1. Cabinet has approved of the introduction into the National Assembly of the Hire Purchase and Credit sale (Amendment) Bill whose main objectives are :
(i) to ensure that any sale of goods against payment by instalment shall be by virtue of a hire purchase or a credit sale agreement only and to prohibit similar transactions under bailments or option plans;
(ii) to limit the application of the Hire Purchase and Credit Sale Act to a specific list of commodities; and
(iii) to offer better protection to the consumers through the provision of prescribed surcharge for late payment of instalment and the obligation on the part of the dealers to claim payment of overdue instalments by way of written notices before resorting to court action.
Consequently, the proposed reduction in the rate of charges payable on hire purchase and credit sale transactions scheduled to take effect as from 1 August 2000 will now become effective after the passing of the Hire Purchase and Credit Sale (Amendment) Bill into the National Assembly.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Central Water Authority (Amendment) Bill with a view to amending the Central Water Authority Act in order to provide for the development of the water sector by way of concession agreements under the Concession Projects Act 1997.
3. Cabinet has approved the grant of 4 Export Enterprise Certificates and 5 Pioneer Status Enterprise Certificates under the Industrial Expansion Act, 1993.
The implementation of these projects would create some 260 job opportunities and would entail investment amounting to around Rs 116 million.
4. Cabinet has agreed to a proposal for the Passport and Immigration Office in Rodrigues to record on the passenger manifest, detailed information in respect of passengers entering and leaving Rodrigues. Such an exercise will enable compilation of data on passenger flows between the island of Mauritius and Rodrigues.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the dates of public holidays for the year 2001. The dates for the religious festivals have been determined in consultation with the relevant religious bodies.
6. Cabinet has taken note of activities initiated by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment & Human Resource Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Corporate Affairs & Financial Services to enable EPZ employees who may be laid off to fill existing or prospective vacancies in other EPZ enterprises.
In this context, a Desk Officer has been designated at each Employment Information Centre to assist and facilitate placement of the redundant workers of the EPZ sector.
7. Cabinet has taken note of activities being carried out by the Ministry of Fisheries & Co-operatives to sensitize the public on the need for the protection, conservation and preservation of our marine ecosystem.
In this respect, an extensive programme of public sensitization is being carried out by the Albion Fisheries Research Centre and the Fisheries Protection Service. A series of programmes, video clips and film shows will be projected on TV as well as radio programmes broadcasted.
This will be accompanied by an awareness campaign for students to be carried out on school premises.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Prime Minister in the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU held in Lomé, Togo from 10 to 12 July.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of –
· (i) the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Corporate Affairs & Financial Services to Hong Kong and South Korea at the head of a joint public/private sector delegation. The delegation had meetings with a number of textile institutions and areas of collaboration were explored. Manufacturers and Exporters Associations were briefed on the possibilities of using Mauritius as a gateway to penetrate the US market with the advent of the Trade and Development Act. In view of interest expressed by Hong Kong industrialists to develop their export to US market from Mauritius, MEDIA will be opening an Office there.
The Permanent Resident Scheme and the Regional Headquarters Scheme were introduced to industrialists of these countries. MEDIA will also participate in the International Fashion Expo in 2002 in the city of Taegu.
(ii) the Minister of Agriculture, Food Technology & Natural Resources to Germany and the United Kingdom from 3 to 7 July 2000. In Germany, the Minister participated in an International Sugar Congress hosted in collaboration with the International Sugar Organisation to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Association of the Sugar Industry of Berlin. In UK, the Minister exchanged views on the WTO compatibility of our preferential sugar arrangements, the status of the waiver at the WTO, the renewal of the EU Sugar Regime and the Sugar Protocol after 2008.
10. Cabinet has taken note of –
(i) the reconstitution of the Mauritius Accounting and Auditing Standards Committee for period ending 30 June 2001, with Miss Clairette Ah Hen, Senior Lecturer at the University of Mauritius as Chairperson; and
(ii) the constitution of the Mauritius Ex-Services Trust Fund Board to be under the Chairmanship of Mr Fritz Thomas for the period 2000/2002.