Every budget of his, has been a masterclass of dishonesty and this year he’s been at the top of his game, displaying evermore consistency in his incoherence. Judging by the volte-face on countless decisions and the poor standards governing the bunch of table bangers, describing the national assembly as a circus with Pravind Jugnauth as its central attraction, would still be an understatement.
Instead of rising as a bulwark against the emptiness of national budget, both the media and so called experts from accounting firms relentlessly team up, to give solidity to pure wind. Though at a glance, any decent person would conclude its merely a ‘ get-me-through-the-day Budget’, stating the obvious has become an uphill battle.
The controversial project seeking to sell citizenship enunciated as a revolutionary measure in Pravind Jugnauth’s budget 2018 -2019 has tiptoed away without anyone knowing, how it did end up in the budget after all. No one bothered to look into the alleged meetings between advisers of Pravind Jugnauth and the Real estate mob.
It’s hardly a month since the presentation of the Budget 2019 – 2020 and yet the Minister of Finance himself is opposing projects, for which he has solicited, assent of the National Assembly. It would feel slightly safer to believe, the Prime Minister & Minister of Finance is a clumsy idiot, rather than somebody else pulling the strings with Pravind Jugnauth merely being one of Geppetto’s wooden Tuscan puppet. Followers would surely disapprove my opinion ! Well, at least I have one of my own. So let’s settle for some naked facts.
Collendavelloo’s Ecstatic Bum – CEB
In 2016, upon the instructions of then representative from the Ministry of Finance , also Board Member, the CEB floated a Request for Proposal ( RFQ) for a 20 MW Waste to Energy, turnkey facility. A quite bizarre move since the core of the activity relates to waste management, falling under the purview of the Ministry of Local Government. What makes it even more weird, the call for proposal comes at a time when the state is awaiting an outcome in the legal battle over the Gamma Covanta project. The promoters of the project do hold : 1) A waste procurement agreement with the local Government and 2) a power supply agreement with the CEB. An award in favour of Gamma Covanta would seriously embarrass the state, given the its multiple commitments to supply waste.
The board room battles at the CEB is evidence of the Power Game involving political forces and their stooges at the helm of the state. The evergreen Financial Secretary, Dev Manraj cannot be stranger to the instructions given out to the Ministry’s representative on the Board of CEB. The same Dev Manraj who keeps peddling hard, meeting the likes of Shapoorji Pallonji, D P World.
Its hard to believe, Civil servant Visvanaden Soondram, would, on his own, walk into the board meeting, order cancellation of the Gas turbine contract worth billions, instruct the CEB to move forward with an Indian Firm and engage the total financing by Exim Bank of India. Interestingly, prior to the following board meeting Mr Soondram insists, his instructions should be expunged from the minutes of proceedings.
Members of opposition parties accuse Ivan Collendavelloo of abusing his powers and turning the CEB into a political arm for recruitment of agents funneled through the labour office and the newly founded subsidiaries. Jokingly, some go to the extent of stating ‘Its Ivan’s latest Sex toy’ or CEB now stands for ‘ Collendavelloo’s Ecstatic Bum ‘.
On a more serious note, they express concerns over the nexus between Collendavelloo and his former corporate clients ( Hotels, textiles etc..) , who also happen to be the Independent Power Producers ( IPP). Allegations which are hard to believe, given the image portrayed by Ivan Collendavelloo, a stalwart from the alumni of the MMM, said by his peers to be the possible reincarnation of Baron Farnborough, constitutional theorist known as Thomas Erskine May. Then again, Collendavelloo is the one who framed quite a few important legislations. Such as those governing the ICAC, which any creative mind would describe as doughnut legislations, with impressive holes right in the middle. The usually clear and vibrant Collendavelloo’s half-baked answers at the parliament stir confusion. By throwing his weight to secure the billions worth deal with corruption ridden Mytilineos S. A ‘s subsidiary METKA and striking ‘back-door’ contracts with IPPs, Collendavelloo only thickens doubt .
Another name which opponents claims has close links with Ivan Collendavelloo is one of the world’s most notorious companies – Veolia. Despite the grandiose rebranding, the company has perpetuated the legacy of Vivendi Empire, deepening further the history of bribery & corruption. Around the world, senior cadres of Veolia are facing charges of corruption, bribery, embezzlement, kickbacks and falsifying reports. Veolia has gone to the extent of being banned by World Bank. While Veolia is involved in Waste Water Treatment in Mauritius, it is believed the company has been lobbying intensively since 2015 for the privatization of the Central Water Authority (CWA), a project very dear to Ivan Collendavelloo and his brotherhood friend, Yusouf Esmael.
