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Cabinet Decisions taken on 24 MARCH 2017

Date: March 24, 2017


1.         Cabinet has taken note of the Mauritius National Export Strategy Document.  The document focuses on seven priority sectors comprising Fisheries and Aquaculture, Processed Food, Cultural Tourism, Financial Services, Software Development, Medical Devices and Jewellery, and cross-sectoral themes, namely SME Internationalisation, Skills Development, Branding, Innovation and Institutional Alignment. A dedicated Strategy has been defined for Rodrigues due to its specific development challenges. The Strategy document charts out a strategic direction for export consolidation and diversification by leveraging on enhanced synergies among institutions through the adoption of a holistic approach to exports, and help, among others, empower stakeholders to contribute more effectively to export development and foster a national export culture. The document would be launched by the Prime Minister on 31 March 2017.
2.         Cabinet has taken note of the 10-year Master Plan for the SME Sector.  The Plan analyses the current situation of the SME Sector and makes recommendations for the Sector to be a key driving force of the country’s productive apparatus, and achieve a quantum leap towards ambitious targets of raising, by the year 2026, SMEs’ contribution to the GDP from currently 40% to 52%.  The Master Plan recommends six strategic thrusts to address the main constraint to SME development, namely -
            (a)       Improving the Institutional and Regulatory Framework;
(b)       Instilling an Entrepreneurial Attitude;
(c)        Reinforcing Human Capital and Skills Development;
(d)       Encouraging Innovation, Technology Transfer and Greening of SMEs;
(e)       Improving Access to Finance and Equity Participation; and
(f)        Improving Marketing and Regional Exports Capacity.
3.         Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Land Drainage Authority Bill into the National Assembly. The object of the Bill is to establish a Land Drainage Authority which shall, inter alia, be responsible for -
(a)       the development and implementation of a land drainage master plan;
(b)       carrying out an inventory and mapping of all the existing natural and manmade drainage infrastructure; 
(c)        identifying, in collaboration with the local authorities, the National Development Unit, the Road Development Authority, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre, and other stakeholders, flood risk areas;
(d)       coordinating the construction of drainage infrastructure by the local authorities, the National Development Unit, the Road Development Authority and other stakeholders; and
(e)       ensuring that there is a routine and periodic upgrading and maintenance of the drainage infrastructure.
4.         Cabinet has agreed to the Citizen’s Advice Bureaus being reengineered, as enunciated in Government Programme 2015-2019, to improve service delivery. Following consultation with stakeholders, it has been proposed that the Bureaus -
            (a)       provide updated information on Government policies, facilities offered/ available by Government institutions;
            (b)       organise Information, Education and Communication campaigns; and
            (c)        liaise with the community to bring about improvement and initiate activities for the welfare of citizens.
Cabinet has also agreed to the implementation of an Online Citizen Support Portal by the Citizen Support Unit and the Citizen's Advice Bureaus, in collaboration with Ministries, local authorities and parastatal bodies, for the handling of complaints and queries in a timely manner.  The Portal would be launched in April 2017.
5.         Cabinet has taken note that the Primary School Achievement Certificate (PSAC) Assessment 2017 would be held as follows -
(a)          Modular Assessment
Date                                            Subject
Tuesday 29 August 2017                Science
Wednesday 30 August 2017          History and Geography
(b)       End of Year Assessment
Date                                            Subject
Tuesday 24 October 2017              French
Wednesday 25 October 2017        English
Thursday 26 October 2017             Asian Languages/Arabic/Kreol Morisien
Friday 27 October 2017                   Mathematics
Some 19,633 pupils would take part in the PSAC Assessment 2017. Results would be announced around 12 December 2017.  The Re-Assessment in specific core subjects for eligible pupils would be held on Thursday 21 December 2017 and results announced by Friday 29 December 2017. 
6.         Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to bring down the waiting list of patients for operation in the different hospitals, including increase in the number of operation sessions.
7.         Cabinet has taken note of the conditions laid down in relation to private practice by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, after consultation with the Government Medical and Dental and Other Officer’s Association, the Government Consultant-in-Charge Association, the Medical and Health Officer’s Association, and the Private Health Institutions Association, to reduce abuse.  A compliance mechanism by both Specialists/Consultants and private health institutions, has also been devised.  The privilege of private practice will be restored to specialists/consultants reckoning two years of postgraduate specialist qualification.  Private practice would be carried out by the interested parties after working hours.
8.         Cabinet has agreed to the establishment of an Academic Chair in AYUSH, i.e., Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy, at the University of Mauritius in line with the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of traditional systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, signed between India and Mauritius in March 2015.  The holder of the Chair, a professor from India, would, as part of his assignment, undertake academic and research activities, conduct seminars/workshops, and design the curriculum of Ayurvedic Medicine.
9.         Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Ocean Economy Workshop organised by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), UK, in collaboration with the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping and the British High Commission, on 14 March 2017 in Mauritius.  The main objective of the workshop was to explore the marine policy and research landscape in Mauritius with a view to further strengthening collaboration between the National Oceanography Centre and Mauritius.  The following four topics were discussed -
            (a)       Overview of the NOC and marine policy/research synergies;
(b)       Marine Ecology and Biogeochemistry: Implications of a changing climate;
(c)        Seafloor and Habitat Mapping: ecosystem value; and
(d)       Development of biogeochemical sensors for autonomous ocean observations.
10.       Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, and Minister for Rodrigues to India where he participated in the Third Counter Terrorism Conference organised by India Foundation.  He was one of the guest speakers at the Conference.  Discussions at the Conference focused, among others, on -
            (a)       Tackling Terror through Good Governance;
(b)       Economic Impact of Terror and Terror Financing;
(c)        Technological Dimensions of Terrorism;
(d)       Terrorism in Asia and Africa, South East Asia, West Africa; and
(e)       Cooperative Mechanisms for Countering Terror in the Indian Ocean Region.
During his visit in New Delhi, the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, and Minister for Rodrigues had discussions with Shri Arun Jaitley, Union Minister of Finance and Defence, on areas of bilateral cooperation and the utilisation of the grant and the line of credit put at the disposal of the Government of Mauritius.
11.       Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the -
(a)       Mental Health Commission under the chairmanship of Dr Bhooshun Ori, Regional Health Director, Victoria Hospital; and
(b)       Mental Health Board under the chairmanship of Dr (Mrs) Mridula Suresh Naga, Specialist (Psychiatry).

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