At its regular meeting of 30th November, Seychelles Cabinet approved a total of SCR7,796,480,879 (seven billion, seven hundred and ninety six million, four hundred and eighty thousand, eight hundred and seventy nine Seychelles Rupees) for the 2017 budget, based on agreed policies and national priorities. The Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning will gazette the detailed allocation of the 2017 budget on Tuesday the 6th December, and Minister Peter Larose will present the budget to the National Assembly on Friday 9th of December.
Cabinet also approved an amendment to the Employment Act to provide for the payment of a 13th month salary to workers, and this will be gazetted on Friday 2nd December, for consideration by the National Assembly.
Cabinet also considered the drafts of two Bills which will be published as White Papers to solicit feedback from stakeholders and the public.
These are the Right to Information Bill, and the Seychelles Human Rights Bill.
The Right to Information Bill is aimed at fostering good governance by enhancing transparency, accountability and integrity by providing clear guidelines on access to information by the public.
The Seychelles Human Rights Bill will establish a Seychelles Human Rights Commission which will operate independently of the Office of the Ombudsman, and will serve to strengthen the framework for the protection of human rights.
Both White Papers will shortly be made available on the Government web portals, and stakeholders and the public will have up to 31st January 2017 to submit comments and suggestions.
Cabinet also approved proposals for the re-introduction of an Unemployment Relief Scheme, to enable unemployed persons to make a useful contribution to society, and earn an allowance while also gaining work experience.
Cabinet advised that consideration be given to establishing a special pension in respect of long service for teachers, nurses, doctors, the police and the military to come into operation from 1st July 2017.