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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 25 November 2005

Cabinet Decisions taken on 25 November 2005

1.Cabinet has taken note that the EU Agriculture Council, has, on 24 November 2005, examined the proposal of the EU Commission on the reform of the sugar regime and the compromise text of the UK, and has taken a political decision to apply a 36% price cut over a period of four years beginning 2006 - 2007, i.e., 5% in years one and two, about 16% in year three and 36% in year four, i.e. 2009/2010. Cabinet has further noted that the final text would be adopted once the European Parliament has given its opinion in January 2006.
2.Cabinet has taken note of measures taken to improve the services provided by the Tourism Authority in order to make it more customer-friendly and to streamline procedures with a view to reducing delays in the processing of files. Cabinet has agreed to -
(a) the Schedule to the Tourism Act being amended to exempt pleasure craft operators from the requirement of a Tourist Enterprise Licence (TEL), except for Scuba Diving and Helmet Diving activities and for operating a Boat House; and
(b) a Tourism (Issue of Licence) Regulations, in line with the amended Schedule to the Tourism Act, being made to provide for flexibility for licensing of activities and to standardize the amount of fees payable for each TEL.
3.Cabinet has taken note that the Board of Investment would grant an Investment Certificate to "Société de la Reserve" for the implementation of an integrated development project, under the Integrated Resort Scheme at Flic en Flac. The project consists inter-alia of 265 luxurious villas, 200 duplexes and penthouses for sale, 960 hotel rooms, a casino and an underwater world complex. The project is expected to cost about Rs 16.5 billion and to create about 4,700 long term jobs.
4.Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the National Solidarity Fund (Amendment) Bill which aims at amending the National Solidarity Fund Act to provide for the payment by Government of a one-off contribution to the National Solidarity Fund in favour of the Workers Hardship Relief Scheme in respect of employees of the public sector and parastatal bodies and to extend the deadline for payment to 31 December 2005.
5.Cabinet has taken note that the cost of repairs to damage caused to about 648 housing units in five NHDC Housing Estates which were illegally occupied from 26 June to 20 July 2005, amounts to Rs 22.4 m and of arrangements being made to rehabilitate and dispose of the housing units.
6.Cabinet has agreed to the Merchant Shipping (Seafarer’s Welfare Fund) Regulations 2002 being amended with a view to extending welfare facilities and services provided by the Seafarer’s Welfare Fund to the families of all seamen, including retired seamen and their dependants.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the air services talks held with the South African Authorities on 14 and 15 November 2005, viz. -
(i) cargo services with any aircraft type being increased gradually from three flights per week during IATA Winter season 2005/2006 to seven flights per week during IATA Winter Season 2007/2008;
(ii) the designated airline of each country being allowed to inject additional capacity to meet seasonal fluctuations or any unexpected traffic demand; and
(iii) the present system of single designation being replaced by a system of multiple destinations.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) with South Africa which dates as far back as 1993, would be reviewed to take on board such issues as air safety and security.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the current situation at Chitrakoot, Vallée des Prêtres where 54 houses were damaged due to landslide during the heavy rainfall in March 2005 and of remedial action being taken to address the problem, viz., placing of témoin plâtres and topological landmarks (pegs), a preliminary geographical investigation being undertaken by the contractor, and the Municipality of Port Louis not issuing any development permit for any new construction in the Chitrakoot area until the report of a detailed study on the landslide being obtained. Cabinet has also agreed to the Ministry of Housing & Lands identifying appropriate sites to relocate the families whose houses were structurally unsafe and to a landslide warning system, under the National Disaster Committee, being put in place and a contingency plan being prepared for quick evacuation of the inhabitants of Chitrakoot.
9. In the context of bilateral cooperation between Mauritius and France, Cabinet has taken note that a "Convention Cadre de la Cooperation Educative" and an "Avenant 2006-2007" had been signed with the ‘Academie de la Reunion" and the French Embassy in Mauritius. The Agreement defines the field of cooperation in the Education Sector and the modalities of cooperation between Mauritius, the French Embassy and the "Academie de la Reunion".
10.Cabinet has taken note of activities organized to commemorate -
(i) the International Day of Disabled Persons on 3 December 2005. The theme of this year’s International Day is "Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Action in Development". Activities to be organized include the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the IVTB and the Training and Employment of Disabled Person Board for the training of disabled persons, the organization of an exhibition/sales of products made by disabled artisans at Trianon Shopping Park and the launching of a website and a brochure on the Mauritian Sign Language by the Society for the Welfare of the Deaf;
(ii) the World AIDS Day on 1 December 2005. The theme chosen by UNAIDS for this year is "Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise". Activities to be organized include TV/Radio Programmes, a four-day exhibition at Port Louis Waterfront, the staging of a drama entitled ‘li pa get figir’ and a 10-day Media Campaign starting from 28 November 2005; and
(iii) the Computer Security Day on 30 November. The theme for this year’s Day is "Responsibility", more specifically the responsibility of organizations, as well as individuals within organizations to protect information assets and resources. Activities to be organized include inter alia two half-day seminars targeting the educational, government and business sectors to sensitize them on computer-related security issues and to promote a more responsible approach in the use of information and communication technologies and the launching of a booklet on Information Security Guidelines for end-users, the public, schools and the media.
11.Cabinet has taken note that Regulations would be made to amend the Second Schedule to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Act to include the Republic of South Africa which has recently acceded to the Convention.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Women's Rights, Child Development, Family Welfare & Consumer Protection, in collaboration with UNDP and ILO, would implement a project on "Capacity Building for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women" which aims at creating in Mauritius an environment that will ensure the development of policies, legislation, financial and economic mechanisms, promote gender equality in social, economic and political spheres and enhance women’s empowerment.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of the following meetings in Mauritius -
(a) the Final Project Review and Coordination Meeting on the application of Nuclear Medicine Techniques under the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) from 5 to 9 December 2005. The objectives of the meeting are inter alia to review progress achieved so far by the institutions which have received assistance from the IAEA and to identify regional priority needs, constraints and development problems;
(b) the Second Triennal of Contemporary Art Mauritius 2005 from 1 to 11 December 2005. The aim is to highlight the various facets of Contemporary Art, while providing a rich platform for outstanding contemporary artworks to be displayed at various venues throughout Mauritius. The Triennal will also allow our local artists to broaden their outlook and share common experience with artists from different parts of the world, thus fostering cultural exchange and stimulating artistic creativity; and
(c) the 16th Management Committee Meeting of the SAT3/WASC/ SAFE Consortium from 29 November to 1 December 2005, to address all matters pertaining to the operation of the SAT3/WASC/SAFE.
14. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to provide medical assistance to Hadj pilgrims who would proceed to Saudi Arabia as from mid-December 2005, viz., vaccination would be carried out in all the 5 regional hospitals on Saturday 26 November 2005, vaccines against meningitis would be offered at cost price to the pilgrims and medical examinations would be carried out in all the Area Health Centres and Community Health Centres nearest to their places of residence.