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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 19 October 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 19 October 2007

1. Cabinet has taken note that an enquiry is being carried out to look into alleged irregularities surrounding the sale of NHDC Housing Units at Mon Choisy effected in 2004.

2. Cabinet has taken note of the report of the Division of Veterinary Services (DVS) of the Ministry of Agro Industry & Fisheries on the suspected cases of swine fever and of the measures being taken to monitor and control the situation, viz., -

(i) the temporary closure of the pig slaughter-house at the Central Abattoir until further notice;

(ii) the restriction of movement of pigs throughout the island;

(iii) the installation of a hotline to enable breeders to communicate suspected cases to the DVS for prompt action;

(iv) the disinfection of all the suspected farms and distribution of virucide products freely to the breeders;

(v) the disposal of dead pigs by incineration on sites identified by the Ministry of Local Government; and

(vi) the importation and distribution of vaccines.

A Ministerial Committee is looking into measures to assist the pig breeders to either relaunch their business or to move into new economic activities.

3. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the construction of the Terre Rouge - Verdun - Trianon Road as a dual carriageway in line with the Transport Strategy. The new road which would be about 21 kms long, would relieve Motorway M1 and M2 and help alleviate the current traffic congestion problem as well as improve development opportunities in those regions. An economic analysis carried out has indicated that the new road would attract 20,000 additional vehicles per day by 2015. The new alignment would also allow possibilities of future extension in line with the National Development Strategy for both the North and the South. Works are scheduled to start in April 2008 and be completed by 2010.

4. Cabinet has agreed to the participation of Mauritius in the World Expo 2010, to be held in Shanghai, China over a period of six months. The World Expo 2010, Shanghai is the first registered World Exposition to be held in a developing country. The main theme of the Expo is “Better City, Better Life” as the exhibition aims at focusing the attention of the international community on the growth of cities and at exploring a path for urban development that enhances harmonious co-existence between environment and development, and man and nature. The Expo is expected to attract 70 million visitors.

5. Cabinet has taken note of activities being organised to mark the World Diabetes Day on 14 November 2007. The theme of this year’s campaign focuses on “Diabetes in Children and Adolescents” with a view to raising awareness on the rising prevalence of diabetes in children and adolescents.

To mark the event, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life proposes to organise the following activities:-

(a) An Open Day cum Exhibition on all aspects of Diabetes, including screening for NCD and distribution of Health Education materials and blood donation;

(b) One-night Residential Diabetes Camp for young diabetic children and adolescents (6-17 years);

(c) Launching of the first of a series of workshops on healthy nutrition;

(d) Distribution of Health Education Materials and ‘Unite for Diabetes’ badges; and

(e) Community-based Activities, such as, talks in Area Health Centres, Community Health Centres and other community outlets with different target groups, as well as cooking demonstrations and healthy food display for housewives/women.

6. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of a Cleanliness and Hygiene Campaign in public hospitals and health centres with a view to -

(i) creating clean, beautiful and attractive hospital compounds;

(ii) creating a safe, healthy and hygienic environment;

(iii) improving patient satisfaction and customer care as well as employees satisfaction;

(iv) inculcating a sense of belonging and ownership at the workplace; and

(v) projecting the right image of the hospitals and health centres.

7. In line with the vision of Government to make of the ICT Sector the fifth pillar of the economy and to position Mauritius as a regional ICT hub, Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of the National ICT Strategic Plan 2007-2011 which aims at providing the right environment for the harnessing of ICT to generate employment, improve quality of life and create new opportunities for the socio-economic development of Mauritius. The Plan is available on the website of the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunications.

8. Cabinet has taken note that Divali festival would be celebrated at national level on 4 November 2007 at Rose Belle, with the participation of foreign artists. Cabinet has further taken note that the CEB and the CWA have made appropriate arrangements so that no power or water cuts would be effected on the occasion of Divali celebrations on 9 November 2007.

9. Cabinet has taken note of activities organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with Nelson Mandela Centre for African Culture, to mark the ‘Journée Internationale Créole’ on 27 October 2007, viz., -
(i) a socio-cultural gathering and cultural activities by local artists at La Citadelle, Port Louis; and

(ii) organisation of the National Drama Festival in Creole language on Saturday 10 November 2007 at Serge Constantin Theatre, Vacoas.

10. Cabinet has taken note of the good performance of our athletes who participated in the Special Olympics World Summer Games, meant for adults and children with mental retardation held in Shanghai from 2 to 12 October 2007. A total of 7,000 athletes from 165 countries participated in the event. Out of the 10 Mauritian athletes, 7 won medals. This is the first time that our mentally disabled athletes have excelled at this level and won 7 medals, viz., 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the liberalisation of the price of high yielding onions as from 1 November 2007 and of the partial liberalisation of imports of onions as from 1 January 2009 in order to encourage the emergence of new agro-entrepreneurs and to be in line with the increasing tendency towards trade liberalization .

12. Cabinet has taken note that the Central Water Authority (Water Supply for Domestic Purposes) Regulations and the Central Water Authority (Water Supply for non-Domestic Purposes) Regulations would be amended to provide for a non-refundable processing fee to deter frivolous applications for water supply.

13. Cabinet has taken note that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Second Regional Training Seminar on Domestic Financial Resource Mobilisation in Africa would be held from 28 to 30 November 2007 in Mauritius. The training seminar would provide a platform for interactions among key stakeholders on the issue of mobilising financial resources, as well as strengthen collaboration between the University of Mauritius and the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development for capacity building in the field of research. About 40 participants are expected to attend the seminar.

14. Cabinet has taken note that during his recent mission to Washington and New York, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation had bilateral meetings, inter alia, with the following personalities with whom he discussed the derogation of Third Country Fabric and evoked the situation in Comoros and Zimbabwe –
(a) Ambassador Susan Schwab, United States Trade Representative;

(b) Mr Bobby Pittman, Jr., Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council; and

(c) Congressman Jim McDermott.

In New York, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation also-

(a) met former Vice-President Al Gore on climate change;

(b) signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol during the UN Treaty Event; and

(c) attended the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement on the theme “Concrete measures to reinforce the action capacity of the Non-Aligned Movement”.

15. Cabinet has taken note of the visit of Hon Smt Meira Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, from 2 to 5 November 2007, during which a Memorandum of Understanding, aiming at promoting collaboration through exchange programmes in the field of social development, would be signed. The main areas of collaboration would relate to programmes and policies pertaining to social welfare and social security, overall development of the weaker sections of society, including the elderly, children in difficult circumstances, persons with disabilities and victims of substance abuse.

16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Attorney General, Minister of Justice & Human Rights to London from 4 to 5 October 2007 where he attended the Meeting of Law Ministers and Attorneys General of Small Commonwealth Jurisdictions. The Meeting addressed, inter alia, -

(a) the challenges facing small states in implementing international legal obligations, given their limited technical legal resources and the ever- increasing number of conventions or treaties requiring the enactment of domestic laws prior to ratification, as well as the need for Law and Foreign Affairs Ministries to work closely in these areas;

(b) Intellectual Property Counterfeiting and piracy and the legislative provisions and enforcement strategies in place in small States;

(c) the issue of HIV/AIDS and the legal responses to the stigma and discriminatory practices arising from that problem;

(d) Anti-Corruption Strategies and a Commonwealth Legislative Guide to the UN Convention against Corruption and the implications of appropriate Interception of Communications Legislation; and

(e) Assistance given by the Human Rights Unit of the Secretariat to States to enable them to ratify the UN Human Rights Covenants, as well as the publication of the Commonwealth Handbook on Ratification for Officials.