1.Cabinet has taken note of the written judgement of the Privy Council on the appeal of the Diocese of Port Louis against the Supreme Court judgement on the issue of 50% reserved seats, and has expressed the wish to renew dialogue with the Catholic Authorities. In this connection, a meeting will be arranged on the return of the Prime Minister from his mission in France.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the ongoing discussions at the Grand Baie Conference Centre in relation to an Economic Partnership Agreement to be negotiated between the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) Region and the European Union. 16 ESA countries namely the Republic of Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Djibouti, the State of Eritrea, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Madagascar, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Seychelles, the Republic of Sudan, the Republic of Uganda, the Republic of Zambia, the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Mauritius are participating in the Meeting.
3.Cabinet has taken note of the spread of the avian influenza in East Asia and measures taken in Mauritius for the surveillance of the port and airport by a team of Health Inspectors on a 24-hours basis. The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has also received a kit from the World Health Organisation for the diagnosis of the disease.
4.Cabinet has reviewed the situation following the Court injunction against producers and retailers of the Polo Ralph Lauren trademark and has taken note that the issue is purely a legal one to be thrashed out by the Court.
5.Cabinet has agreed to the setting-up of a High Powered Inter-Ministerial Committee under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister and a National Coordinating Committee for Small and Medium Enterprises, Handicrafts and the Informal Sector with a view to ensuring cohesion and uni-direction in the activities of different stakeholders in these sectors.
6.Cabinet has agreed to the following changes in prices which will take effect as from 7 February 2004 -
A. Increase in the price of -
(i) cement from Rs 95.50 to Rs 115.00 per bag of 50 kg;
(ii) flour from Rs 2.35 to Rs 2.75 per half kg; and
(iii) bread as follows -
Maison 100 gms 1.20 1.35
Baguette 100 gms 1.35 1.50
Baguette 200 gms 2.70 3.00
Moule 200 gms 2.40 2.80
B. Reduction in the price of 12 Kg cylinder gas from Rs 224.00 to Rs 214.00.
7. Cabinet has taken note that in view of elections scheduled during the month of March in Reunion Island, it has been proposed that the Extraordinary Regional Ministerial Meeting to discuss the "Jeux des Jeunes des Iles de l'Océan Indien" be held in April 2004 in Mauritius. In this connection, the Minister of Youth and Sports will consult the Minister of Sports of Seychelles who is the current President of the 'Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l'Océan Indien".
8.Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of an Island Council for Agalega to be constituted as follows -
(i) a Chairperson to be appointed by the Prime Minister;
(ii) 3 residents from Agalega;
(iii) a representative of the Outer Islands Development Corporation;
(iv) a representative of the Private Sector; and
(v) a relative of the Agaleans living in Mauritius.
The draft legislation for the setting up of the Council will be introduced in the National Assembly when it reconvenes in March 2004.
9.Cabinet has taken note that 19 enterprises have been approved for registration as Small and Medium Enterprises. These enterprises are expected to invest in production equipment to the tune of Rs 12.5 m and will create 26 new employment opportunities and sustain 112 existing ones.
10.Cabinet has taken note of various activities in the context of the National Day Celebrations. The official flag raising ceremony will be held at the Champ de Mars from 1115 to 1215 hrs. The National Unity Award Ceremony will also form part of the official ceremony. A cultural show will be held at the Esplanade Professor Basdeo Bissoondoyal at the Port Louis Waterfront from 1830 to 2100 hours.
11.Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -
(i) the Board of Management of the Public Officers' Welfare Council (POWC) for the period 2004 - 2005 under the chairmanship of the Senior Chief Executive of the Ministry of Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reforms; and
(ii) the Mental Health Board for period 2004 - 2005 under the chairmanship of Dr Dipuck Heeraman.
12.Cabinet has taken note of the promulgation of the Traditional Medicine Board (Ayurvedic and other Traditional Medicines Institutions) Amendment Regulations to include four new institutions in the list of Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Institutions.
13.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of -
(i) the mission of the Minister of Civil Service Affairs and Administrative Reforms in Uganda from 27 to 30 January 2004 where he attended the African Public Service Ministers' Meeting and the Seminar on Public Sector Leadership Capacity Development for good governance in Africa;
(ii) the mission of the Minister of Tourism and Leisure in Madrid, Spain on 29 January 2004 where he attended the First World Conference on Tourism Communication and the Conference of TOURCOM; and
(iii) the Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications in Hyderabad, India from 12 to 13 January 2004 where he attended the Second Asian IT Ministers' Summit.