CABINET DECISIONS – 19 SEPTEMBER 2014
1. Cabinet has taken note of the draft Report of the Study on the Introduction of a National Minimum Wage in the private sector. Taking into consideration that the existing Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery is rather complex with two complementary minimum wage support systems, namely, the Remuneration Order System and the Annual Salary Compensation, the Report recommends that –
(a) it is not advisable to add a new system that will render the mechanism very complex to manage and coordinate; and
(b) the salary fixing machinery should, therefore, be replaced by a simple, coherent and efficient system.
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment will hold a tripartite workshop to examine the recommendations contained in the draft Report.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the launching of the National Employment Policy, an operational document highlighting multidimensional interventions adopted on the basis of common agreement reached by all parties concerned and pursued by Government in order to address clearly identified challenges and opportunities to achieve specific quantitative and qualitative employment objectives. The National Employment Policy takes into account the specificities of the labour market, as well as pertinent issues that require urgent attention, amongst others, female and youth unemployment; employment of vulnerable groups; skills mismatch; lack of synergy among Ministries and Departments involved in employment promotion; evaluation of the services offered by the Employment Service of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment to jobseekers; and absence of medium and long term planning.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the Master Plan for the Zoning and Management of Lagoon for the Tourism Sector that purports to provide a framework for the proper planning and judicious management of nautical activities, enhance safety and security at sea, as well as protect our biodiversity, fragile ecosystem and seascape. The main recommendations of the Master Plan include, –
(a) the elaboration of management plans for beaches with dedicated areas for trades and placement of appropriate signboards;
(b) limitation on the number of pleasure craft licences to be issued for each embarkation point;
(c) provision of refuelling facilities, fresh water and electricity and construction of floating type jetties around the country;
(d) areas classified as restricted being reassessed after a period of three years;
(e) phasing out of the helmet diving activity over the next three years and no new licences being issued; and
(f) delimitation of high speed zones, speed limit zones, buffer zones and navigational channels for an orderly conduct of nautical activities.
4. Cabinet has taken note that Agalega would be provided with additional satellite bandwidth capacity to further its social and economic development, and empower its inhabitants in achieving a higher quality of life and standard of living.
5. Taking into consideration ongoing development projects in the region of Tamarin, Cabinet has agreed to part of the Black River Road (A3), over an approximate length of 450m, being deviated and de-proclaimed, and a new access road of 800m, adjacent to the existing Black River Road (A3), being proclaimed. The proposed deviation would provide a safe access to the nearby primary school and a more comfortable traffic circulation.
6. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to –
(a) Singapore where he participated in the Sub-Saharan Africa High Level Ministerial Exchange Visit that aimed at strengthening the engagement between Singapore and selected African countries. The main objective of the Visit was to invite Ministers to see and understand Singapore’s institutional set up and its linkages with the country’s competitive advantages; and
(b) New Zealand where he was on an official visit. He, amongst others, visited the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd and had discussions with Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on bilateral issues, as well as cooperation in the fields of geothermal energy and fisheries, and the recruitment of workers in the fields of horticulture and viticulture.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development participated in the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States held in the Independent State of Samoa. The theme of the Conference was “The sustainable development of the Small Island Developing States through genuine and durable partnership”.
In the margins of the Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade had bilateral meetings, amongst others, with Ambassador Flor, Director General for UN and Global Issues at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Ms Judy Garber, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; and Ms Liz Thompson, Former Minister of Energy of Barbados and currently Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations Initiative on Sustainable Energy for All.
The Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development had bilateral meetings with Dr Brandio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions on the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly, commemorated on 1 October, namely –
(a) a national function comprising a video projection on the activities provided to the elderly at the Recreation Centres, and prize giving to the best Senior Citizens Associations;
(b) a workshop to empower managing committees of Elderly Day Care Centres;
(c) distribution of massage apparatus to some 200 elders at the Municipal Town Council of Vacoas/Phoenix;
(d) holding of finals of Story Telling, Quiz and Drama Competitions;
(e) Get-together Programme; and
(f) launching of an Inter-generational Social Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
The theme chosen for this year will be “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All”.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized to mark the Clean Up The World 2014, namely -
(a) launching of clean up campaigns, including the collection and recycling of electronic and electrical wastes at household level;
(b) a sensitization campaign to discourage the use of plastic carry bags;
(c) creation of a mini forest at Signal Mountain; and
(d) tree planting in some 200 primary and secondary schools.
The theme chosen for this year will be “Our Place… Our Planet… Our Responsibility”.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment provided technical assistance in the fields of Occupational Safety and Health to the State of Qatar to help improve health and safety standards in workplaces and foster better cooperation between the two countries.