1. As stated in the political manifesto of Government, Cabinet has agreed to the re-introduction of the payment of the Basic Retirement Pension (BRP) on a universal basis for those whose pension has either been disallowed or reduced. The appropriate legislation would be introduced into the National Assembly so as to enable the implementation of the decision as from September 2005 but with effect from July 2005.
2. Cabinet took note of the state of economy and public finances and of the main challenges facing the country. Budget deficit would be significantly higher than the 5% projected by the previous Government. Moreover, the growth rate would be significantly lower and would be less than 4% for the year 2005. In addition, there are many public sector companies whose finances are in a parlous state including the State Trading Corporation, the Mauritius Post Limited and the Development Works Corporation. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development will hold a Press Conference at 1130 hours on Saturday 16 July 2005 to brief the nation about the state of our economy and public finances.
3. Cabinet has agreed that the Attorney-General's Office should review the relevant legislation with a view to providing severe penalties for offences like rape and murder, particularly those committed on young and adolescent children.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the holding of the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) examinations 2005 from Monday 17 to Friday 21 October and on Monday 24 October on one subject a day basis.
5. Cabinet has taken note that since the date of the dissolution of the National Assembly, a number of recruitment/promotion in different grades at the level of each local authority has been made and has agreed that the situation should be reviewed with a view to -
(a) terminating all recruitment made during that period to-date after consulting the Attorney-General's Office; and
(b) enquiring into all cases of promotion/appointment made as from 24 April 2005.
6. Cabinet has agreed to-
(i) the setting-up of an Organising Committee under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Youth & Sports to look into all the organizational aspects for the holding of the Fifth "Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de L'Océan Indien" (CJSOI) Games in Mauritius in July/August 2006; and
(ii) Mauritius participating in the CJSOI Ministerial Meeting to be held in Comoros on 19 and 20 July 2005 where Mauritius will have to report on the organizational arrangements for the Fifth CJSOI Games.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the existing provisions governing Local Government and appointment of the Chairman and the members of the Local Government Service Commission and has agreed that the law should be revisited in order to provide inter alia for a representative of Trade Unions to be represented on the Commission.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the measures proposed to re-engineer the Social Welfare Centres and the Community Centres for effective community development in line with the vision of the Government for "une île Maurice pour tous". These measures include inter-alia:
(i) the reconstitution of the Management Committee of the Social Welfare Centres and Community Centres for period 2005 to 2007 taking into consideration criteria, such as experience in social and community work, social group interests and age groups;
(ii) the enhancement and promotion of participation of the elderly, women, handicapped and children in programmes and projects for community development, adult literacy and information technology; and
(iii) revival of sale points where vulnerable groups can exhibit their products.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the situation in respect of illegal occupation of NHDC Housing Estates. The Minister of Housing and Lands had several meetings with the representatives of squatters, whereby-
(i) the squatters generally agreed that they were in an illegal situation;
(ii) some of them had expressed their intention to vacate the premises; and
(iii) the squatters had requested that they be given a further delay to move out.
In response to their demands, the delay for vacating the premises had been extended to Wednesday 20 July 2005. The squatters had been requested to register their names with the NHDC and deserving cases will be examined by the Trust Fund for the Social Integration of Vulnerable Groups. This exercise has already started since Thursday 14 July 2005 and will be carried out on Friday 15 and Monday 18 July.Cabinet has also agreed that legal action would be initiated against the squatters if they do not vacate the premises by the cut off date.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Agro Industry and Fisheries has addressed the EU Parliament at its Hearing on 13 July in his capacity as ACP Ministerial Spokesperson for Sugar. He seized this opportunity to lobby as many of the stakeholders as possible to sensitize them against the adverse impact of the EU Commission proposal of 22 July. The address of the ACP Spokesperson has been the subject of an ACP Press Communiqué. He also had a number of very important meetings with Ministers of Agriculture and met EU Parliamentarians.
11. Cabinet has taken note of developments regarding the recruitment of the 388 Health Care Assistants. Cabinet has also noted that the employment of the Health Care Assistants has been terminated with effect from 8 July 2005 and one month salary in lieu of notice offered to them.