1. Cabinet has reviewed the Finance Bill and the Mauritius Revenue Authority Bill and has agreed that the Finance Bill will be debated at the next sitting of the National Assembly. As regard the Mauritius Revenue Authority Bill, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development will take some time to reconsider clause 28 with regard to transitional provisions and clause 16 which refers to powers of arrest by Enquiring Officers. The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development who had met the Unions on 21 July 2004 will again meet them this afternoon to discuss their concerns.
2. Cabinet has reviewed the situation following the decision of the Malagasy Authorities to prevent the Galana Group from exporting a consignment of 24,130 MT of heavy oil to Mauritius for the State Trading Corporation, and has taken note of alternative arrangements to ship another consignment of oil from the Arabian Gulf to reach Mauritius by 1 August 2004.
3. Cabinet has reviewed the lobbying campaign on the reform of the EU Sugar Regime and has taken note that an ACP enlarged Ambassador Bureau delegation led by Ambassador S. Gunessee has had meetings with the German Permanent Representative and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Poland on 27 July 2004. A meeting could be held between the German Minister of Agriculture and a Joint ACP/LDC Ministerial Team in the second week of September 2004.
Cabinet has reviewed progress on the new framework of agreement to launch negotiations under the Doha Agenda and has taken note of the intense discussions held during the past two days on core and contentious issues.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the restructuring exercise at Floreal Knitwear and the plan put up by the company for the training of employees who will be affected by that measure. The Ministry of Training, Skills Development, Productivity and External Communications will give its support to the company to carry out the training programme, while the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment will assist in the redeployment of the workers.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the liberalization of the price of iron bars (6mm) and has taken note that measures will be taken to prevent situations of monopoly or cartelization. The decision could be reviewed in case of abuse by traders.
6. Cabinet has reviewed the situation in the following sectors:
(i) Bank Fishing;
(ii) NHDC Estates; and
(iii) Pig Breeding;
and has agreed that there should be a constant monitoring of the situation and close follow-up on implementation of measures in those sectors.
7. Cabinet has reviewed the situation following the decision not to allow the use of the Lataniers Fish Landing Station for security reasons and has agreed that the fishers would be granted a compensation of Rs 200,000 each as was the case for fishers of Blue Bay in January 2003 after they had been debarred from fishing in the marine park. The fishers would, thereafter, moor their boats at the new mooring point at Les Salines. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Fisheries have had a meeting with the fishers on Wednesday 28 July 2004.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Working Session held with a 13-member Chinese delegation on 26 July 2004. The progress of ongoing projects financed from Chinese loans was reviewed and a Framework Agreement for an interest-free loan of RMB 20 million Yuan (Rs 65 M) has been signed. The loan will be utilised for the part financing of a new MBC House at Ebène.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the appointment of -
(a) Mr Pravin Munrakhan as Chairperson of the Managing Committee of the Trust Fund for excellence in Sports; and
(b) Mr Michaël Glover as Director of the Trust Fund.
10. Cabinet has taken note of progress in the primary school IT Project and has agreed to the conversion of 50 spare rooms in primary schools throughout the country into Computer Laboratories. ZEP schools will also be included in the initial project.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the President's Fund for Creative Writing in English will be restyled President's Fund for Creative Writing and will henceforth be opened to all languages used in Mauritius.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the missions of -
(i) the Minister of Housing and Lands and Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Handicraft & the Informal Sector to Malaysia and Thailand from 17 to 24 July 2004;
(ii) the Minister of Health and Quality of Life from 11 to 16 July 2004 where he attended the XV International AIDS Conference; and
(iii) the Minister of Industry, Financial Services and Corporate Affairs to India from 14 to 21 July 2004 where he participated in the Second International Textile and Apparel Congress 2004 as Guest Speaker.
13.Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius will host the 51st Ministerial Session of the "Conférence des Ministres de l"Education des Pays Ayant Le Français en Partage (CONFEMEN)" from 17 to 22 October 2004.
14. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of -
(i) the Wastewater Management Authority (Amendment) Bill which provides inter alia for the control over disposal of wastewater and effluents in several areas, and the levying of wastewater fees from ground water users; and
(ii) the Registration of Associations (Amendment) Bill which provides for the office responsible for the registration, cancellation, inspection and general supervision of association to be headed by a Chief Registrar who shall be a legally qualified person.