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Cabinet Decisions - 13 December 2013

Date: December 13, 2013


1.         Cabinet has agreed to 15 December 2013, the day of funeral of Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, being declared a day of mourning. 
            Cabinet has also agreed to a minute of silence being observed at the time the body of Mr Mandela is being inhumed on 15 December 2013.
            Cabinet has further agreed to a memorial being put up in honour of Mr Mandela.
2.         Cabinet has taken note of the results of the Certificate of Primary Education Examinations 2013 for the Republic of Mauritius (Mauritius and Rodrigues).  Out of the 18,223 school candidates examined for the first time, 14,119 passed the examinations, representing 77.48%, i.e., an increase of 1.04% as compared to the pass rate for the year 2012.  Out of 4,196 candidates who repeated the CPE examinations, 1,634 passed i.e., a pass rate of 38.94%.  As regards ZEP schools, 1,517 candidates were examined and the overall pass rate is 46.4%, as compared to 40.6% in 2012.  Seven candidates from ZEP schools have been admitted to National Schools, including the Royal College.
            As in previous years, girls have outperformed boys, with a pass rate of 76.90% as compared to 64.11% for boys.  The performance subject-wise, excluding Asian Languages and Arabic, is in the range of 79.96% and 73.45%, with the highest percentage pass in Mathematics.  2,122 pupils (886 boys and 1,236 girls) have obtained at least 4A+ as compared to 2,079 last year.      
            The number of school candidates examined in Rodrigues stood at 1,051.  The pass rates for the first and second sittings in Rodrigues are 75.84% and 35.25%, respectively.  In 2012, the pass rates were 67.88% for the first sitting and 31.39% for the second sitting.
            For the first time, a resit examination is being held for candidates who have passed in 3 subjects but would require one more subject to obtain an award of Certificate of Primary Education. The largest number of candidates (992 candidates) for resit is in English.
3.            Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière/Charles Foix, Paris, France would sign a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration to enhance cancer care in Mauritius.  The Memorandum of Understanding provides, inter alia, for the formulation of a National Cancer Plan (2014-2018); the setting up and operationalization of the National Cancer Agency; capacity building for staff involved in cancer care, and the establishment of a framework to manage complicated inoperable cases of cancer in Mauritius.
4.         Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan would sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Health and Medicine.  The Memorandum of Understanding provides for the exchange of information on international congresses and symposia related to health and medical problems, the development of relations and establishment of commercial relations in the fields of pharmaceuticals, and the exchange of experts and human resources.
5.         Cabinet has taken note that three shelters for children in distress situation would become operational at Belle Rose, Floreal and Curepipe to cope with the increase in the number of cases of children victims of violence.  Children victims of violence and at risk in their immediate familial environment are given protection by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Child Protection Act 1994.  The children are admitted in places of safety through the issue of Court Orders.  A Foster Care Programme is also set up to provide the children with the opportunity to live in a familial environment for their development. As at date, there are some 535 children placed in Residential Care Institutions and Shelters.
6.         Cabinet has taken note of the results of the assessment of the impact of the Solar Water Heater Scheme funded by the Maurice Ile Durable Fund.  The key findings of the assessment are as follows:
(a)       energy savings: LPG savings of 786 tonnes/year and electricity savings of 3,466 MWh/year;
(b)        economic savings: Rs54.2 million/year on total investment of Rs146 million for 2012 with a simple payback period of 2.7 years;
(c)        emission reductions: 5,204 tonnes of CO2/year on emissions from electricity  generation and combustion of LPG; and
(d)        societal benefit: 47% systems have been installed in houses without any existing water heating.
           To date, some 58,900 households, representing 18.4% of the total household population, have benefitted from the grant of Rs10,000 provided under the Solar Water Heater Scheme. 
7.         Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of the e-Government Strategy 2013-2017 to further develop a national e-Government agenda that answers the needs of citizens, the business community and Government.  The recommendations are, amongst others, -
(a)          the formulation and implementation of an Open Government Data Policy;
(b)          integration of e-payment and m-payment facilities in existing e-Government applications;
(c)          implementation of measures to make digital certificates affordable;
(d)          reengineering of e-services to a highly transactional mode;
(e)          promotion of the use of online transactions using digital signatures; and
(f)           formulation and implementation of a social media policy.
8.         Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Report on the restructuring of the National Housing Development Company Ltd (NHDC) prepared by the Office of Public Sector Governance in line with the commitment taken by Government with the European Union.  The recommendations include the development of a more flexible structure for the company to be more cost effective and efficient; the promotion of a performance culture and implementation of a Performance Measurement System; the promotion of multiskilling especially among lower grades; the preparation of a 5-year rolling plan indicating time frames for the delivery of 1,000 housing units annually;  improving debt collection; and reduction in the processing time in respect of applications for the grant scheme for casting of roof slab to 5 weeks.
9.         Cabinet has taken note that 89,057 tourists visited Mauritius in the month of November 2013 as compared to 84,398 in November 2012, i.e., an increase of 5.5%.  Arrivals for the period of January to November 2013 were 876,020 as compared to 849,976 for the same period in 2012, i.e., an increase of 3.1%.
10.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to Bali, Indonesia, where he participated in the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference.  The main objective of the Conference was to adopt a mini package covering some elements of the Doha Development Agenda to maintain the credibility of the Multilateral Trading System and give a new boost to the Doha Development Agenda talks.
11.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the 13th Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia held in Djibouti in November last.  During the Meeting, the Mauritius delegation briefed the international stakeholders on progress made in capacity building in the fields of maritime policing and surveillance, and information sharing and prosecution; evoked the necessity to revisit the delimitation of the High Risk Area; and laid emphasis on the necessity of a synergy amongst the nerve centres to avoid duplication in reporting and promote effective information sharing.
12.       Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with the Blood Donors’ Association, would hold a Mega Blood Donation on Esplanade Emmanuel Anquetil, Port Louis on 19 December 2013.  The blood collected would help cater for the demand of blood during the end-of-the-year festive period and the forthcoming cyclonic period.  About 125 to 150 pints of blood are required daily in public and private health institutions to attend to emergencies.
13.       Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of Trustees of La Clinique Mauricienne.

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