1. Cabinet has reviewed the situation following the explosion at Grand Baie and has taken note that the FBI agents have completed their report and have left Mauritius. The FBI has concluded that it was a gas explosion.
2. Cabinet has reviewed the WTO Framework Agreement on the Doha Development Agenda and has taken note that the key role played by Mauritius in paving the way towards an agreement has been acknowledged, among others, by Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, Director-General, WTO, Mr P. Lamy, the EU Trade Commissioner and Mr R. Zoellick , the US Trade Representative. Cabinet has also noted with satisfaction that the Framework Agreement has confirmed the importance of a special and differential treatment in the WTO System, and the concept of small and vulnerable countries. Further, Mauritius will be exempt from reducing its industrial tariff. Cabinet has extended its congratulations to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Regional Cooperation and to its staff both in Brussels and in Mauritius who were actively involved in the negotiations.
With regard to the ruling of the WTO panel on the challenge of Brazil, Australia and Thailand against the EU Sugar Regime, Cabinet has taken note of the main features of the interim confidential Report of the panel. The implications of the ruling will be further examined.
Both the WTO Framework Agreement and the Interim Report of the WTO panel will be discussed at the meeting with the Private Sector on Saturday 7 August 2004.
3. Cabinet has reviewed the situation in the Export Processing Zone and has taken note of the restructuring of Floreal Knitwear Ltd and the accompanying social plan of the company to facilitate the redeployment of retrenched workers. Cabinet has also taken note that two EPZ enterprises, namely Arvind Overseas (Mauritius) Ltd. and Arvind Spinning Ltd. having a total workforce of 723 employees were considering the cessation of their operations in Mauritius, in view of difficulties relating inter alia to their inability to compete with low cost producing countries. The situation in the EPZ Sector will be discussed at the Government/Private Sector Meeting scheduled for 7 August.
4. Cabinet has taken note that following the decision of the Malagasy Authorities to stop the exportation of a consignment of heavy oil to Mauritius, measures have been taken by the STC, oil Companies and the CEB to ensure the smooth running of the EPZ Sector and the continuous supply of electricity.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Report of Mr L. Robert Ahnee, C.S.K. on the Commission of Inquiry appointed to inquire into matters relating to the Mare Chicose Landfill was received late on Thursday 5 August. A copy of the Report has been circulated to Ministers and will be examined at a Special Cabinet Meeting convened for Monday 9 August at 1400 hours.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a Special Committee to be chaired by the Prime Minister, and comprising -
(i) the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development
(ii) the Minister of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources;
(iii) the Minister of Tourism and Leisure;
(iv) the Minister of Women's Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare;
(v) the Minister of Health and Quality of Life;
(vi) the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice & Human Rights;
(vii) Hon I. Collendavelloo;
(viii) the Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service;
(ix) the Secretary for Home Affairs; and
(x) the Solicitor-General
to examine matters relating to-
(a) the powers and functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions;
(b) penalties with regard to rape cases;
(c) marriage between foreigners affected by HIV/AIDS or other contagious diseases and Mauritian nationals;
(d) sanctions against abuses by radio licence holders;
(e) tightening of the law in respect of false bomb scares;
and to make recommendations thereon.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the recent birth of quadruplets to a Mauritian family and has agreed that the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizen Welfare & Reform Institutions will review the quantum of allowance payable to mothers giving birth to more than one child as well as the duration of the payment of such allowance. The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment will on its part consider the possibility of extending the maternity leave in such cases.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Tourism and Leisure to Paris, Rome and London from 11 to 16 July 2004.
9. Cabinet has taken note that a training workshop on 'Strategies for Occupational, Safety and Health in the 21st Century' will be held in Mauritius from 22 to 24 November 2004.