1. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a High Level Drugs and HIV Council under the chair of the Prime Minister. The Council would have a key role to, inter alia, oversee the implementation of the National Drug Control Master Plan 2018-2020 commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and Rodrigues and the National Action Plan for HIV and AIDS 2017-2021 of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life. The main objects of the Council would be namely, to –
(a) foster a multi-sectoral approach with a view to providing a stronger response to Drugs and HIV; and
(b) organise concrete measures to minimize the personal, social and economic impact of Drugs and HIV.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the Finance & Audit (Prime Minister’s Cyclone Relief) Fund and the Finance & Audit (Prime Minister’s Relief) Fund would be merged into one Fund to be known as the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. The new Fund would take over all the functions performed by the two previous Funds and would also cater for victims of cyclone and other natural calamities. Appropriate Regulations would be promulgated to be effective as from 15 December 2018.
3. Cabinet has taken note that following the recent flooding at Cottage and surrounding regions which has resulted into severe damage to personal properties and public infrastructure, Government is implementing an Emergency Flood Rehabilitation Programme which would focus, inter alia, on the construction of new drains and detention basins.
The Programme would cost around Rs70 Million. The National Development Unit together with the District Council of Rivière du Rempart and Road Development Authority are working actively on the following infrastructure improvements –
(a) in the short term, temporary drains, extension of an existing drain to the extent of 2.6 kms, are being planned upstream of Cottage village;
(b) a cross drain between Cottage and L’Espérance Trébuchet would be constructed as an outlet to drain the water coming from Piton region; and
(c) in the medium/long term, permanent drains of 3.8 kms would be constructed from Piton fields, upstream of Cottage village, crossing L’Espérance Trébuchet, up to the sea of Poudre d’Or village.
Moreover, the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development is extending appropriate assistance to the flood victims.
NGOs, benevolent organisations and the civil society are also assisting the flood victims.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research promulgating the Education (Amendment) Regulations 2018 which make provisions for the conduct of the National Certificate of Education Assessment in 2020 and admission of meritorious pupils to 12 designated Academies as from 2021. The National Certificate of Education Assessment would be conducted by the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate at the end of Grade 9, as from year 2020 and would lead to the award of the National Certificate of Education. The Education (Amendment) Regulations 2018 would come into operation on 01 January 2020.
5. Cabinet has taken note that in the context of the celebration of Christmas at national level, the following activities would be organised –
(a) the National Christmas Celebrations on 22 December 2018 in the open-air area adjacent to the Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture at La Tour Koenig. The cultural programme would showcase Mauritian generosity and our “joie de vivre” and “vivre ensemble”;
(b) a cultural programme by the Centres de Lecture et d’Animation Culturelle (CLACs) of the Ministry of Arts and Culture on 15 December 2018 at the Serge Constantin Theatre, Vacoas; and
(c) two Christmas and New Year concerts by the Conservatoire National de Musique François Mitterrand at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka on 15 and 16 December 2018, respectively.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment would make the following Regulations under the Social Integration and Empowerment Act 2016 –
(a) the Social Integration and Empowerment (Child Allowance Scheme) Regulations which make provision for the payment of a Child Allowance up to a maximum of three children aged between 3 and 23 years old of eligible households under the Social Register of Mauritius (SRM). An amount of Rs893 is provided per child per month subject to his monthly school attendance being at least 90%;
(b) the Social Integration and Empowerment (School Materials Scheme) Regulations which provide for the distribution of school materials to SRM children attending registered pre-primary, primary or secondary schools or pre-voc institutions;
(c) the Social Integration and Empowerment (Free Examination Fees Scheme) Regulation – The scheme provides an opportunity to children of SRM households to have a second attempt, free of charge, at the examinations of the School Certificate or Higher School Certificate irrespective of the outcome of their first attempt;
(d) the Social Integration and Empowerment (School Premium Scheme) Regulations which make provision for a cash award to be provided to SRM children, who have successfully completed their Grade 9 level, School Certificate or Higher School Certificate, with a view to encouraging them to attain higher level of education and to complete their studies; and
(e) Social Integration and Empowerment (Creche Scheme) Regulations which provide for the payment of up to Rs2,000 per month per child to the registered day care centres for admission of children of SRM households. The purpose of the Scheme is to empower mothers of children between the age of 3 months to 3 years old, to take up employment or follow a training course.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the closing date for registration for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 has been extended up to 31 December 2018.
8. Cabinet has taken note that according to the last monthly report published by the Statistics Unit of the Ministry of Tourism, 132,126 tourists visited Mauritius in the month of November 2018 as compared to 121,496 in the month of November 2017, i.e., an increase of 8.7%. During the period January to November 2018, 1,241,244 tourists visited Mauritius as compared to 1,186,245 for the same period in 2017, i.e., an increase of 4.6%. Growth has been registered in arrivals from Italy (+42.9%), Germany (+9.3%), France (+1.2%), India (+23.5%), South Africa (+17.2%), Saudi Arabia (+40.4%), Poland (+23.3%), United Arab Emirates (+22.5%) and Austria (+19.2%).
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Tourism to Portugal where he attended the World Travel Awards 2018 Grand Final Ceremony. Mauritius won the World's Most Romantic Destination of the World Travel Awards 2018. Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa won the World’s Leading Luxury Villa Resort.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of Trustees of La Clinique Mauricienne for the year 2019.