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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 27 October 2006

Cabinet Decisions taken on 27 October 2006

1.Cabinet has taken note of the Report of the Fact Finding Committee set up to look into the mismanagement of the affairs of the Business Parks of Mauritius Limited (BPML) and its subsidiaries and has agreed to the setting up of a Ministerial Committee to look into the implementation of the recommendations contained therein. The Committee would comprise the Minister of Information Technology & Telecommunications, the Minister of Local Government, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment and the Attorney General, Minister of Justice & Human Rights.

2.Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius ratifying the proposed amendments to the Statutes of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, an inter-governmental organization established in 1985 to promote and advance sustainable democracy and to improve and consolidate democratic electoral processes worldwide.

3. Cabinet has agreed to the terms and conditions on which authorization would be given for the closure of St Felix Sugar Factory and has taken note of the financial, legislate and administrative actions being taken for the implementation of the Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan 2006 – 2015. Cabinet has further taken note of arrangements being put in place to meet the conditionalities for the disbursement of €6,543 million from Accompanying Measures and € 4,557 million from reliquats under 9th EDF.

4.Cabinet has agreed to the Sugar Industry Efficiency Act being amended urgently in order to provide for the legislative framework for the social measures which form part of the Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy Action Plan. As the sugar sector is moving towards four sub-clusters in the coming years, a new section of the law would provide for an early retirement scheme in the remaining four sub-clusters. The object is to give a choice of early retirement to employees of these four sub-clusters on VRS terms as they would never have access to any voluntary retirement package, Blue Print and VRS, given that their factory would not be closed. Opportunity would, also, be taken to review certain provisions in the law relating to land conversion with a view to reducing delays for beneficiaries to get their plots of land following phasing out of camps, pursuant to VRS or after sugar factory closures. These would also remove constraints to alternative use of agricultural land. Consequential amendments would also have to be made to the National Pensions Act and the National Savings Act to reflect the new cut-off points.

5.Cabinet has taken note of problems of air pollution at Valentina, Phoenix, caused by emissions of dust particles from factories in the vicinity and of action taken by the Ministry of Environment & National Development Unit which has directed the companies concerned to shift from heavy fuel oil to diesel to operate their boilers and to regularly maintain them. The Ministry of Environment & National Development Unit is closely monitoring the situation.

6.In line with Government's objectives to expand the network of destinations in order to capture a huge tourist growth potential in the region, Cabinet has taken note that bilateral air services talks between Mauritius and the Republic of Maldives and Mauritius would be held in Maldives in November 2006.

7.Cabinet has taken note of the promulgation of the Legal Metrology (Pre-packed Commodities) Regulations 2006 which aim at harmonizing the control of imported pre-packed goods with those packed locally and the pack sizes of certain mass consumption items. The regulations would require importers to take regular systematic action to ensure the accuracy of net contents of goods. The regulations would also provide for –
(a) a more systematic control of pre-packages of variable net quantities, like frozen chicken, meat, fish, or fresh fruits and vegetables; and
(b) labelling requirements of pre-packages with a view to bringing the accuracy requirements in line with the latest recommendations of International Organisation of Legal Metrology and the SADC regional standards.

8.Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Second Inter-governmental Review Meeting of the Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities held in Beijing, China from 16 to 20 October 2006.
The objectives of Meeting were to:
(i) strengthen the implementation of the GPA at national, regional and international levels;
(ii) contribute to the achievements of specific targets of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, which relate to the GPA, the ecosystem approach and sanitation; and
(iii) provide guidance on the programme of work for the United Nations Environment Programme GPA Coordination Office for the period 2007-2011.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the following appointments –
(a) Mr Krishnanand Guptar as General Manager of the CEB;
(b) Mr Ahmad Khodabucus as Chairperson of the Seafarers' Welfare Fund Committee; and
(c) Mr Vajpal Tulloo, MSK, as Member of the Probation Hostel for Boys Managing Committee.