1. Cabinet has taken note of the outstanding performance of Stephan Buckland and Jonathan Chimier in the Athens Olympics Games and the commending performance of Eric Milazar. The Ministry of Youth and Sports together with the Trust Fund for Excellence in Sports will take action to reward the athletes in a fitting manner in recognizance of their achievement. Further, arrangements have been made to extend VIP and other facilities to them at the SSR International Airport on their return on Sunday 29 August. The same facilities will be extended to the other members of the delegation who will be arriving at different dates.
2. Cabinet has reviewed the situation regarding the filling of forms for old age pension and with a view to clearing any confusion which might still exist on that issue, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizen Welfare & Reform Institutions will send a personal letter to each and every recipient of old age pension. Moreover, the present mode of operation of old age pension has been extended to the end of November 2004. Officers of Citizens' Advice Bureau, Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund and Social Welfare Centres will assist in providing clarifications to old age pensioners.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, following the report of the Fire Services Department which constitutes a new element in the enquiry into the Grand'Baie explosion, the Police is enquiring further into the matter. On the other hand, the Forensic Science Laboratory has submitted its final report on Tuesday 24 August whereas the report of the FBI is expected next week.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the meeting that the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development had with the two Federations of Trade Unions representing employees of the Revenue Department on Thursday 26 August to discuss the Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) Bill and the reaction of the Trade Unionists who walked out of the meeting and later assembled at the Sir Harilall Vaghjee Hall and called their members to participate in a strike on Monday 30 August. Cabinet having agreed to a further amendment to clause 28 of the MRA Bill, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development will invite the Trade Unions to a meeting in the afternoon before the presentation of the final draft Bill to the National Assembly on Tuesday 31 August 2004.
5. Cabinet has reviewed arrangements made with regard to the meeting which the Prime Minister will chair on Monday afternoon with Trade Unions in the EPZ Sector to discuss problems in the textile and clothing industry. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment and the Minister of Housing and Lands and Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Handicraft & the Informal Sector will also attend the meeting.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the new Bank of Mauritius Bill and the new Banking Bill which inter alia purport to amend and consolidate the law relating to the Bank of Mauritius and the banking legislation in Mauritius respectively. The Bills will be examined at a Special Cabinet Meeting scheduled for Monday 30 August 2004.
7. Cabinet has agreed to a new visa regime for tourists from the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China, Jordan and Lebanon visiting Mauritius for a period not exceeding 15 days provided that the visitors possess a valid return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the visit of a delegation headed by the Secretary-General of the "Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie" HE Mr Abdou Diouf to Mauritius from 14 to 17 September 2004.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of-
(i) the Minister of Education and Scientific Research to the United Kingdom from 3 to 10 August 2004;
(ii) the Minister of Training, Skills Development, Productivity and External Communications to India, Singapore and France from 22 to 30 July 2004; and
(iii) the Minister of Shipping, Rodrigues and Outer Islands to Hong Kong and Singapore from 25 July to 2 August 2004.