The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, participated, on 08 March 2023, in the celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the Mauritius Duty-Free Paradise Cooperative Credit Union in Plaisance.
In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that there are some 160 credit unions in Mauritius and Rodrigues, regrouping some 1,000 Cooperative Societies engaged in different areas of interest. This, he pointed out, clearly indicates that Credit Unions enhance the socio-economic development of the country.
The Mauritius Duty-Free Paradise Cooperative Credit Union, Mr Bholah underlined, has been in existence for nearly 15 years starting with some 68 members to now reach 325 members. This growth is as a result of the trust gained over the years because of its principles of good governance and transparency, he said.
Furthermore, the Minister indicated that it is essential to consolidate the basis of Credit Unions in Mauritius since a lot of people are gradually losing their faith in these institutions due to the malpractices of some Credit Unions. On this note, he reiterated Government’s fight against money laundering and malpractices within Credit Unions.
Mr Bholah also recalled that the Cooperative Movement is being modernised and strengthened so as to be more viable. He dwelt on the measures and incentives being provided to cater for the needs and requirements to boost the cooperative sector, such as the setting up of the National Cooperative College where training up to diploma levels are dispensed, and amendments of the law in favour of cooperative societies are being brought.
Credit Unions, he further stated, are expanding over time and are evolving as an alternative to other financial institutions. Several vulnerable families and persons have been able to benefit from financial and other benefits provided by the Credit Unions through leasing and have thus been able to undertake major professional, personal and educational projects, he added.