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CABINET DECISIONS – 07 DECEMBER 2018

Date: December 07, 2018
Domain:Economy & Finance; Arts & Culture; ICT; Sports; Social Security
 

 

CABINET DECISIONS – 07 DECEMBER 2018
 
 
1.         Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Mauritius Deposit Insurance Scheme Bill into the National Assembly.  The main object of the Bill is to establish the Mauritius Deposit Insurance Scheme which shall be administered and managed by Mauritius Deposit Insurance Corporation Ltd, a company incorporated and registered under the Companies Act.  The purpose of the Mauritius Deposit Insurance Scheme shall be to –
 
(a)       protect insured depositors of a bank or non-bank deposit taking institution by providing insurance against the loss of insured deposits; and
 
(b)       contribute to the stability of the financial system in Mauritius by ensuring that depositors have prompt access to their insured deposits, in the event of failure by a bank or non-bank deposit taking institution.
 
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2.         Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Additional Remuneration and Other Allowances (2019) Bill into the National Assembly.  The Bill provides for the payment of an additional remuneration to employees of the private sector with effect from 1 January 2019, as follows –
 
            Full-Time Employees
 
            Additional remuneration per month
 
            400 rupees per month
 
            Part-Time Employees
 
            Monthly basic wage                      Additional remuneration
            or salary                                            per month
 
            Up to 10,000 rupees            -           4 per cent rounded up to the next rupee
 
            Above 10,000 rupees          -           400 rupees
 
            The Bill also provides for the payment of an allowance to certain categories of employees.
 
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3.         Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Revenue Authority would in 2019 continue to pay the monthly Special Allowance of up to Rs860 to employees in the export-oriented enterprises and up to Rs500 to employees in other sectors.  Thus, the guaranteed monthly minimum income would be Rs9,400 for a full-time employee.
 
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4.         Cabinet has taken note that some 265,400 beneficiaries of basic pensions (retirement, widow, invalidity and orphan) would be granted an increase of Rs400 in their monthly basic pensions as from January 2019.  Thus, the monthly basic pension payable to the elderly, widows, and persons with disabilities would increase from Rs5,810 in December 2018 to Rs6,210 in January 2019. 
 
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5.         Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Sports (Amendment) Bill into the National Assembly.  The main object of the Bill is to amend the Sports Act 2016 to bring it in line with the World Anti-Doping Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
 
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6.         Cabinet has agreed to the proposals regarding the revision in the payment mechanism to small sugarcane planters for Crop 2018.  For the Crop 2018, an additional financial support of Rs257 per tonne of sugarcane to planters producing up to 60 tonnes of sugar, would be provided. These small planters would therefore receive, in aggregate, a revenue of Rs1,500 per tonne of sugarcane. This is equivalent to Rs19,200 per tonne of sugar from all revenue sources (inclusive of remuneration from bagasse and molasses, waiving of CESS contribution and insurance premium and other support measures). This represents an additional revenue of Rs3,287 per tonne of sugar over and above the revenue of Rs15,913 agreed in September this year.
 
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7.         Cabinet has agreed to extend the Mauritius-Africa Scholarship Scheme to include students applying for Undergraduate Diploma Courses and those opting for Postgraduate Programmes.  The Mauritius-Africa Scholarship Scheme is part of the internationalisation strategy to attract more African students to study in Mauritius and 50 scholarships are earmarked annually under the Scheme.  The allocation of scholarships under the Scheme has been reviewed as follows –
 
(a)       10 Awards for undergraduate Diploma Courses;
 
(b)       30 Awards for undergraduate Degree Courses; and
 
(c)        10 Awards for postgraduate (Master/MPhil/PHDs) programmes.
 
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8.         Cabinet has taken note that a Multisport Complex would be constructed at Solitude, Triolet.  The Multisport Complex would comprise, among others, a main building with a dedicated play area consisting of Futsal (Indoor Football), Handball, Basketball and Volleyball pitches.  Additionally, a separate area would be dedicated for three badminton courts cum volleyball within the sports hall which would be provided with all required facilities.
 
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9.         Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation has finalised the Digital Mauritius 2030 Strategic Plan and the Digital Government Transformation Strategy 2018-2022.  The Digital Mauritius 2030 Strategic Plan has been formulated under five main themes, namely –
 
            (a)       ICT Infrastructure and Broadcasting;
 
            (b)       e-Government and Business Facilitation;
 
            (c)        Talent Management;
 
            (d)       Cybersecurity Cybercrime; and
 
            (e)       Innovation and Emerging Technologies.
 
