CABINET DECISIONS – 8 MAY 2015
1. Cabinet has taken note of the key features, components and criteria of the Smart City Scheme, as well as the incentives proposed by the Task Force, set up under the chairmanship of Mr Gaëtan Siew, to kick start investment in smart cities as announced in Budget Speech 2015-2016. Eight mega-projects, covering some 7,000 arpents of land around the country, are already in the pipeline. Total investment is estimated at about Rs 120 billion. The projects would give a tremendous boost to the construction industry, lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, and contribute not only to the attainment of the growth objectives, but also to the physical transformation of Mauritius.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the removal of the Standby Generation Capacity Charge claimed by the Central Electricity Board for renewable energy projects in line with the policy of Government to encourage the development of renewable energy with a view to achieving the target of 35% electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2015.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the precarious financial situation of the Mauritius Post and Cooperative Bank (MPCB) Ltd and agreed to immediate measures being taken to protect the customers, depositors, and the employees of the Bank with a view to maintaining the stability of the financial system.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the Report of a Study on the Evaluation of the Land Drainage and Watershed Management Programme effected by the National Development Unit during the period 2010-2014. The Study was commissioned in December 2014 with a view to, among others, analysing the different phases, and identifying gaps and weaknesses in the implementation of drain projects keeping in view special concerns, such as environmental issues. The Consultant has highlighted various shortcomings, and made recommendations on the approaches that the National Development Unit should follow, including -
(a) build an in-house hydrological and engineering expertise for the proper design, evaluation and monitoring of drain projects;
(b) expand its scope to upper watershed areas to mitigate overland flow at source in a more cost-effective manner;
(c) formulate both an annual work plan and a five-year strategic plan with well-defined objectives, outputs and outcome areas, together with targets, indicators and means of verification; and
(d) produce annual reports, with analytical information, on progress and challenges, as well as related monitoring and evaluation.
The recommendations would be incorporated in the proposed Land Drainage Authority Bill, and the Operational Manual for the future Land Drainage and Watershed Management Programme.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) Examinations 2015 would be held from 27 to 30 October 2015 as follows -
Tuesday 27 October French
Wednesday 28 October English
Thursday 29 October History & Geography
Friday 30 October Mathematics
It is estimated that 22,834 pupils would take part in the Examinations. CPE results are expected to be announced by 07 December 2015. The CPE resit examinations are scheduled for 21 December, and results are expected by 29 December 2015.
6. Cabinet has agreed to Monneron State Secondary School being named after late Mr Abdul Hamid Goolam Mahomed Issac, also known as Mr Gorah Issac. Mr Issac had contributed considerably to the political, cultural, social and educational fields.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Comprehensive Grant Formula for the financing of private grant-aided secondary schools for the period 2016-2019 would be reviewed. The Technical Working Group has been reconstituted under the chairmanship of Dr R. Jugurnath, former Director of the National Audit Office and currently Adviser at the Public Sector Efficiency Bureau, with the following main Terms of Reference –
(a) to examine the proposals submitted by stakeholders for a review of the Grant Formula;
(b) to make proposals for a review of the different components of the Grant Formula taking into consideration cost increase, achievements, new policy orientations, specificity of Rodrigues and Agalega, and other relevant factors;
(c) to look into the present system of assessment, and disbursement of grants by the PSSA, and make proposals for a review of the mechanism for a more efficient and effective disbursement of the grant; and
(d) to consider an alternative method or propose improvements in the present formula for providing grants to the private secondary schools.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the Fifth National Report on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Report provides information for the review of the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, and on progress towards the implementation of the three objectives of the Convention, i.e, conservation of biodiversity; sustainable use of the components of biodiversity; and fair and equitable sharing of benefits deriving from the utilization of genetic resources. The Report aims at -
(a) updating the biodiversity status, trends and threats, and implications for human well-being;
(b) outlining the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, its implementation, and the mainstreaming of biodiversity; and
(c) assessing progress towards the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets and contributing to the relevant 2015 Targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
9. Cabinet has agreed to the Mauritius Land Transport Authority Act 2009 being repealed. Since the Light Rapid Transit project has been shelved, and it is not proposed to merge the Road Development Authority, the National Transport Authority, and the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit in view of the nature of their activities, and that their merger would not bring any substantial benefit in terms of synergy, coordination and operational effectiveness, the Mauritius Land Transport Authority and the Mauritius Light Rapid Transit Ltd (MLRT Ltd) would be dissolved.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that the National Archives, one of the oldest archival institutions in the Southern Hemisphere, would organize to mark its 200th Anniversary (1815 – 2015), namely –
(a) an exhibition on the “Role and Significance of the National Archives in the Republic of Mauritius”;
