1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of The Constitution (Amendment No. 3) Bill and the Prosecution Commission Bill in the National Assembly.
The object of the Constitution (Amendment No. 3) Bill is to amend the Constitution to make provision for a Prosecution Commission which -
(a) shall determine whether the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute or not to institute criminal proceedings against a person is irrational, perverse, against public interest or otherwise erroneous in law or on facts;
(b) shall determine whether the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to discontinue criminal proceedings against a person is irrational, perverse, against public interest or otherwise erroneous in law or on facts;
(c) shall make recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions for the expeditious disposal of criminal proceedings and for the reduction of systemic delays; and
(d) may require the Director of Public Prosecutions to furnish a report concerning the discharge of his functions under section 72 at such times and in such manner as it may determine.
The Prosecution Commission Bill makes provision for the accountability of the Director of Public Prosecutions through -
(a) the Prosecution Commission;
(b) the issue of directions by the Prosecution Commission to the Director of Public Prosecutions;
(c) the furnishing of information by the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Prosecution Commission,
and for such supplementary or ancillary matters as may appear necessary or expedient.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Sugar Industry Efficiency (Amendment) Bill in the National Assembly. The main object of the Bill is to amend the Sugar Industry Efficiency Act to -
(a) prepare the sugarcane industry to face challenges in view of the abolition of European Union (EU) country sugar quotas;
(b) provide for the setting up of a Sugar Cane Sustainability Fund for the purpose of fostering the production of sugarcane and bagasse;
(c) empower the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority to develop -
(i) a Renewable Sugar Cane Industry Based Biomass Framework to enable the country to best fulfil its international commitments;
(ii) an Ethanol and Molasses Framework to allow the mandatory blending of ethanol and mogas;
(iii) a Sugar Based Agro-Industry Framework to promote a sugar based agro-industry and generate value added sugar or other sugar products through the use of local raw materials; and
(d) make better provisions for revenue accruing to planters from molasses and the allocation of molasses between distilleries.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Sports Bill in the National Assembly. The object of the Bill is to repeal the Sports Act 2013 and replace it by a new Sports Act so as to facilitate the promotion and sustainable development of sports through better management of sports organisations, the creation of an appropriate environment for encouraging participation and achieving excellence in sports, as well as for the healthy development of our citizens, and for related matters. The Bill, inter alia, -
(a) provides for rights and obligations of athletes;
(b) makes better provision for the registration and functioning of National Sports Federations;
(c) improves the regulation and management of National Sports Federations; and
(d) provides for a National Anti-Doping Organisation and a National Council for Sports in Schools and Universities.
4. Cabinet has taken note that a part payment of the compensation payable to planters under the Sugar Cane Sustainability Fund would be effected before the end of this year in order to ease their cash flow problems. The balance would be paid in January 2017. The compensation payable under the Sugar Cane Sustainability Fund is as follows -
(a) Rs1,100 per tonne of sugar to planters producing up to 60 tonnes; and
(b) Rs300 per tonne of sugar to planters producing above 60 tonnes.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the elaboration of a Marine Spatial Plan for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Mauritius in view of the increasing demand for marine space in the EEZ for various purposes, particularly, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, tourism and leisure. The main purpose of marine spatial planning is to identify the utilisation of marine space for different sea uses in accordance with national policies and legislation, while taking into consideration the preservation, protection and improvement of marine environment, including resilience to climate change impacts. It will also contribute to the effective management of marine activities and the sustainable use of marine and coastal resources through the creation of a framework for consistent, transparent, sustainable and evidence-based decision making. The elaboration of the Marine Spatial Plan is in line with the implementation of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
6. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the Multi-Sports Complex Project at St Pierre. The Complex, of international olympic standard, would comprise, inter alia, a 15,000-seating football stadium, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a cycling track, a health track, an administrative block, a fire station, and a sports medical unit. It is also proposed to set up a Regional Training Institution adjacent to the Complex. The Complex would be used for the 10th Edition of the Indian Ocean Islands Games.
7. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of an Expert Skills Scheme as mentioned in the Annex to Budget Speech 2016/2017. The Scheme aims at complementing the human resource capabilities of Ministries/Departments and public bodies, and facilitating the enlistment of the services of experts and specialised professionals for the timely design, implementation and operationalisation of public sector policies, projects and schemes.
