CABINET DECISIONS - 13 JULY 2007
1 Cabinet has taken note of the mission of the Acting Prime Minister, Dr the Hon A.R. Beebeejaun, GCSK, from 1 to 3 July 2007 to Accra, Ghana, where he participated in the Ninth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. The main issue on the Agenda was the establishment of a Union Government of Africa. The other issues discussed, were –
(a) The situation in Comoros;
(b) Peace in Somalia;
(c) The Darfur issue;
(d) Economic Partnership Agreements; and
(e) Aid for Trade.
The Executive Council also elected the five Commissioners to serve on the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights for a term of six years. His Lordship Yeung Kam John Yeung Sik Yuen, GOSK, Chief Justice, came out first, ex aequo, with the representative of Mozambique.
The 7th Summit of NEPAD Heads of State and Government implementation Committee was also held in the margins of the Summit where, inter alia, African Peer Review was discussed.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin, about 52,584 tourists visited Mauritius in June 2007 as compared to 42,755 for June 2006, i.e., an increase of 23%. Tourists arrivals for the first six months of 2007 reached 432,113 representing an additional 71,976 tourists visiting Mauritius, i.e., an increase of 20%. The French and German markets were remarkable with an increase of 74.2% and 45.09% respectively as compared to June 2006. Based on the above trend, tourist arrivals are expected to reach about 900,000 for calendar year 2007, an all time record.
3. Cabinet has taken note that a fresh round of bilateral air services talks would soon be held with the Aeronautical Authorities of Kenya, the Russian Federation and Malaysia as the provisions of the Bilateral Air Services Agreements with these countries have become too restrictive to respond to the imperatives of our tourism industry which necessitates a diversification of markets as well as more profitable routes for our national carrier.
4. Following the decision of Government to democratize access to land resources and the enactment of the State Land (Amendment) Act, Cabinet has taken note of developments in the sale of State lands on which stand ex-CHA houses to the respective owners. As at date, the Ministry of Housing & Lands has received about 6,200 applications from such owners for the purchase of the State land on which stand their houses and processed about 3,500 cases. A Counselling Unit has been set up at the Housing Management Unit of the Ministry of Housing & Lands to facilitate procedures and assist owners encountering problems, such as dispute among heirs, non-settlement of arrears of rent, etc.
5. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius has been elected member of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of UNESCO for a full term of four years. The membership of Mauritius in the Intergovernmental Committee would bring added value to the request made by Mauritius for the inscription of "Le Morne Cultural Landscape" on the World Heritage List.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Hon Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, would be on an official visit to Mauritius from 26 to 31 July 2007 to participate in the Bihar Week Celebrations and the First Indian Diaspora Festival (Mauritius) 2007.
The Chief Minister would participate in a number of events in connection with the Bhojpuri Week, the Business Meeting of the Africa-India Chamber of Commerce and the Conference on the Bhojpuri World in the Indian Diaspora organised by GOPIO.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the list of Public Holidays for the year 2008 as follows -
||Tuesday 1 January|
||Wednesday 2 January|
||Tuesday 22 January|
|Abolition of Slavery
||Friday 1 February|
|Chinese Spring Festival
||Thursday 7 February|
||Wednesday 5 March|
||Wednesday 12 March|
||Monday 7 April|
||Thursday 1 May|
|Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
||Friday 15 August|
||Thursday 4 September|
||Wednesday 1 October|
||Tuesday 28 October|
|Arrival of Indentured Labourers
||Sunday 2 November|
||Thursday 25 December|
** The exact date of this festival is subject to confirmation as its celebration depends on the visibility of the moon.
8. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Humayun Akhtar Khan, Minister of Commerce of Pakistan, would be on an official visit to Mauritius on 30 July 2007 when he would, inter alia, sign the Preferential Trade Agreement and the Agreement on Mutual Cooperation on Customs Matters between Mauritius and Pakistan.
9. Cabinet has taken note that, following the lifting of the diamond embargo on Liberia by the Security Council of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the Consumer Protection (Control of Imports) Regulations would be amended to allow importation of diamond from there.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the meeting of the SADC Committee of Ministers of Trade which was held on 2 July 2007 in Maseru, Lesotho to deliberate on a wide range of trade issues pertaining to the SADC and the region. The Committee, inter alia, -
(a) took note that SADC members were in the process of reviewing the rules of origin with a view to making them simpler, clearer and more flexible;
(b) agreed that SADC must have a regional framework to regulate trade in services;
(c) recommended that a regional strategy on competition policy be developed in order to ensure that the benefits of deeper integration, such as in the areas of trade and investment, were neither negated nor amassed by a small proportion of the region’s population to the detriment of the majority; and
(d) welcomed a proposal of Mauritius to devise a regional strategy on how SADC countries could derive trade benefits from Soccer World Cup 2010 to be held in South Africa and endorsed the concept paper on the matter prepared by Mauritius.