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8. Responsible Business Conduct

The National Committee for Corporate Governance (NCCG) was established under Section 63 of the Financial Reporting Act (2004) and is the coordinating body responsible for all matters pertaining to corporate governance in Mauritius. The NCCG was attached to the Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance until 2021, when it was recognized as a corporate body following an amendment to the Financial Reporting Act. The purpose of the Committee is to: (i) establish principles and practices of corporate governance; (ii) promote the highest standards of corporate governance; (iii) promote public awareness about corporate governance principles and practices; and (iv) act as the national coordinating body responsible for all matters pertaining to corporate governance. The latest Code of Corporate Governance for Mauritius (2016) was launched on February 13, 2017 and can be accessed at In 2021, the NCCG also launched a Corporate Governance Scorecard to introduce an objective and quantitative element for companies to report on compliance. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), also set up under the Financial Reporting Act (2004), aims to advocate for the provision of high-quality reporting of financial and non-financial information by public interest entities and to improve the quality of accountancy and audit service. Mauritius does not have a dedicated center for research on corporate governance.

The Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance was established following the December 2014 elections. Its mandate is to provide guidance and support for enforcement of good governance and the eradication of corruption. In 2015, the Financial Services Commission introduced a Code of Business Conduct as part of its Fair Market Conduct Program. The Financial Services Commission has also introduced several measures in 2020 and 2021 to comply with recommendations made by the Financial Action ask Force for enhancing anti-money laundering and combatting terrorism financing standards.

The Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIoD) is an independent, private sector-led organization that also promotes high standards and best practices of corporate governance, with additional information available at .

In 2017, the government set up a National Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Foundation, which operated under the Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment. In 2019, this foundation became the National Social Inclusion Foundation (NSIF). The NSIF is managed by a council consisting of members from the private and public sectors, civil society, and academia. Under the 2016 Finance Act, every company registered in Mauritius must set up a CSR fund and annually contribute the equivalent of 2 percent of its taxable income from of the previous year. In 2017 and 2018, companies were required to remit at least 50 percent of their CSR funds to tax authorities for the National CSR Foundation. The required contribution increased in 2019 to 75 percent for CSR funds set up on or after January 1, 2019. The NSIF is supposed to channel the money to NGO projects in priority areas identified by the government. These priority areas are poverty alleviation, educational support, social housing, family protection, people with severe disabilities, and victims of substance abuse. Further details can be found on the NSIF and MRA websites:  and .

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Mauritius is highly vulnerable to climate change and its impacts on socio-economic development. The Climate Change Act, which took effect in 2021, created an inter-ministerial council on climate change chaired by the prime minister to set national targets and objectives. The cabinet must approve all decisions that fall under this law. This act also provided for the creation of a Department on Climate Change under the Ministry of Environment, which is now operational.

In November 2021, at the Conference of Parties 26 (COP 26), the GoM pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of the business-as-usual scenario 2030 figures. To achieve this target, the government plans to undertake major reforms in its energy, transport, waste, refrigeration and air-conditioning, agriculture, and conservation sectors. Details on the reforms for each of the six sectors will be available in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) action plan, which is scheduled for publication in April 2022.  The Ministry of Environment is also working on policies to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, and on a national mitigation strategy and action plan. The latter includes the development of an online NDC registry, which will serve as a monitoring, reporting, and verification tool to track biodiversity and ecosystem services to implement Mauritius’ NDC.  The registry will record data on Mauritius’ adaptation and mitigation actions as well as financial and technological support required and received.

The current NDC indicates that the government plans to finance part of the $6.5 billion required to implement the NDC targets through private sector contributions. The private sector in Mauritius has indicated interest in investing in solar, hydro, and biomass renewable energy technologies.

Regulatory incentives that preserve clean air and biodiversity include: (i) exemption on excise duty applied for the purchase of a 180-kw electric car; (ii) 50 percent excise duty applied for the purchase of a hybrid car; (iii) 50 percent of registration fee applied for the purchase of both a 180-kw electric car and a hybrid car; (iv) excise duty on PET plastic bottles; (v) a petroleum levy on petroleum products; (vi) an environmental protection fee for battery and tyres upon purchase of an electric or hybrid car, (vii) a carbon levy upon purchase of a conventional motor car; and (viii) a permit fee for companies operating in a marine protected area.

The government also offers tax incentives to companies who make clean energy investments through provisions in the Income Tax Act 1995, the Customs Act, and the Value Added Tax Act.  The tax incentives for a company include (i) double deduction of the expenditure of a fast charger for an electric car; (ii) an annual allowance of 100 percent on the capital expenditure for the acquisition of a solar energy unit; (iii) an annual allowance of 50 percent (straight line) on the capital expenditure for the acquisition of green technology equipment; (iv) tax exemption on interest perceived by a company that invests in renewable energy projects through debentures and bonds; (v) eight-year tax holiday for companies that use deep ocean water for providing air conditioning services; (vi) customs duty and value added tax exemptions on any purchases of photovoltaic systems and chargers for electric vehicles.

The tax incentives government provided on solar energy equipment encouraged investments in power production from solar energy. Statistics indicate that solar energy power production increased by 3.5 percent from 2018 to 2020.

The European Union is currently providing technical assistance to the government to improve its public procurement policies under the ‘Switch to Green’ facility. The objective of the project is to encourage public organizations to make their activities more environmentally friendly through the adoption of sustainable consumption practices with respect to energy and water conservation, waste minimization, paperless work, and adoption of sustainable technology and business practices to improve service delivery.

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