8. Cabinet has agreed to the National Curriculum Framework for Grades 7, 8 and 9. The Framework covers the curriculum for the final three years of the nine years of continuous basic education taking into consideration the country’s aspiration to produce an educated workforce adapted to the current and emerging challenges, the quality of teachers, the learning and assessment practices, the teaching and learning culture, and the empowerment of the learner. Focus has been laid on nine learning areas, namely Languages, Mathematics, Science, Technology, Social and Modern Studies, Business and Entrepreneurship Education, Physical Education, the Arts, and Life Skills and Values. Learners would also be equipped with 21st century competencies, including Civic Skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Social Skills, Communication and Learning Skills. The Framework also advocates new approaches to assessment, both summative in the form of end-of-year assessment by the Mauritius Examinations Syndicate, and continuous school-based assessment.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Municipal City Council of Port Louis proposes to create a centralized car park zone in Champ de Mars. The project forms part of a greater objective in line with the Road Decongestion Programme and, specifically the Port Louis Programme, and will allow the creation of an Urban Bus Circle Line connecting the bus stations of Victoria and Immigration Squares. The proposed car park would accommodate 1,000 car parking slots, with proper drainage system, security controls with easy exit and ingress, and green spaces with minimum tree planting for shade.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Green Climate Fund has approved a grant of $28.21 million (about Rs1 billion) for the implementation of a project entitled ‘Accelerating the transformational change to a low carbon economy in the Republic of Mauritius’. The project that would be implemented in two phases, comprises, among others, -
(a) the strengthening of the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency, and the Utility Regulatory Authority;
(b) the installation of battery, and the strengthening of the grid of CEB; and
(c) the installation of 300 kW solar PV in Agalega.
It is expected that some 2,000 jobs would be created in the implementation of the projects.
11 Cabinet has agreed to the proclamation of section 22(5)(a) and (b) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2011 to allow for the smooth transition to the new land survey framework and the establishment and maintenance of a Digital Cadastral Database. Regulations would be promulgated for the use of Parcel Identification Number (PIN) in deeds of sale. The PIN is a unique number assigned to each land parcel in the Digital Cadastral Database. The Registration Duty (Site Plan) Regulations 1991 would be repealed.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the Report on a "Study on the Real Cause of Flooding in Flood Prone Areas in Mauritius" by the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management. The recommendations made, include -
(a) a review of existing legislation, namely the Building Control Act and the Forests and Reserves Act, to take into consideration the topography for prescribing reserve width;
(b) introduction of new legislation for the protection of wetlands, fresh water biodiversity and waterways;
(c) a comprehensive assessment of land drainage catchment; and
(d) frequent maintenance and cleaning of drains by local authorities and stricter enforcement of legislations in areas which are known to be at risk of flooding.
13. Cabinet has taken note that the first session of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub Steering Committee was held in Mauritius in December 2016. The overall objective of the Hub is to address capacity constraints hampering small and vulnerable States from accessing finance. The Committee considered, among others, -
(a) the Project Implementation Progress Report;
(b) the Project Financial Report; and
(c) Work Plan for the first year of operations of the Hub.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Arts and Culture to Ethiopia and Tanzania. In Ethiopia, the Minister attended the 11th Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage that considered and nominated “Geet Gawai” - Bhojpuri folk songs/dances - on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In Tanzania, the Minister of Arts and Culture had meetings with the Hon Anastasia Wambura, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, Artist and Sports on the signing of the Cultural Agreement, and HE Seif Ali Iddi, Second Vice-President of Zanzibar on collaboration in the arts and culture sector and the promotion of cultural tourism.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection to India where he attended the 12th International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Petrotech 2016. The Conference provided a forum for stakeholders in the petroleum sector to meet and share and exchange their vision, knowledge and experiences. The theme of the Conference was “Hydrocarbons to Fuel the Future: Choices and Challenges”. The Exhibition showcased innovations and Research and Development Initiatives from over 70 exhibitors.
In the margins of the Conference, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection had meetings, among others, with Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India on the project for the development of Mauritius as a Petroleum hub.