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Friday, 23 November 2012 15:45

National Assembly – PNQs overshadow debates on Budget

Written by 
Six Private Notice Questions, one daily, since the start of debates on the Budget on Wednesday, 14 November 2012. All of them depicting big scandals affecting good governance and replies given at the National Assembly do not reveal any end of the affairs.
On 14 November, it was on Property Scam, on 15 November on Arms Trafficking, on the 16th it was on illegal trade of Rosewood between Madagascar and Mauritius, on 17th on dubious recruitments at the MITD, on 19th it was on the PRB report and on Tuesday 20 November again on another property scam with the arrest of Hemant Banghaleea.

The issues were as important as they are not only related to national concern but are being followed closely by international observers.

The Budget which at the very start did not attract national interest was thus relegated to the second place with punctual interventions, one as dry as the other.

The Private Notice Question of the Leader of the Opposition on Tuesday, 20 November, was followed with much concern; not only by both sides of the House but also by the population at large as the questions and answered were relayed on FM radios.

The PNQ of the Leader of the Opposition ran as follows:
Whether, in regard to Mr Hemant Bangaleea, arrested on 18 November 2012, on the provisional charges of swindling, forgery and instructions to commit murder, he will, for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Bank of Mauritius, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Mauritius Revenue Authority, information as to if they have initiated inquiries in relation thereto and, if so, where matters stand, indicating-

(a)the number of times he has travelled to and from Mauritius, since 2006 to date, on a yearly basis; and
(b)if he had been allocated State land and Pas Géométriques, directly or indirectly, through companies?
In his reply the Prime Minister told the House recalled land transactions made by Mr Hemant Bangaleea based on reports given to him by the Commissioner of Police. These transactions not only covered sites like Pointe aux Cannoniers, La Cambuse, le Morne or Silver Beach hotel but also lands in Maharashtra, India amounting to more than a hundred million Mauritian rupees.

Dr Ramgoolam could only tell the House that the DPP, the Bank of Mauritius, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the MRA and the Ministry of Housing and Lands are carrying enquiries into the matter. He also revealed how one of the victims of Banghaleea was threatened to death before adding that “on 18 November 2012, Mr Bangaleea was arrested on a provisional charge of swindling by the Central CID and brought in for inquiry.

A search was also carried out at his residence at Triolet and several documents in connection with the case were secured. Mr Bangaleea is currently detained pending inquiry. A provisional plaint has been lodged before the Pamplemousses District Court. On 19 November 2012, he was remanded to Police cell until 26 November 2012 as the Police have objected to bail.”
Indradev Curpen

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