1. Cabinet has assessed the overall situation following the passage of cyclone Davina. It has been decided that all efforts will be made for essential services and economic activities to be brought to normal within 24 hours.
2. Cabinet has decided upon a number of measures to strengthen law and order in the country. In this context, major legislation will be introduced into the National Assembly shortly. Thus a Penal Code (Amendment) Bill will introduce more severe penalties against rioting, looting, burglary with violence as well as offences relating to counterfeiting notes. The Government will also bring forward a Bill to make the provisions of the Bail Act more flexible in the future. These proposed amendments together with the Judicial Provisions Bill and the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill already before the House, will reinforce the overall Penal and Judicial framework, in line with the recommendations of Lord Mackay Report on the Reform of the Judiciary.
3. Cabinet has reviewed the situation regarding the agricultural sector, which has suffered from the effects of prolonged drought. The following emergency measures have been agreed upon:
(i) the maximum loan to be granted for the rehabilitation of sugarcane plantation will be increased from Rs 5,000 per arpent to Rs 10,000 per arpent at zero per cent interest rate with a three year moratorium. The maximum amount of loan per borrower will be maintained at Rs 100,000; and
(ii) the irrigation dues in respect of financial year 1999/2000 will be waived for all irrigation schemes under the Irrigation Authority.
A Ministerial Committee chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister continues to monitor the situation.