Pravind’s Trump Act
With such appetite and support , no wonder Veolia would be interested in unfolding further its luggage on our soil and the Incinerator project fits perfectly their ambition. On 10th June, ALL Members of the ruling alliance, indiscriminately banged on the tables as an excited Pravind Jugnauth listed out his budgetary measures. At page 45, section B.13 – Incineration of Dead Animals. Pravind Jugnauth states ‘ In order to provide a greater convenience to farmers and breeders, a central incinerator plant will be constructed for an environmentally clean disposal of dead livestock and horses’ .
Further, under the chapter ‘FACING THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND BUILDING THE RESILIENCE OF OUR ENVIRONMENT’ at page 64 , Pravind Jugnauth proudly claims ‘ A Waste to Energy project will be implemented where some 1,000 tons of municipal solid wastes will be used to generate some 20 MW of electricity’ .
Now ! That’s quite a statement. Let alone he believes releasing dioxins in our atmosphere would build resilience of our environment, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth is the Prime Minister of the only country in the world capable of producing 20MW of electricity from 1000 tons of municipal waste. With MPs banging tables, SAJ drooled in awe, mesmerized by the brilliance of his offspring, they have yet to realise, together they have redefined the boundaries of stupidity, improving their very own record. May be its high time to stop mocking Donald & Ivanka Trump.
The broth thickens
The Central Incinerator plant for disposal of dead livestock and Horses, stated by Pravind Jugnauth is the very incinerator Veolia is planning to set up at Riche Terre. Dissociating himself or attempts by his ‘Pravdas’ to portray him as the savior of Riche Terre will only add further to the reigning absurdity.
During the interactive session with opponents, Patrice Wadley, CEO of Veolia Recycling and Environment Services Ltd, is surprised by the limitations expressed in the budget restricting the purpose of the incinerator to the disposal of livestock. He does clarify that the incinerator has the capacity of disposing dead livestock but its primary purpose remains treatment of hydrocarbon wastes, used oil, plastic wastes, medical wastes and contaminated soil. These are clearly underlined in Veolia’s application for the EIA clearance.
An application which brings us to the climax of this intriguing story . In Veolia’s submissions, namely the technical aspect at Annex 7, we come across a document with a cover clearly labeled Groupe Adonis Environment S.A, with the first pages bearing the footnote of July 2018, while other pages of the submission carry footnote – Adonis International – June 2015.
Set up on 27th February 2015, Adonis International Ltd is domiciled at level 4, Henessy Tower, Port Louis and is involved in recycling of Nonmetal waste & scrap. Its secretarial services are ensured by MA Corporate Ltd also sharing the same registered address as Adonis International Ltd. The CEO of Adonis International ltd back in 2015 was …… Patrice Bradley. Total shares of Adonis International are held by HaSaRa Investment ltd, having its registered address at level 4, Henessy Tower, Port Louis.
The Director of both Adonis International Ltd and HaSaRa Investment Ltd is none other than Fakeermahamod Shakil Mohammad, the former Deloitte accountant linked to Mossack Fonseca, a prominent link in the India – Panama corridor. But above all Fakeermahamod Shakil Mohammad is the man who managed through ML Administrators Ltd to rout kickbacks worth over 2 billion INR from Italian Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland to Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan. The scam that rocked the Congress party and changed forever the political landscape of India.
But what makes Fakeermahamod Shakil Mohammad so untouchable ? Since 2015, he has been rampant. Multiplying his ventures by many folds steering from a back seat many businesses. Following the sting operation by India Today and requests from the FSC to debar him from operating, wasn’t he to be investigated by the FIU and ICAC for money laundering? Why have investigations stalled ? Was it not Pravind Jugnauth who presented Fakeermahamod Shakil Mohammad as an amazing recruit for the MSM ? What can possibly link the Prime Minister, Minister of finance and leader of the MSM to a talented accountant who can stash billions anywhere in the world? How deep is the incestuous connection between Adonis and Veolia ? How did the Veolia project end up in the National Budget 2019 – 2020 ?
All these questions lead us to the grand circus of Place d’armes and going by his very own public statement of being the country’s most informed man, Pravind Jugnauth can no longer plead ignorance.