to increase further in the coming
3. Review of the Business Environment to Enable Growth
The SCCI welcomes the announcement that Government is committed to undertake fundamental
reforms to modernise the business regulatory framework and improve the business climate.
However, the SCCI regrets that the delays in addressing these fundamental issues continues to
adversely affect businesses and creates additional burdens and negative factors to the rest of the
macro-economic programme in that the business climate is not conducive to further investment
and expansion of businesses and therefore is a hindrance to economic growth. Whereas the
groundwork in this process has been ongoing since 2004, very little progress has been made as
the economic situation has gone through fundamental changes.
The SCCI reiterates its full commitment to the review process of the Licensing Act, the Investment
Code, the Companies’ Act, the Employment Act and all other legislation that affects the business
environment and creates additional cost burdens to business.
The SCCI further regrets the opportunity lost in launching a national campaign for real productivity
gains and improvements in the National Budget at the same time as the reforms are introduced.
The SCCI recognises the work done to date in improving the economy and generally welcomes the
proposals for second generation reforms. Recognizing that the main objective in the national interest
is to create an enabling environment for real economic, the SCCI commits itself and the private sector
as a whole to continue working closely with Government as an equal and effective partner in the
national development of Seychelles.