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Cabinet Decisions taken on 02 MARCH 2018

Date: March 02, 2018


1.         Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent visit of Hon Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister to Rodrigues where he held consultations in the context of the preparation of the budget of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly for the year ending June 2019.  The Prime Minister had lengthy discussions with the Chief Commissioner and his Commissioners on their budget proposals and major projects including the construction of the new runway at Plaine Corail Airport, port development and water supply.
2.         Cabinet has taken note that HE Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India who would be the Chief Guest on the occasion of the National Day Celebrations 2018, would be in Mauritius from 11 to 14 March 2018.  During his stay, HE Shri Ram Nath Kovind would, among others, pay a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Mauritius, have a meeting with the Prime Minister, make an address to the Youth, unveil the foundation stone of the ENT Hospital and Social Housing Project, inaugurate the World Hindi Secretariat Headquarters and launch the E-Tablet Project, Student Support Programme and the Logo of the World Hindi Secretariat.
3.         Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a Geotechnical Unit under the aegis of Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport and to the enlistment of Mr Kenshuke Ichikawa, Geotechnical Expert as Technical Advisor to assist in the setting up of the Unit. The Unit will, among others, provide geological and geotechnical advice in the design of deep and shallow foundations in buildings and civil engineering projects, carry out site appraisals and desk studies to assess landslide related risks and supervise geotechnical site investigations and interpret results thereof.
4.         Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with India on the establishment of the Nalanda University, an international institution, to be located in the Rajgir, Nalanda District in the State of Bihar. The objectives and functions of the University are, inter alia, to –
(a)       establish an international institution of learning that will bring together the brightest and the most dedicated students from all countries and to give them the means needed for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies;
(b)       build an Asian community of learning where the intellectual potential of every student can be developed to the fullest extent possible, and to create an Asian community by strengthening regional awareness; and
(c)        impart education towards capacity-building of Asian nations in the domain of philosophy, language, history and other areas of higher learning.
            The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed during the visit of the President of the Republic of India to Mauritius.

5.         Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Revenue Authority would sign an Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters with the Turkish Customs Authorities.  The Agreement provides mainly for –
(a)       exchange of information on suspicious persons and consignments;
(b)       assistance in the investigation, detection and suppression of customs offences and other illegal cross border trafficking; and
(c)        assistance in the capacity building of officers in order to better equip them in the discharge of their duties.
6.         Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of discussions which the Prime Minister had with members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry who visited Mauritius in February 2018.  During the meetings, the delegation was apprised of the business friendly investment environment and the incentives for investment and trade.  The delegation has expressed interest in various sectors including ICT, financial, high tech manufacturing, energy, port infrastructure, water distribution, agro-industry and logistics.  Discussions were also held on the possibility of setting up an industrial park of high-tech Japanese manufacturing companies in Mauritius.
7.         Cabinet has taken note that the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) which operates under the aegis of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) had invited ICT entries from around the world to submit ICT Projects for the WSIS Prizes 2018.  The WSIS Prize is a unique recognition for excellence in the implementation of ICT projects that are helping advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  In this context, the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation submitted seven projects including the InfoHighway Project, which was ranked among the top five voted in the category of E-government out of 492 ICT success stories.  The project has been selected as the WSIS Prizes 2018 Champion.
8.         Cabinet has taken note of the setting up of a Ministerial Committee to look into the restructuring and revamping of the Office of Public Sector Governance (OPSG). The Committee will look at the new mandate of the OPSG and make appropriate recommendations for its new orientations.
9.         Cabinet has agreed to the transfer of the Jewellery Centre from the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) to the Fashion and Design Institute (FDI).  As announced in the Budget Speech 2017-2018, the Fashion and Design Institute would be reengineered to focus on training in areas where skills mismatch in fashion and design are most severe and would include training in jewellery.

10.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands to India where she co-chaired, along with the High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, the 7th Meeting of the Joint Project Monitoring Committee (JPMC) set up by the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius to drive and oversee the project for the improvement of sea and air connectivity in Agalega.
            During her visit, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands had a meeting with –
(a)       HE Smt Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs to discuss, among others, Local Authorities projects and the acquisition of vehicles and equipment for the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service; and
(b)       the Director General of the Indian Fire Service on the possibility of technical exchange and cooperation between the Indian Fire Service and the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service.
11.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security to Rome where he attended the 41st session of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  The theme of the Governing Council was “From fragility to long term resilience, in sustainable rural economies”.  The election of members and alternate members of the Executive Board was held and the Council also took note of the Report on the Eleventh Replenishment of IFAD’s Resources.  In the margins of the Council, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security had meetings, among others, with the Director General and Deputy Director General of the FAO and discussions focused on the assistance from FAO to support the setting up of an appropriate Insurance Scheme for planters and the setting up of a Biotechnology Institute in Mauritius.
12.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the second meeting between the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) countries and the UK held recently in Mauritius, to ensure continuity of trade post BREXIT.  Consensus was reached on some 70% of the provisions of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement.  Further discussions would be held at the next round of negotiations on, inter alia, Rules of Origin, territorial application of the Agreement, safeguard measures, the replacement of reference to the Cotonou Agreement, the development component of the Agreement and the instrument to be used by the UK to extend development support to the ESA states. 
13.       Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation in collaboration with the Data Protection Office, would organise a workshop on the Data Protection Act 2017 in March 2018 in order to disseminate the provisions of the new Act and to inform Data Controllers and Processors on their revised roles and responsibilities. The workshop will also serve as a platform where consumers, private organisations, government officials, academia, non-profit organisations and privacy professionals will discuss the implications of the Act.
14.       Cabinet has taken note that a total of 4,176 vacancies in the public service have been filled during the period 01 July 2017 to 31 January 2018.
15.       Cabinet has taken note that, on the occasion of the World Consumer Rights Day 2018 observed on 15 March, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection would organise the following activities –
(a)       the creation of a page on Facebook for the dissemination of information on consumer related issues; 
(b)       a round table on consumer rights highlighting the evolution of consumer rights from Independence to date; and
(c)        sensitisation campaigns on consumer rights.
The theme for this year is ‘Making digital market places fairer’. 
16.       Cabinet has taken note that the Centre of Specialization in Public Administration and Management (CESPAM) of the University of Botswana, Gaborone, would host a three-day executive course on “Excellence in Service Delivery through Sustainable and Strategic Human Resource Management” in Mauritius, in May 2018.  The objectives of the programme include the –
(a)       development of an understanding of strategic human resource management;
(b)       alignment of HRM strategies with the overall HR policies including recruitment, selection, training, performance management and appraisal and employee engagement;
(c)        appreciation of using HRM strategy to deliver quality service; and
(d)       identification of strategies that promote self-management.
Some 25 to 50 participants from the public sector, state-owned enterprises and the private sector are expected to attend the course.

17.       Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
(a)       the Board of the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development with Mr Harrykrishna Vydelingum as Chairperson; and
(b)       the Board of the Mauritius Museums Council with Dr Kaviraj Sharma Sukon as Chairperson. 
18.       Cabinet has taken note of the constitution of the Professional Land Surveyors’ Council for an initial period of six months so as to put up a schedule of activities, including the establishment of a Register of Land Surveyors. Thereafter, arrangements would be made for the election of four Land Surveyors who are in private practice to form part of the Council.

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