Mauritius offers India 2 islands in effort to preserve tax treaty

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by ajtr, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Mauritius could hand over 2 islands to India

    Mauritius could hand over 2 islands to India


    New Delhi: India and Mauritius have resumed discussions over a proposal to hand over the twin islands of Agalega in the Indian Ocean to India either on long-lease or by perpetual ceding of control. The Mauritius-held islands with a total area of 24 sq km or 2,400 hectares (the official figure is much higher at 70 sq km) is seen as ideal for development as a tourist destination by India, which is closer to it than the African country which is 1,100 km south of it.

    According to sources privy to the talks, the idea is to let Indian corporates develop hotels and resorts and upgrade the existing airstrip into an airport. The land could also be used for agriculture and other strategic purposes by India.

    The two countries had briefly discussed the matter about five years ago, but the talks fell apart due to lack of full political support in Mauritius.

    If India gets rights over the Agalega islands, it will mark a move towards the country having a footprint on another Indian Ocean island. Currently, New Delhi governs Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Pamban island on the eastern Indian Ocean and Lakshadweep in the western part. Australia, France, Malaysia and Indonesia are other countries controlling islands in the Ocean. The US owns Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, which is used as a large military base.

    Agalega has two islands —North and South Agalega—which are over 1,100 km from Mauritius. According to sources, if the islands are handed over to it, India might develop one of them to start with.

    Private participation is needed to develop the island as the cost of developing it into a premium tourist destination would set back the Mauritius government by a substantial amount.

    Official statistics say the two islands have a combined land area of around 70 sq km, but the actual area is much less.

    Sources added that given the nature of Mauritian politics, it could still be an uphill task before a formal handover. The island nation's politics is built around balancing the interests of various ethnic communities such as the Francophone Creoles and the Indo-Mauritians. Creoles have a serious objection to the deal. At present, people travel to the islands at their own risk, for which an undertaking is insisted upon.

    Agalega is a two-island dependency of Mauritius in the western Indian Ocean. Copra and coconut oil are produced and...exported, and some poultry and cattle are raised and vegetables grown for subsistence. The principal villages are Vingt Cinq on North and Sainte Rita on South. There are few roads motor vehicles....
     
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    If we gained control over these islands, we ought to use it as a military base, to aid Mauritius and better fulfill obligations towards helping them in times of need.
     
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  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Agalega, by the way:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    These isles will be used for strategic purpose only .Developing tourism etc is just a cloak to ward of raised eyebrows.
     
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    In my Humble Opinion , it is better to use the Island as Military Base, most probably we can use one of it as a 'Sub Marine Base' while other can be developed like 'Diego Garcia' .

    Regards
     
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  7. Sri

    Sri Regular Member

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    You guys are ruining my holiday plans by pushing for a military base .. But then, no to extensive commercialization as well! I want a quiet holiday close to nature!
     
  8. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    hi ajtr which african country does this article talks about ? is Mauritius an african country
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Madagascar??????????????????
     
  10. Anshu Attri

    Anshu Attri Senior Member Senior Member

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    here they go............:emot154:
     
  11. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    But what's the point of taking a pair of isles so far away from mainland India? Even if they're planning to make it a base for our future nuclear subs, then it would take days for them to reach mainland India in case of war from the two islands. Having an IAF base there is also not of any strategic value since no aerial threat exists there. Wonder what the top brass has in mind with regards to taking these islands so far away from mainland India. Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep are at least still relatively close by and by geography belong to India. But Mauritius (even though HEAVILY Indianized and ruled by Indians) islands hold little value to the military.

    Commercialization seems a promising idea rather than a military base. The matter that our planners need to keep in their heads is that our enemies are simply beside us, stuck like Fevicol on both our border sides, meaning that we need subs, warships, men and fighter jets on demand instantly around the mainland country rather than half a continent away. I hope our big businesses get a hand in these islands and make them like Macau and Hong Kong of India (obviously after the accession).
     
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  12. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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  13. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    Re: Mauritius could hand over 2 islands to India

    Just take it without even thinking twice.
     
