1.Following continuous adverse comments by the Director of Audit and the External Auditor, KPMG on the mismanagement of irrigation projects, Cabinet has agreed to the Management Audit Bureau carrying out a comprehensive inquiry on the operations, management and financial procedures of the Irrigation Authority and to making recommendations, inter alia, on alternative means of implementing irrigation projects in order to achieve greater efficiency and for the timely completion of the projects.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the Credit Facilities Bill which makes provision for the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Sale by Levy, being disseminated prior to its introduction into the National Assembly with a view to enabling stakeholders to take cognizance thereof and make comments. The draft Bill is available on the website of the Ministry of Finance.
3. Cabinet has agreed to a Task Force, under the Chairmanship of the Mauritius Research Council, undertaking a detailed study on the setting up of a Deep Sea Desalination Mineral Water Facility which would exploit, on commercial basis, deep sea Indian Ocean Water from the great conveyor belt that runs through the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association Bill which aims at providing for the establishment of the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association, the setting up of a National Executive Committee as the governing body and ensuring that proper governance and administration structures are established at the Association.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities organized by the Ministry of Arts & Culture, in collaboration with Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund Board to commemorate, on 2 November 2005, the 171st Anniversary of the arrival of indentured labourers in Mauritius.
6. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of -
(i) the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development who attended the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in Barbados and the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington. The Finance Ministers discussed inter alia progress on the Millenium Project, reviewed progress on the 2002 Commonwealth Action Plan on Delivering the Monterrey Consensus and discussed experience in implementing and supporting country poverty reduction strategies. He also attended a number of the meetings held in the margin of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting, viz., meetings of the African Constituency with the President of the World Bank and the Managing Director of IMF, the Small States Forum and he met and had working sessions with a number of international financial institutions; and
(ii) the Minister of Environment & National Development Unit who attended the Preparatory Meeting of Ministers for the 11th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in Ottawa, Canada. The Conference addressed a number of issues, including enhancing environmental effectiveness, advancing sustainable development goals and building a strong global emission market.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of the following institutions –
(i) the Waste Water Management Authority with Mr Khushul Lobin as Chairperson;
(ii) the Central Water Authority with Dr Anwar Hussein Subratty as Chairperson;
(iii) the Industrial and Vocational Training Council with Mr Ashwin Ramdin, Barrister-at-Law, as Chairperson;
(iv) the Conservatoire de Musique François Mitterand Trust Fund with Professor Lucien Finette as Chairperson;
(v) the Mauritius Sugar Terminal Corporation with Mrs Aratee Prayag as Chairperson;
(vi) the Mauritius Agricultural Marketing Board with Mr Shekar Deewoo as Chairperson;
(vii) the National Children's Council with Mrs Kamla Devi Varmah as Chairperson; and
(viii) the Loïs Lagesse Trust Fund with Mr Retnon Pyneeandee as Chairperson and Mr Goolam Mohamud Dulloo as Vice-Chairperson.
8. Cabinet has taken note of activities being organized to mark the World Food Day and Telefood Campaign for 2005. The theme for World Food Day, commemorated on 16 October, is "Agriculture and Intercultural Dialogue". The World Food Day aims at placing focus on the contribution of different cultures to world agriculture and intercultural dialogue as a means for progress against hunger and environmental degradation. The main activities would inter alia comprise -
(i) exhibitions and displays related to agro-industry, information on the functions and service provided by these institutions;
(ii) launching of a National Agro-Business Entrepreneurs Award; and
(iii) launching of a training programme in agriculture for young people at Mapou Model Farm.
9. Cabinet has taken note of an outreach programme to be carried out at Karo Kalyptis, which would inter alia comprise -
(i) identification of children not attending school;
(ii) sensitization of inhabitants on issues related to child welfare and child protection; and
(iii) distribution of school materials to the children to encourage them to attend school.
10. Cabinet has agreed to the payment of an annual grant to Women's Associations, affiliated to the National Women's Council, to enable them to organize programmes and activities towards the development and empowerment of women.
11. Cabinet has agreed to the criteria governing the eligibility for assistance under the Family in Distress Scheme being revised with a view to extending the Scheme to include widowers, with dependent children and drawing less than Rs6,000 monthly, whose spouses were contributing to the family income.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of a two-day workshop on the theme "Towards a Healthier Social Environment Forging New Partnerships" at Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes from 19 to 20 October 2005. About 100 to 125 participants from various non-governmental and socio-religious organizations would attend the Workshop which would enable the consolidation of a networking process and will rally all organisations which have an interest in the promotion of the welfare of the child and the family. The recommendations of the workshop would constitute the basis for the development of a Plan of Action to address the problems linked tochild abuse and family violence in a holistic and coordinated manner.
13. Cabinet has taken note of activities to be organized in the context of the World Mental Health Day to be observed on 10 October 2005. The theme chosen for this year is "Physical and Mental Health across the Life Span". The main activities would include -
(i) the organization of a recreational day for mental health patients and their relatives at Brown Sequard Hospital on 10 October 2005 which would comprise inter alia songs, sketches and a cultural programme to be presented by inpatients and nurses of the BSMHCC; and
(ii) talks on radio on mental health issues from 10 to 14 October 2005.
14.Cabinet has taken note that the State Trading Corporation has been recommended for ISO 9001: 2000 Certification. The Certificate would be awarded by AJA Registrars (UK) Office next month.