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Cabinet Decisions - 15 May 2015

Date: May 15, 2015


1.         Cabinet has taken note that the newly set up National Property Fund Ltd would, on 15 May 2015, effect payment to policyholders having invested less than Rs500,000 in the Super Cash Back Gold Plan of the BAI Co. (Mtius) Ltd.
2.         Cabinet has taken note that, following the meeting that the Minister of Financial Services, Good Governance and Institutional Reforms had with representatives of the Bramer Asset Management Ltd. Investors Association, the Financial Services Commission has instructed the Special Administrators to submit proposed repayment plans options for the investors of the Bramer Asset Management Ltd.
3.         Cabinet has taken note of the draft Concept Paper on Nine-Year Schooling, a new system that entails the elimination of the Certificate of Primary Education in its current form in line with Government Programme 2015-2019 and as announced in the Budget Speech 2015-2016, and that the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research would engage in consultations with stakeholders.
4.         Cabinet has taken note that the following three training programmes have been set up to ensure that the needs of jobseekers and employers are met:
(a)       the Youth Employment Programme that is open to persons aged between 16 and 30, to –
(i)         enable them to obtain training/placement for an initial period of one year, with the possibility of permanent employment upon satisfactory performance; and
(ii)        ensure that appropriate training is provided to promote the development of necessary skills.
(b)       The Back-to-Work Programme to facilitate women above the age of 30 to -
(i)            find employment in private enterprises or with individual employers; and
(ii)        help them integrate or re-integrate the labour market by undergoing a training programme designed to build or re-build self-awareness, self-esteem, social responsibility and entrepreneurial skills, and strengthen interpersonal and communication skills.
(c)        The Dual Training Programme to address the issue of skills mismatch and ensure the availability of skilled labour. The programme includes a mix of practical on-the-job experience, and classroom studies covering both diploma and degree courses.

A Skills Working Group, co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, and the Director of the Joint Economic Council, has been set up to, among others, monitor the Programmes.
5.         Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, in collaboration with the World Bank, proposes to conduct an Open Data Readiness Assessment with a view to setting up an Open Data Portal. Public sector bodies, that is, Ministries, and Departments like Statistics Mauritius, the National Archives, and the Registrar of Associations, produce and hold a wide array of information in the form of data and documents, that ranges from demographic, economic and meteorological data to historical documents and books. These data would be made available on the Portal. The opening up of Government data would promote transparency, public service delivery, efficiency and more importantly, innovation such as appropriate mobile applications.
6.         Cabinet has agreed to bank fishing vessels being allowed to carry gasoline for use by dories for a final period of two years with effect from 22 May 2015.
            Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands has decided to authorize new entrants into the fishery industry in order to boost up production to the Maximum Sustainable Yield level and allow the registration of bank fishing vessels.
7.         Cabinet has agreed to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Coordination and Cooperation of Search and Rescue Services in the Indian Ocean Region with the Indian Ocean Rim Association. The aim of the Memorandum of Understanding is to promote consultation and cooperation among Member States of the Association and establish a framework for coordinating aeronautical and maritime search and rescue operations that occur within the Indian Ocean region.
8.         Cabinet has taken note of development in the case of Vacoas Popular Multi-purpose Cooperative Society Ltd.  The Society was in a difficult financial situation and the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives appointed a Caretaker Board to redress the precarious financial situation of the Society.  The Caretaker Board has hired the services of Ernst & Young to, among others, undertake a forensic audit, work upon the solvency of the Society and put in place sound internal control system and procedures. The case of the Society has been referred to the Police and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

9.         Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized in connection with the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed on
17 May.  The theme of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is “Telecommunications and ICTs: Drivers of Innovation”. Activities would include –
            (a)       a Workshop on “Telecommunications and ICTs: Drivers of Innovation”;
(b)       ICT Awareness Campaigns in secondary schools and computer Clubs, and ICT courses in Cyber Caravans;
(c)        promotional Broadband Internet packages by Internet Service Providers; and
(d)          Broadband Internet Access, free of charge, at Public Internet Access Points in all Post Offices in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
10.       Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity, observed on 22 May. The theme chosen this year is: ‘Biodiversity for Sustainable Development’. The following activities would be organized on the occasion -    
            (a)       Tree Planting at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, Bell Village;
            (b)       Photo and Painting Exhibition on Biodiversity;
            (c)        launching of the Fifth National Report on the Convention on Biological Diversity;
            (d)       release of the Draft Management Plan for Bras d’Eau National Park for public comments;
            (e)       sensitization campaigns on the importance of biodiversity;
            (f)        sale of endemic and indigenous plants, at reduced prices, at all stations of the Forestry Service and the National Parks and Conservation Service; and
            (g)       an Open Day at Ile aux Aigrettes and educational visits at Ile d’Ambre, Bras d’Eau and Black River Gorges National Parks.
11.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and External Communications to Reunion Island and the Seychelles.
In the Seychelles, upon invitation of the Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of the Seychelles, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and External Communications attended the 5th Edition of the ‘Carnaval International de Victoria’ as Guest of Honour. He participated in a workshop on Cruise Tourism under the Iles Vanilles umbrella that evaluated the potential of Cruise Tourism in the Indian Ocean and its subsequent development. He also had discussions with the Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Seychelles on several avenues of cooperation, including hotel classification, multi-destination centre packages, branding of Iles Vanilles, and the organization of common Iles Vanilles events, such as an International Yacht Regatta.  The Deputy Prime Minister paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of the Seychelles.
            Cabinet has also taken note that, among the 29 countries that participated in the Carnival, the Mauritian Carnival Troop was attributed the 3rd Prize behind Brazil and Notting Hill Carnival. 
            In Reunion Island, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and External Communications supported the launching of the MTPA low season campaign “L’île Maurice Autrement”. He also had discussions with Mr Didier Robert, Sénateur Président du Conseil Régional on cooperation among the various destinations of Les Iles Vanilles and the development of the Cruise business, and called on Mrs Nassimah Dindar, President of the Conseil Général with whom he discussed areas of cooperation.
12.       Cabinet has taken note of the recent mission of the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment to Addis Ababa where he participated in the First Meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment. The theme of the Meeting was “Social Protection for Inclusive Development.  The Draft 1st Five Year Priority Programme for the implementation of the Declaration and Plan of Action on Employment, Poverty Eradication and Inclusive Development was adopted.
13.       Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
            (a)       the Board of Trustees of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre Trust with
Dr Mrs Jayantee Naugah as Chairperson;
            (b)       the Board of the Early Childhood Care and Education Authority with Mrs Fawzia Toorawa as Chairperson;
            (c)        the Board of the Irrigation Authority with Mr Kissoonduth Sarju as Chairperson;
            (d)       the Board of the Vallée d’Österlog Endemic Garden Foundation with
Mr Sandragassen Dorasami as Chairperson; and
            (e)       the Wildlife and National Parks Advisory Council with Mrs Medhavi Bhowon as Chairperson.
14.       Cabinet has taken note that the National Transport Corporation has appointed Mr Pratik Ghosh as General Manager. Mr Ghosh holds an MSc in Operational Research from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. He is a Freelance Business Consultant and was the Head of the Global Business at the Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd. He has held high positions in various business companies in Mauritius and London. From 1996 to 2004, Mr Ghosh was Partner-in-Charge at DCDM Consulting, a company managed by Accenture.

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