  14. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    We should jump on this offer. Wonder what the wise men will do in the corridors of power?

    http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articleshow/14697220.cms

    NEW DELHI: How far will a country go to secure a favourable deal for itself? Pretty far, it seems. Mauritius has offered a couple of sun-drenched islands to India as part of a trade and investment deal. While the offer has been talked about for a while, Mauritius has revived it - at a time when it's very keen on persevering with the 1983 double-taxation avoidance treaty with India.

    Mauritius foreign affairs and trade minister Arvin Boolell said that it was up to India to use the islands to its advantage. He said the "blue economy" had great potential. India could use North and South Agalega Islands (which are located 1,100 km north of Mauritius and have an official total area of 70 sq km) for setting up hotels and tourist resorts, for trade, marine studies, or for building a strategic presence in the Indian Ocean, official sources told TOI. North Agalega Island also has an airstrip.

    In November 2006, TOI had first reported about preliminary discussions between the two countries for handover of Agalega Islands - which is closer to India than the African country -for development as a tourism and trade hub.

    "There is no problem on the issue," minister Boolell said when asked if the islands could be handed over to India as part of an economic package. Pressed further, Boolell said, "We want investment to flow into Mauritius. India can use Mauritius as a springboard for investment (to Africa) and locally. Now we want India to respond positively and take advantage - and it is true for other friendly countries - of the tremendous potential of the Blue Economy, which is the ocean economy."

    Interestingly, the offer of the islands has been renewed at a time when investment flows into India via Mauritius were threatening to dry up following the proposal to introduce GAAR (General Anti-Avoidance Rules) that aimed at plugging loopholes in the double-taxation avoidance treaty by making disclosure of the source of funds mandatory. Mauritius has maintained that GAAR was creating a lot of uncertainty among investors.

    "We want to develop as an ocean basket and ocean market," said the minister. "The potential is tremendous. We work very closely with India. We should not forget that India has helped us in marking our territories, has helped us in conducting hydrographic studies and in two years we will acquire an offshore vessel from India under the line of credit that India has offered. We are doing several projects together."

    While Boolell indicated that the island nation was open to amendments in the double-taxation avoidance treaty, he denied that there was any misuse.

    In 2006, when the offer of the Agalega Islands was first discussed, India was exerting pressure on Mauritius to amend the treaty and sign a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Subsequently, New Delhi relented amidst suggestions that India had a long link with the African country, with a sizeable population of people with Indian-origin.

    The discussions between the two countries on the two islands -- which may give India strategic depth in the Indian Ocean, especially in its fight against piracy - had then focused on the development of hotels and resorts and upgrading an existing airstrip in the island into an airport.

    In 2006, sources had told TOI that there was also an option to develop a port on one of the two islands. There were, however, no discussions on how the arrangement would be structured. At the time when it was first reported by TOI, there were also some protests in Mauritius against handing over the islands to India.
     
  15. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    This thread is 2 years old. Any new developments regarding this? It almost sounds too good to be true.
     
  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Economic Hezard ! A floating aiarcraft carrier from where one may not reach anywhere. Put your compasses on guys....
     
  17. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    your point has the answer.there is no threat for us there, so can be used as a naval base.
    what advantage has america achieved by placing a base in diego gracias

    more over as the african nations start to rise then only we can understand its impotance
     
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    This is a new development
     
  19. skumar7777

    skumar7777 Regular Member

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    If the Indian government accepts this nonsensical offer, it would only be for their own private convenience. Why should the Indian government let go of 1000s of crores of tax revenue for two islands? We have already been through the Promissory Notes mess, our financial authorities don't and can't know who is behind the investments (Jet Airways case) made in our corporates and we want to consider continuing this?
     
  20. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    India must grab this offer, before it goes to China. I am sure that China, USA will try to do something about it. China, USA may create disturbance inside Mauritius, fund the detractors to stop the deal from making, like some western nations did in Tamilnadu (Nuclear Project) through their Christian stooges.
     
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  21. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Countries aren't run like corporates, where profit and loss drive the policy-making. If the proposal makes sense from strategic POV, we must loose no time and grab it. But the way our bureaucracy functions, I am sure we will waste enough time and give enough time to others to mobilize enough people against the deal inside Mauritius, like it happened in 2006.
     

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