Minister Devika Vidot answers MNAs’ questions |15 July 2021
Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship an Industry Devika Vidot and a panel of officials from different entities under her ministry were in the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon to answer members’ questions on different matters relating to her ministry.
Esa’s plans for micro-enterprise centre located at Port Glaud
The first question directed towards the minister came from Hon. Egbert Aglaé,the MNA for Port Glaud who wanted to know if Enterprise Seychelles Agency (Esa) has any plans for the micro-enterprise centre located at Port Glaud.
Minister Vidot noted that Esa’s role is to lease out space and to manage the centre although it aims to attract more visitors and business to the centre by working with the micro enterprises to develop a plan of activities. She asserted the need to collaborate with the district authorities in future space allocations.
“We will make allocations based on the demands in the countryand of course as per the needs of the district. An important component within the economy is that we need to ensure we place emphasis on cultural tourism. So this is where the demand and necessity to revive the artisanal sectorand therefore I can assure you that such things will be prioritised with regards to the allocations,” Minister Vidot noted.
Publication of tender for land on Ile Eve
Minister Vidot has informed Assembly members that the government intends to put up all relevant infrastructures on Ile Eve prior to allocating the industrial plots throughtender process although she noted that there will be delays in the project.
As a result, the project is expected to be completed towards the third quarter of 2022 and the tender for 49 or 50 plots is to be launched before completion of the projectto allow for tenants to move in and start their development as soon as it is ready.
Minister Vidot gave these details in reply to a question by MNA for Baie Ste Anne Praslin, Churchill Gill who wanted to know when the tender is expected to be advertised to allow for people who have applied for a plot of land in the project after so long to take part in the process.
MNA Wallace Cosgrow enquired whether the moratorium which was in place on allocation of plots of land has been lifted, to which Minister Vidot answered that the matter is to be addressed by the Cabinet towards the end of the month. She went on to note that government is stressing on the need to put up all necessary infrastructure so as to eliminate the possibilities of tenants defaulting on their contractsand not developing the land.
Regulations in place to allow, guide food van business
Opposition MNA for Roche Caïman Audrey Vidot sought clarifications as to the conditions to which food vans have to adherewhile Hon. Jany De Letourdie proposed that priority to operate and run a food van should be specificand for individuals residing in the particular district.
Still on the subject of food vending vans, Minister Vidot said her ministry is committed towards boosting business opportunities and to get agencies and concerned departments to recognise the need to accommodate different businesses and business ideas, in the interest of Seychellois families and the domestic economy. As proposed by Assembly members, Minister Vidot assuredthem that she will take up any inconsistencies in licensing for mobile and stationary food vans with the Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA).
During the same sittingon Tuesday afternoon, Minister Vidot also provided information on the Small Business Support Fundimplemented to assist small enterprises during the economic decline resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the number of applications has significantly reduced. She attributed this to the recovery in the economy. Of 310 applications, 137 have been approved and funds disbursed, while 67 were not approved.
Minister Vidot was accompanied by the principal secretary for investment, entrepreneurship and industry Michael Nalletamby, chief executive of the Industrial Estates Authority (IEA) Roy Collie and chief executive of the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (Esa) Angelique Appoo.