The Digital Government Transformation Strategy 2018-2022 provides directions for a digital Government, aligned with Vision 2030, the Public Sector Business Transformation Strategy and the Digital Mauritius 2030 Strategic Plan.  The Strategy sets the course for accelerated public sector digitisation efforts to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency and to provide better service to citizens.  It also lays emphasis on the importance of data usage to support Government machinery, optimize and transform service delivery and achieving large-scale business optimization whilst improving effectiveness.
 
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10.       Cabinet has taken note of the main recommendations of the Report of the Working Group on the Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Strategy. The Report has identified key sectors in Mauritius where specific projects could be implemented to maximise the impact of Artificial Intelligence, namely agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, ocean economy, transport and healthcare. The Report offers policy recommendations in the following five main areas, –
 
            (a)       establishment of a strong institutional framework;
 
            (b)       investment in Skills Development;
 
            (c)        implementation of concrete projects in key sectors;
 
            (d)       setting up the right regulatory framework, ensuring ethics and data protection; and
 
            (e)       establishment of networks and clusters.
 
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11.       Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius would host a National Workshop on WTO Trade in Services from 29 to 31 January 2019. The objective of the Workshop is to introduce participants to key concepts of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, scheduling guidelines for trade in services commitments and recent developments in the WTO trade in services discussions. Other important issues pertaining to trade in services negotiations such as domestic regulation, services classification, and preferential trade agreements would also be covered.
 
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12.       Cabinet has taken note that the 11th Indo-Mauritian Joint Committee Meeting on Hydrography and visit of Indian Naval Survey Ship “Sarvekshak” to Mauritius would be held from 11 to 14 December 2018. During the meeting, a new chart published by the National Hydrographic Office and entitled “Gabriel and Round Islands” would be released. The Indian Naval Survey Ship Sarvekshak would be conducting hydrographic survey off Le Morne from 14 to 31 December 2018 and off the southern coast of Rodrigues as from 4 January 2019.
 
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13.       Cabinet has taken note that the first Inter Village Innovation Competition in Mauritius would be organised by the Moka District Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, the National Computer Board and the Mauritius Research Council. The Moka District Council would organise a workshop on Innovation and Technology in December 2018 for the benefit of the members of the Innovation Clubs.  Thereafter, contestants would have around three months to come up with innovative solutions.  The most innovative solution and the most innovative village of the Moka District would be rewarded.
 
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14.       Cabinet has taken note of the holding of a High Level Policy Dialogue on Climate Change with the European Union and the signing of a Joint Monitoring Framework on Climate Change between the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development and the Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Mauritius.  The High Level Policy Dialogue would, through its Technical Committee, –
 
(a)       discuss key climate-related policy issues, in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions of Mauritius;
 
(b)       jointly identify and agree to key indicators and actions which will serve as dashboard to monitor progress;
 
(c)        serve as a platform for the EU to provide guidance and its collaboration and partnership on climate change; and
 
(d)       serve as a platform for the Ministry to carry out coordination with concerned stakeholders.
 
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15.       Cabinet has taken note that the Terms of Reference of the Fact Finding Committee set up to, inter alia, examine the Report of the Operations Manager of the Sugar Insurance Fund Board (SIFB) regarding the non-declaration of Event Year in respect of sugar crop 2017, has been enlarged to include the issue of purchase of 6 arpents of land by the SIFB at Trianon, Ebène. Moreover, Mr Azaad Aumeerally who is an Actuary, has been appointed to assist the Fact Finding Committee.
 
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16.       Cabinet has taken note that the African Union Commission would hold a Capacity Building and Experience Sharing Workshop on the Implementation of Agenda 2063/SDGs in Africa in Mauritius, from 11 to 13 December 2018.
 
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17.       Cabinet has taken note that a Hall of Fame for Sports would be set up in the Multisports Complex at Côte d’Or.  The Hall of Fame would be a museum inviting visitors to take a trip down memory lane and to remember and recall the career path of athletes who have brought fame and honour to the Mauritian sport.
 
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18.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping to Kenya where he attended the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference.  The theme of the Conference was “The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The aim of the Conference was to take commitments and share ideas on transition to a Blue Economy that harnesses the potential of our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers to improve the lives of all, particularly developing States, in line with SDG 14.  62 concrete commitments were taken relating to marine protection, plastic and waste management, maritime safety and security, fisheries development, financing, infrastructure, biodiversity and climate change, technical assistance and capacity-building and private sector support.
 
            The Minister received, on behalf of the Prime Minister, the ‘Blue Economy Award’ from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission as recognition of his continued support to Maritime Development in Africa.
 
 
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