1. Cabinet has considered amendments to be brought to the Criminal Code Act which will provide penalties/increased penalties in respect of inciting communal hatred, rioting, looting, hold-ups, burglary with violence, rape and offences related to counterfeit notes.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of –
(a) the Draft Revenue (Temporary Protection) Bill, 1999 which enables the coming into force of new fiscal measures regarding VAT, on the day of resolution passed in the National Assembly, usually on budget day, until the passing of an Act validating the resolution; and
(b) the Public Procurement Transparency & Equity Bill. The aim of this Bill is to provide, amongst others, for the reform and modernisation of the public procurement system with emphasis being laid for greater accountability, transparency and equity in public purchasing.
3. Cabinet has agreed to an amendment to the Road Traffic Act to enable the early recruitment of Traffic Wardens for the implementation of paid parking scheme.
4. Cabinet has agreed, in principle, to the Mauritius Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) (Officers’ Powers and Protection) (Amendment) Act being further amended to make better provision for the control of stray dogs. These measures will empower the MSPCA to sterilise dogs which are not intended to be kept for breeding purposes.,
5. Following recommendations made by the Ministerial Committee set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Public Utilities to look into the financial situation and management of the CWA, Cabinet has agreed that the CWA be requested to invite firms of international repute to submit proposals for a management contract. Action will also be initiated for the setting up of a regulatory body for the water sector.
6. Cabinet has agreed to financial assistance being provided to the NHDC for the commissioning of 1000 (shell) housing units for the very low income households earning less that Rs 3000 monthly. Sites have already been identified and construction works will start soon.
7. Cabinet has agreed to revise the criteria for the grant of Rs 30,000 for casting of roof slab of a housing unit to present eligible beneficiaries such that the grant will henceforth be paid as soon as the construction of the housing unit has reached the beam level.
8. Cabinet has agreed to the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund extending its soft loan scheme to enable sugar workers to purchase computers for their children. An amount of Rs 30,000 will be granted to each parent and will be refundable over a period of 4 years with an interest rate of 5% per annum.
Such a measure is expected to provide children of sugar workers with an opportunity to use computers as an educational tool with a view to improving their technological and communication skills.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the National Transport Authority will increase its counters from 18 to 30 in due course and extend the hours of operation presently from 900 to 1200 hrs and from 1230 to 1430 hrs, to 900 to 1500 hrs. These measures are expected to facilitate the services provided to the public calling at the offices of the NTA for payment purposes, and reduce waiting time at the counters.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the Procedures Manual and the accompanying Guidelines prepared by the Concession Projects Division of the Ministry of Finance relating to all projects to be implemented under the Concession Projects Act. These documents, which provide details of all procedures and steps to be followed in the initiation, development and implementation of all projects to be undertaken under the BOT, BOO Schemes, will be made available to all Ministries, Departments, Local Authorities and Public Sector Institutions.
11. Cabinet has taken note that 5 applications have been approved for registration as Small and Medium Enterprises. These 5 new enterprises will inter alia be engaged in the manufacture of rattan furniture and pastries and assembly of air conditioners, electric and electronic appliances. These projects involve an investment of approximately Rs 961,000 and will create around 23 new jobs.
12. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius signing a Headquarters Agreement (Accord de Siege) with the Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR – ARC) in Mauritius. The Agreement will help give status and the necessary regional and international dimension to the Organisation which can thereafter avail of facilities and privileges normally extended to international organisations.
13. Cabinet has been apprised of a study on the effects of Euro on the Mauritian economy to be conducted by Messrs Imani Consultants (Mtius) Ltd/ the Netherland Economic Institute.
14. Cabinet has taken note of -
(i) the outcome of the mission undertaken by the Minister of Finance to Tanzania and Malaysia from 19 to 24 February, 1999;
(ii) the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Agriculture, Food Technology & Natural Resources to the Special Ministerial Conference on Agriculture in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), held in Rome on 12 March 1999;
(iii) the constitution of Board of the National Youth Council Executive Committee for the years 1999 – 2000 under the chairmanship of Dr Satish Boolell, OSK, Police Medical Officer;
(iv) the nomination of Mr Giandev Mooteea as Chairman of the Mauritius Sports Council;
(v) the outcome of a mission undertaken by officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology & Natural Resources to India to inspect abattoirs and meat plants exporting meat to Mauritius. The Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1990 between the two countries will be reviewed in the light of the findings of the officials; and
(vi) the handing over of keys of 53 housing units at Pointe aux Sables to victims of cyclones Firinga and Hollanda by the Ministry of Housing and Lands.
15. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Ravindranath POONIE, presently Finance Manager, Mauritius Telecom, has been offered employment as Finance Officer at the Southern Africa Transport & Communication Commission, Technical Unit based in Maputo, Mozambique.
16. Cabinet has agreed to the holding of the "Forum des Iles de l’Ocean Indien" to be organised jointly by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education & Scientific Research from 29 to 31 March at the Conference Centre, Grand Baie.