1. Cabinet has agreed to the recommendations in the Report for the setting up of a Land-Based Oceanic Industry in Mauritius and specific actions being initiated for the implementation of the project. The main avenues for industrial exploitation of the project are –
(i) desalinated bottled mineral water for export;
(iii) spin-offs from the water pumped for
(a) production of pure refined salt;
(b) aquaculture (lobster and shrimps);
(c) spa and thalassotherapy; and
(d) pharmaceutics and cosmetics.
This project will constitute one of the new pillars of economic growth and establish linkages with other economic activities like tourism and manufacturing. While generating revenue from export and local tourism market, it will create productive employment opportunities and will also accelerate the economic democratisation process.
2.Cabinet has taken note that the Agricultural Technology Diffusion Scheme would be reviewed with a view to extending the Scheme to farmers engaged in agro- processing activities and ensuring that the scheme benefits a greater number of small and medium farmers. The Scheme aims at providing financial support to farmers in the non-sugar sector in order to improve production through new technologies and innovative product practices.
3.Cabinet has agreed to the criteria for admission to the National Colleges, i.e. Royal College Port Louis, Droopnath Ramphul State College, John Kennedy College, Queen Elizabeth College, Mahatma Gandhi Form VI College, Royal College Curepipe, Sookdeo Bissoondoyal State Secondary School, Dr Maurice Curé State College and Gaetan Raynal State College, on the basis of performance in best four subjects nation-wide. Admission to a Regional College will, however, continue to be made according to the existing criteria of regionalisation, parental choice, grade aggregate and proximity of residence using the existing grading system. The Minister of Education & Scientific Research would give details of the criteria in a Press Conference.
4.Cabinet has taken note of the organisation of the SADC Workshop on Rules of Origin and Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) on 16 and 17 January 2006. The main objectives of the workshop are to enable economic operators to share their practical experiences on problems confronted with intra-SADC trade and to make specific proposals for the elimination of NTBs and amendment to the Rules of Origin.
5.Cabinet has taken note of the collapse of a five-storey building in Mecca, which caused the death of some 25 persons, and that the Chairman of the Islamic Cultural Centre who is presently in Saudi Arabia, has confirmed that all Mauritian pilgrims are safe and well.
6.Cabinet has taken note of arrangements made for the resumption of schools in January 2006. Admission in Standard I would be effected on 10 January and classes in Standards II to VI would resume on 11 January 2006. As regards Secondary Schools, admission to Form I would be effected on 11 January and classes in Form II to Form V and Lower and Upper VI would resume on 12 January 2006.
7. Cabinet has agreed to the price of flour being increased from Rs 2.75 to Rs 3.55 per half kg with immediate effect, and those of scheduled bread as follows –
(i) Maison 100 gms from Rs 1.35 to Rs 1.65;
(ii) Baguette 100 gms from Rs 1.50 to Rs 1.80;
(iii) Baguette 200 gms from Rs 3.00 to Rs 3.60;
(iv) Moule 200 gms from Rs 2.70 to Rs 3.30.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the following Boards/ Committees –
(a) the Mahatma Gandhi Institute/Rabindranath Tagore Institute with Mr Ravin Dwarka as Chairperson;
(b) the Company Law Advisory Committee with Mr J.P. de Chazal as Chairperson;
(c) the Employees Welfare Fund with Mr M. Reejane as Chairperson;
(d) the Pre-School Trust Fund with Mr Shahadev Kaviraj as Chairperson;
(e) the Mauritius Meat Authority with Mr Vijaydutt Chummun as Chairperson;
(f) the Tobacco Board with Mr Naushad Maudarbaccus as Chairperson;
(g) the Statistics Advisory Council with Mr G. Gnany as Chairperson; and
(h) the Wildlife and National Parks Advisory Council with Mr Narain Ramdarsan as Chairperson.
9.Cabinet has taken note that Mr Ashutosh Avinash Chooramun Gunput would be recommended for appointment as Chairperson of the National Housing Development Company Ltd.