(b) essay, slam, quiz competitions;
(c) outreach programmes through an omnibus; and
(d) holding of an international conference, workshops, and training programmes on Archives Administration, Preservation and Records Management.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the First Coordination Meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency Regional Project on “Strengthening Technical Capabilities for Patient and Occupational Radiation Protection in Member States” would be held in Mauritius from 18 to 22 May 2015. The objectives of the Meeting are to review progress made under the previous regional project “Strengthening the Transfer of Experience related to Occupational Radiation Protection of the Nuclear Industry and other applications involving Ionising Radiation’, and to elaborate a common regional work plan for the new project, including specific work plans for each participating country for the period 2015-2016.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the chartered vessel M/V ANNA has been delivered in Mauritius and is scheduled to make its first commercial voyage to Rodrigues on 9 May 2015. M/V Trochettia would depart on 11 May 2015 for its planned dry docking and repair works in Singapore.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organised in the context of the International Day of Families observed on 15 May. This year, the United Nations has retained the theme: ''Men in charge? Gender equality and children's rights in contemporary families''. The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare has retained the theme “Mo fami mo responsabilité’’. Activities would include –
(a) an Inter-Faith Conference on Family Values;
(b) a National Programme on Marriage Enrichment;
(c) a Family Day at Mon Choisy; and
(d) Treasure Hunt and Kite Flying.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the first meeting of the Joint Project Monitoring Committee on the improvement of sea and air transportation facilities in Agalega. In line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Government of the Republic of India, the latter is extending technical and financial assistance to the tune of USD 18 million for the implementation of the project.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the setting up of the Joint Working Group to coordinate and implement the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Ocean Economy signed with the Government of the Republic of India. The objectives of the Working Group are to :
(a) identify the priorities of both parties relating to the different areas of cooperation;
(b) develop joint project proposals, examine concrete activities and programmes of cooperation, and coordinate with the participating organisations responsible for the implementation of the programmes;
(c) decide on the financing arrangements for the various activities and programmes; and
(d) make recommendations through an agreed procedure.
16. Cabinet has agreed to the extension of the Retainer Agreement between Government and the firm Ryberg and Smith L.L.P., that would represent the interests of Mauritius in the United States, and provide legal and lobbying services on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and other trade-related matters.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the draft Outline Planning Scheme for the Municipal Town Council Area of Vacoas-Phoenix that would be submitted to the President of the Republic for approval. The Scheme has been amended to include, among others, eco-tourism, leisure, recreation and some forms of real estate as acceptable activities, provided the relevant criteria are met. Moreover, the settlement boundaries would include additional areas released for development.
18. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to Indonesia, where he participated in the Asian-African Heads of State and Government Summit, held on the occasion of the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African Conference 1955, and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership. The theme of the Conference was “Advancing South-South Cooperation to promote World Peace and Prosperity”. The Summit adopted the following outcome documents –
(a) The Bandung Message;
(b) The Declaration on Reinvigorating the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership; and
(c) The Declaration on Palestine.
19. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
(a) the Board of Directors of the State Land Development Co. Ltd. under the chairmanship of Mr Gaëtan Siew, former President of the International Union of Architects;
(b) the Research and Development Committee of the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority under the chairmanship of Prof Louis Jean Claude Autrey, CSK;
(c) the Rose Belle Sugar Estate Board under the chairmanship of
Mr Dewanan Nadan;
(d) the Agricultural Marketing Board under the chairmanship of
Mr Kessawa Payandipillay;
(e) the Board of the Mauritius Meat Authority under the chairmanship of Mr Zaid Heera;
(f) the Board of the Small Farmers Welfare Fund under the chairmanship of Mr Ashok Bundhoo;
(g) the Board of Trustees of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden Trust under the chairmanship of Dr Seelavarn Ganeshan;
(h) the Managing Committee of the Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports under the chairmanship of Mr Theyvarajen Modelly Ponambalum;
(i) the Board of Trustees of the Conservatoire National de Musique François Mitterrand Trust Fund under the chairmanship of Mr P.N. Paul Olsen, MSK;
(j) the Mauritius Film Development Board under the chairmanship of Mr Dick Ng Sui Wa;
(k) the Mauritius Cane Industry Board under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security;
(l) the Regional Health Advisory Boards under the chairmanship of –
(i) Mr Kailash Varman Futhy for Dr A.G. Jeetoo Hosiptal;
(ii) Mr Moostakin Soodhun for SSRN Hospital;
(iii) Mr Santosh Kumar Jeetah for Flacq Hospital;
(iv) Mrs Umawtee Boojhawon for J. Nehru Hospital;
(v) Mr Hemand Gian Jhugroo for Victoria Hospital;
(m) the Mental Health Board under the chairmanship of Dr Jagjivan Ram Takoorparsad Purmessur, Specialist (Psychiatry); and
(n) the Executive Committee of the National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons under the chairmanship of the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions.