1. Cabinet has taken note that in spite of prevailing heavy rainfall, preparations for the Maha Shivaratree Festival were on target and that the works of the Ministerial Task Force on Maha Shivaratree Festival chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development were ongoing.
2. Cabinet has reviewed the Table of Precedence as follows:
1. The President
2. The Prime Minister
3. The Vice President
4. Deputy Prime Minister
5. Former Presidents
6. Former Prime Ministers
7. Chief Justice
8. The Speaker of the National Assembly
9. The Leader of the Opposition
11. Government Chief Whip
12. Former Vice Presidents
13. Parliamentary Private Secretaries/Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues
14. Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service
15. Financial Secretary/Secretary for Home Affairs/Secretary for Foreign Affairs
16. Dean of Diplomatic Corps/Heads, Acting Heads of Diplomatic Missions/Representatives of International and Regional Organisations
17. The Senior Puisne Judge
18. The Solicitor General/Puisne Judges/Senior Chief Executives/Director General, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
19. Chief of Protocol
20. Heads of Religious Bodies
21. Commissioner of Police
22. Permanent Secretaries/Ambassadors/Secretary to President
23. Deputy Speaker/Members of the National Assembly
24. Holders of GOSK and/or persons knighted by the Queen
25. Lord Mayor of Port Louis/Mayors/Chairpersons of District Councils
26. Consuls General/Honorary Consuls-General/Honorary Consuls
3. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius would participate in the First Regional Coordination Meeting organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, on a Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in the Indian Ocean, in Paris, from 3 to 8 March 2005. A Second Coordination Meeting is scheduled for the end of March 2005 in a country of the Indian Ocean Region. However, the exact venue is yet to be determined.
Cabinet has also taken note that Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) Experts have agreed at a meeting held in Brussels in the course of the week, on a Global Tsunami Warning System to provide critical information to people living in tsunami-prone zones.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of –
(i) the Co-operatives Bill which will replace the existing Cooperative Societies Act. The Bill purports inter alia to give more autonomy and independence to Co-operatives Societies in line with Resolution 193 of the International Labour Organisation. The Bill is being circulated amongst all stakeholders for them to make comments and suggestions over the next two weeks;
(ii) the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Bill. The Bill provides new provisions with regard to the letting of business premises;
(iii) the Ombudsperson for Children (Amendment) Bill to inter alia empower the Ombudsperson for children to compel witnesses to attend, give evidence and produce documents to the Ombudsperson in connection with investigations being conducted.
5. Cabinet has agreed to a feasibility study being carried out on an integrated pig farming project to be implemented on a pilot basis at St Martin as one of the means to solve the problems associated with small-scale pig breeding activities in Roche Bois and elsewhere.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Industry and Medium Enterprises, Financial Services and Corporate Affairs would meet the representatives of the EPZDA, MIDA, SUBEX-M and representatives of their trade unions today 18 February in the afternoon, in the context of the merging of these organizations within Enterprise Mauritius, to discuss human resource issues involved in the integration process.
7. Cabinet has reviewed progress regarding the implementation of Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS) and has taken note that the proposed site visit of the Prime Minister and his team to St. Felix scheduled for 19 February has now been postponed to Saturday 26 February in view of the prevailing rainy weather conditions. Further, following representations made by fishermen of Le Morne the team would also effect a site visit at Le Morne on the same date. With regard to the Ferney Valley, the visit initially scheduled for 13 February will now take place on 27 February 2005.
Cabinet has further noted that in the context of the preparation of a Master Plan for Balaclava, the Prime Minister would effect a site visit there in the near future.
8. Cabinet has taken note that a modern incinerator would be constructed near Vale Round-about to replace the existing cremation ground at Vale. Further, the Minister of Local Government and Solid Waste Management would prepare a Master Plan for a setting-up of modern incinerators on a regional basis.
9. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction on a pilot basis of Polytechnics Stream offering a three-year full-time Diploma Course within the existing set-up of the Technical School Management Trust Fund as from mid March 2005. The Polytechnics Stream will provide an alternative pathway to SC holders who are eligible but who do not wish to follow the Higher School Certificate.
10. Cabinet has agreed to the following Regulations being made –
(i) the Ports (Operations and Safety) Regulations 2005 to reinforce the powers of the Port Master to address increased concerns for safety and environmental protection and pollution control in the port area;
(ii) the Dangerous Chemical Control (Fees) Regulations 2005 to provide for the taking of fees and levying of charges as regards issue or renewal of licences and permits for the import, export, manufacture, sale, store and distribution or trade in dangerous chemicals; and
(iii) the Road Traffic (Amendment) Regulations 2005 to provide for a better definition of “bull bar” with a view to completely prohibiting the use of vehicles fitted with bull bars on the road.
11. Cabinet has agreed to an increase in the retail price of cement from Rs115 to Rs135 per bag of 50 kg (Ex-Fort George) as from Saturday 19 February 2005. The 17.39% increase in the retail price is due solely to the 24% increase in the import price of cement.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of –
(i) the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizen Welfare & Reform Institutions to New York from 3 to 11 February 2005 where he attended the Fifth Session of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities and the 43rd Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development;
(ii) the Minister of Environment and National Development Unit to New Delhi, India from 3 to 5 February 2005 where he attended the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit;
(iii) the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection to Pakistan from 2 to 7 February 2005 where he attended the Expo Pakistan 2005;
(iv) the Minister of Industry and Medium Enterprises, Financial Services and Corporate Affairs to Paris from 9 to 11 February 2005 where he participated in the Plenary Meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); and
(v) the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice & Human Rights to Geneva from 3 to 4 February 2005 where he participated in the Second Meeting of the Bureau du Comité de Suivi de la Conférence des Structure Gouvernementales Chargées des Droits de l’Homme dans l’Espace Francophone.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the publication and release of the Family Planning and Demographic year book 2003”.
14. Cabinet has taken note that the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) will hold its 31st Council Meeting in Mauritius from 25 to 29 June 2005. Some 30 to 35 delegates from Eastern and Southern African countries are expected to attend.