1. Cabinet discussed further the situation regarding law and order over the country following the disturbances of last week. It was noted that the situation as regards economic activities had returned to normal. The EPZ overall production capacity is being restored; and the effects on the tourism sector has been marginal. Measures, however, are being taken to restore the image of Mauritius on the international scene.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the recommendations of the Technical Committee of the Ministry of Public Utilities, set up to review the Short and Medium term strategy regarding investments for power generation and the Bagasse Energy Development Programme for the period 1999-2010.
Since 1966 some Rs 5 billion has been invested in power generation projects, covering extension of Fort George Power Station and investment by the private sector at Beau Champ, FUEL and Belle Vue Sugar Factories for firm power supply as well as six other factories exporting to CEB grid during the crop season.
On the other hand, Cabinet has agreed to proceed with the option of a strategic partner for the CEB, as the first phase of power sector reform. The assistance of the World Bank would be sought for the implementations of the Power Sector Reform and the recruitment of a consultant.
3. Cabinet has discussed the effects of prolonged drought on agriculture, particularly the Sugar Sector. A National Drought Committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade has been set up to monitor the situation and recommend appropriate measures to cope with the situation.
4. In the context of the closure of Dubreuil Tea Factory, Cabinet has agreed to additional benefits being provided to the 93 workers of Dubreuil Tea Factory in the form of a training grant and business plan grant.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the proposed amendments to be brought to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Convention regarding a new Contribution System, the mandate of Directors General and its structural reorganisation.
6. Cabinet has approved the grant of 2 Export Enterprise Certificates, 2 Pioneer Status Enterprise Certificates and one Industrial Building Enterprise Certificate for projects which relate to the production of garments, processing of fruits, provision of consultancy services and the construction of an Industrial Building. These projects involve an investment of around Rs 40 million and the creation of employment opportunities for some 63 persons.
7. Cabinet has agreed to the construction of a four-star hotel of 200 rooms at Le Morne. The early implementation of the project will be monitored by Government.
8. Cabinet agreed to a loan of Rs 150 M from the National Pensions Fund being provided to the National Trust Fund for Community Health for the construction of seven mediclinics. This will help in bringing the Health Services closer to the population and relieve regional hospitals.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the validity period of the National Identity Card has been extended by a further period of three years i.e. up to 31 March 2002 pending the finalisation of a new electronic National Identity Card.
10. Cabinet has taken note of –
(i) the main decisions of the Ministerial Meeting of the region and the OAU Troika on the situation in Comoros, which was held in Pretoria on 28 January, 1999. The delegation was led by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade. The meeting appealed to the International Community to support the efforts of the OAU and the countries of the region for a solution to be found in the Comoros problem;
(ii) the issue of trade facilitation on which discussions are still in progress at WTO level. Trade facilitation seeks to minimise delays, reduce costs and remove barriers to trade.
(iii) the programmes of activities to mark the International Women’s Day on 8 March 1999; amongst others a woman rally from Champ de Mars to Port Louis Waterfront will be organised;
(iv) the outcome of the Conference on Small States which was organised by the Joint Commonwealth Secretariat/World Bank Task Force on Small States in St. Lucia from 17 to 19 February, 1999. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade who participated in the Conference chaired the session on "Economies for Small States and Vulnerability Index;
(v) the outcome of the following Ministerial Meetings held in Dakar from 6 to 10 February, 1999 which was attended by the Mauritius delegation and led by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade;
(a) Special Session of the ACP Council of Ministers held on 6/7 and 8/9 February;
(b)First ACP-EU Ministerial Negotiating Conference held on 8/9 February;
(vi) a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to organise a coordination meeting on Radiation Processing of Food and Industrial Products in Mauritius from 29 March to 2 April, 1999;
(vii) the outcome of mission of Hon. V. K. Bojeenauth, Junior Minister, to Mozambique from 7 to 10 February 1999. The purpose of the mission was to support a business forum in Maputo and follow up on pending issues such as the Visa Abolition Agreement, Cultural Agreement, Ban on imports of sea foods into Mauritius, Bilateral Trade Agreement, and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the Governments of Mauritius and Mozambique;
(viii) the outcome of recent mission to Italy and London by the Minister of Agriculture, Food Technology & Natural Resources. In Italy, he participated in the 22nd session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development from 17 to 18 February, 1999.
(ix) the outcome of mission to UK, Sweden and Denmark, by the Minister of Housing and Lands, from 11 to 22 February, 1999. The purpose of the Mission was to enable the Mauritian delegation to have a comprehensive view of the proposed scheme to construct 6,000 housing units by Scan Building System Ltd. under the Concessions Project Act, and discuss with International Banking Institutions for funding of the projects.
(x) the outcome of Mission by the Minister for Civil Service Affairs & Administrative Reform from 10 to 19 February, in New Zealand where he participated in the Commonwealth Advanced Seminar.
(xi) the outcome of the joint Public/Private Sector Investment Mission which the Minister of Economic Development, Productivity & Regional Development led to Madagascar from 21 to 24 February 1999. The aims of the Mission were to expand and strengthen the economic relations between Mauritius and Madagascar and pursue discussions on projects and issues which had been subject of consultations over the last four months; and
(xii) the outcome of mission by Hon. Mrs. M.C. Arouff-Parfait to Mali, where she participated in the XXVIIth session of the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports of French Speaking Countries.