1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of –
(a) the Constitution (Amendment) Bill which aims at enhancing the role and status of the President of the Republic by conferring additional powers on him whilst maintaining the Prime Ministerial form of Government. The Bill is based on four essential recommendations of the Commission on Constitutional and Electoral Reform (Sachs Commission) which pertain to –
(i) the role, status and functions of the President;
(ii) the appointment of the Chairman and the Members of the Electoral Supervisory Commission and those of the Electoral Boundaries Commission;
(iii) the dissolution of Parliament; and
(iv) the exercise of the Prerogative of Mercy.
(b) the Sexual Offences (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill which aims at amending the Courts Act, the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Act –
(i) to provide for cases in which a person has been raped by two or more individuals to be tried before a Judge without a jury;
(ii) to increase the sentencing powers of the Intermediate Court in relation to an offence of rape from a term of 8 years to 20 years penal servitude. The Court will have the jurisdiction to give a minimum sentence of 5 years; and
(iii) to allow complainants in sexual offence cases to depone through a live video or live television link system.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a High Level Steering Committee chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the World Bank relating to the management of the Port with a view to drawing benefits from the optimum utilization of existing port infrastructure and quick turn around for container vessels whilst ensuring a smooth and effective flow of operations in the best interest of the Port.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the creation of a Tourism Fund, the object of which will be to finance the implementation of infrastructural works in connection with tourism development projects and such other associated works for the benefit and welfare of the inhabitants of the area in which the projects are being implemented. Promoters of hotel projects will be required to contribute Rs 25 m to the Fund.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the Mauritius Educational Development Company (MEDCO) becoming the employer of redundant/excess staff of private secondary schools.
5. Cabinet has taken note that Dr A Kalangos, Chairman of the “Clinique de Chirurgie Cardiovasculaire, Hopitaux Universitaires de Genève” and President of the “Association Humanitaire Coeurs pour Tous” of Geneva will, during his visit from 28 July to 8 August, operate upon paediatric cardiac cases, including patients from Madagascar, Seychelles and Comoros.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the 12th Africa Scout Conference will be held in Mauritius from 6 to 10 September 2004.
7. The President of National Association of Software and Service Companies, India, will visit Mauritius from 9 to 12 August with a view to exploring the possibilities of cooperation with Government and Private Sector and help promoting partnership between Mauritian and Indian ICT Companies in the Business Process Outsourcing and Software Development Sectors.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the missions of –
(a) the Prime Minister and Minister of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation to Mozambique where they participated in the Second Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held from 10 to 12 July;
(b) the Minister of Industry and International Trade to Brussels and Geneva where he had discussions on the restructuring and modernisation of the textile and clothing sectors of ACP countries and the EPA negotiations and had sought the support of Commissioner Pascal Lamy for a coordinated position on the proposals of Ambassador P.L. Girard on Non-Agricultural Market Access at the WTO level;
(c) the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, as Member of the Ministerial mission led by Mrs N. Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, to Comoros where the mission had discussions with the Presidents of Comoros on the implementation of the Fomboni Framework Agreement; and
(d) the Minister of Women’s Rights,Child Development & Family Welfare to Morocco where she attended the 13th Global World Summit of Women.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Swami Dayanand Institute of Management, in collaboration with the University of Mauritius and the University of Technology of Mauritius, will mount full-time degree courses to enable students who have completed a Diploma Course at the Institute to top up their qualifications to degree level.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the constitution of the Managing Committee of the “Institut de la Francophonie pour l’Entrepreneuriat” with Dr M. Cheeroo as Chairman.
11. Cabinet has taken note that CPE Examinations will be held from 20 to 23 October 2003.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the visit of the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Reserves of Sri Lanka to Mauritius from 13 to 15 July.
13. Cabinet has taken note that –
(a) the Travel Agents and Tour Operators Act will come into operation as from 28 July 2003; and
(b) the Tourism Employees Welfare Fund Act will be proclaimed on 31 July 2003.