1. In order to provide adequate legal protection and assistance to elderly persons, Cabinet has agreed to sections 1 to 8 and sections 10 to 13 of the Protection of Elderly Persons Act being proclaimed with effect from 1 September 2006. These sections of the Act provide for the creation of institutional mechanisms to inter alia ensure, promote and sustain the physical, psychological, social, economic protection and well-being of the elderly.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions, with the collaboration of relevant stakeholders, would soon start a sensitization campaign with a view to promoting awareness as to the implications of the legislation.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the status of the implementation of the Land Administration Management System which aims at setting up a modern, integrated, secure, transparent, affordable and efficient land administration and management system (LAMS) that underpins economic growth, social stability and sustainable resource development in Mauritius. Cabinet has agreed to the preparation of a Programme Implementation Project and to the commissioning of international consultancy for the detailed design and costing of the land administration reform project.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the latest developments on the Land Based Oceanic Industry project, which aims at commercially exploiting the unique properties of very deep ocean water currents. The project would lead to an industrial cluster, including bottled mineral water, fish farming, aquaculture, high purity salt, pearl culture, pharmaceutical and bio-medical products, and air-conditioning. Due to its wide diversity of activities and products, the project would provide substantial opportunities for the democratization of the economy through the setting up of small and medium enterprises.
Following discussions the Prime Minister had with the Indian Government, the latter had made available an Indian Research Vessel, free of charge, to survey sites for the acquisition of data and information related to seafloor topography, bathymetry, seafloor geology, current patterns and sea water characteristics.
The first set of scientific tests of samples of water taken at a depth of up to 2000m indicate that the deep-sea water on the West coast of Mauritius contains all the desired properties, namely temperature, purity, mineral content and nutrient level. Testing at other sites is anticipated. The Steering Committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development will ensure expeditious implementation of the project.
4. In line with the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol which enables climate friendly projects reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries to sell their carbon credits to the developed countries, Cabinet has agreed to the Central Electricity Board acquiring Emission Reduction Rights arising from bagasse-based energy that would be generated by “the Compagnie Thermique de Savannah Ltée”. The power plant is expected to supply some 140 Gwh bagasse-based energy to the CEB grid and would achieve some 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emission reduction annually. The sale of carbon credits is expected to generate revenue of around Euro 1.5 million annually to CEB.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the early introduction into the National Assembly of the Local Government (Amendment) Bill which aims at -
(i) exempting the district and village councils from holding the meeting for the election of their Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen this year so as to ensure that the recently elected Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen do not serve a term of office of only 6 months; and
(ii) amending the Local Government Act 2003 to provide for the holding of municipal elections in 2010 in order to ensure that the recently elected municipal councillors serve a term of office of five years as already provided in the Local Government Act 1989.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Receiver Manager of Delta Vision has informed that the PPG Optical Material and Coating of USA, had agreed to take back the stock of
Isopropyl chloroformate (IPCF) which was stacked on the premises of the company at
St. Pierre. An expert would soon visit Mauritius to assess the present packing condition of the IPCF and would make the necessary arrangements for the shipping of the chemical in compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. He would also liaise with all authorities concerned and look into all aspects of the procedures of the IMDG Code to allow the smooth transboundary movement of the chemical. The Receiver Manager has also informed that the IPCF might be despatched by 30 June 2006.
7. Consequent to the visit of the Prime Minister to USA in January 2006 when he launched Mauritius as the first country trying to give shape to the Aid for Trade (AFT) Initiative, Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius hosting the Meetings on Aid For Trade (AFT) on 17 and 18 July 2006. The meeting would be attended by a wide group of stakeholders, including ACP countries, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the IMF, the World Bank, the African Fund for Development, Regional Economic Communities, a few EU Member States, and the WTO. A meeting of National Authorising Officers/Regional Authorising Officers of COMESA on 10th EDF programming and EPA would also be held on 19 July 2006. The outcome of these meetings would feed into the Geneva process and the IMF/WB meetings to be held in September 2006 in Singapore during which Mauritius would present its reform programme and the need for funding, including AFT as a major investment.
8. Following a site visit effected by the Minister of Environment & National Development Unit and the Attorney General, Minister of Justice & Human Rights at Morcellement Hermitage, Coromandel, Cabinet has taken note that the road embankment which has collapsed as a result of soil erosion and which constitutes a danger to road users, would be reconstructed at the earliest.
9. After taking into account the recommendations of the Director of Audit on the need to review the criteria for payment of Bad Weather Allowance to registered fishers in view of the various weaknesses inherent in the existing system, Cabinet has agreed to the new criteria for payment of Bad Weather Allowance to registered professional fishermen in Mauritius and Rodrigues as follows –
(i) a bad weather day would henceforth be defined as a day when the sea is rough, rough to moderate or moderate to rough;
(ii) computation for payment of Bad Weather Allowance would be done on a daily basis, instead of three consecutive days excluding Sundays and public holidays;
(iii) payment would be effected every month and the fisher should, however, have his/her card duly stamped for at least one month immediately preceding the month of payment; and
(iv) the newly registered fishers would be eligible to Bad Weather Allowance only up to retirement age.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure & External Communications to Russia at the head of a public/private sector delegation in the context of the tourism market diversification strategy and with a view to exploiting the immense potential represented by the reservoir high spending tourists from Russia.
During the mission, Road Shows were held in Moscow and in Saint Petersburg which attracted significant number of stakeholders, including the Russian travel trade (Tour Operators, Travel agents) the media, representing specialized travel magazines, newspapers and radio.
This mission has provided the Mauritian delegation the opportunity to establish contacts with the main stakeholders of the Russian travel trade, to motivate them further to sell the Mauritian destination and to understand better the exigencies and requirements of the Russian Tourists market. The Russian stakeholders have shown great enthusiasm and interest in promoting further Mauritius in the Russian market with the result that fifteen sales managers from SODIS Travel Company, the biggest Russian Tour Operator in upmarket segment and selling Mauritius in Russia, have travelled to Mauritius to discover the new tourism products in Mauritius.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Health & Quality of Life to Geneva where he attended the 59th World Health Assembly Meeting, which inter alia dealt with health issues namely –
(i) strengthening Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response, including application of the International Health Regulations;
(ii) eradication of poliomyelitis;
(iii) WHO’s contribution to Universal Access to HIV/AIDs prevention, treatment and care;
(iv) implementation by WHO of the recommendations of the Global Task Team on Improving AIDS Coordination among Multilateral Institutions and International Donors;
(v) Infant and Young Child Nutrition; and
(vi) WHO’s Contribution to Implementation of the Strategy for Child and Adolescent Health and Development.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent official visit of the Minister of Arts and Culture to China during which, the Minister –
(i) participated in the inauguration of the Second Cultural Industry Exhibition which aimed at enhancing internationalisation, market orientation and trade facilitation of cultural products; and
(ii) held discussions on the renewal of the Cultural Exchange Programme between the two countries, especially regarding assistance and training for the cultural sector and donation of equipment.
During the visit, the Minister also had fruitful discussions inter alia with the Chinese Minister of Culture in field of culture, including the possibility of obtaining assistance in the restoration and preservation of historical documents.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Youth & Sports to Nassau, the Bahamas, where he participated in the Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting. The theme of the meeting was “Youth Empowerment for the Eradication of Poverty, Crime and HIV/AIDS”. Discussions at the Meeting were centred mainly on the new strategies to be adopted for the Commonwealth’s continued contribution towards attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and ways of responding to global youth challenges in the 21st century. The Meeting, accordingly agreed to transmit, inter alia, the following recommendations to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2007 to be held in Uganda -
(i) commitment to youth development through a right-based approach and promote the role of young people in national development, democracy and good governance;
(ii) endorsement of the Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment 2006/2015 which provides the framework for all Commonwealth Youth Development work in the area of poverty eradication, democracy and good governance, HIV/AIDS and gender equality; and
(iii) agreement that Governments should mainstream youth development and empowerment in all policy making, planning and programme delivery.