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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 20 April 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 20 April 2007

 1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the 40-hour week for workers in the Sugar Sector and to a Technical Committee working out the modalities of its implementation.

2. Following the enactment of the State Land (Amendment) Act which provides for the sale of State Lands on which stand ex-CHA houses at a sum of Rs2000, Cabinet has taken note that special Desks have been opened by the Ministry of Housing & Lands in various localities to assist applicants in completing the acquisition procedures.

Cabinet has further taken note that, as at 18 April 2007, more than 500 applications had been registered and were being processed.

A Committee, comprising the Minister of Local Government, the Attorney General, Minister of Justice & Human Rights, the Minister of Housing & Lands and the Minister of Information Technology & Telecommunications, has been set up to monitor the implementation of the Act.

3. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the official visit of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping to India from 7 to 12 April 2007.

During his visit, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping had a working session with the Honourable T. R. Baalu, Indian Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, during which he raised, inter alia, -

(a) the secondment of a Chief Marine Engineer/Director of Maritime Training to establish engineering courses at the Maritime Training Centre;

(b) linkage between the Mauritius Maritime Training Centre and one of the Indian Maritime Training Centres; and

(c) assistance for the development of smart card-based driving licence.

In the margins of the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping also met -

(i) His Excellency Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, with whom he discussed reform and development programmes, as well as energy needs;

(ii) Mr A. Vajpayee, former Indian Prime Minister, whom he briefed on the economic reforms and the development in the shipping sector; and

(iii) Mr R Kant, Managing Director of Tata Motors whom he invited to consider the setting up of an assembly plant in Mauritius to serve the African market.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping, also, visited the Delhi Metro and discussed on the proposal for an alternative mode of transport to which the Indian Authorities had shown interest to offer Indian expertise.

4. Cabinet has taken note that the anti-influenza vaccination programme in respect of the winter season 2007, targeting inmates of Charitable Institutions, children attending specialised schools and elderly persons aged 65 and above, would start at the Municipality of Vacoas/Phoenix as from next week and would continue until mid-June 2007. A communiqué would be issued by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions indicating the vaccination schedules, i.e. date, time and place.

5. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the construction of the Fish Auction Market at Trou Fanfaron, which is being put up with the assistance of the Government of the Hellenic Republic to support the development of the fisheries sector. The Auction Market which would be operational by mid 2008, would promote Port Louis as a competitive port for seafood activities.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions has disbursed about Rs73.6m, as compared to Rs8.3m in 2006, under the new grant scheme for the payment of SC and HSC examination fees in respect of 8,620 cases, as compared to 1,828 cases in 2006, as follows –

(i) 7,852 cases where the aggregate income of the household does not exceed Rs7500 or were beneficiaries of Social Aid, Unemployment Hardship Relief or a Basic Pension; and

(ii) 768 cases having more than one child sitting for the examinations and with aggregate income in the range of Rs7501 – Rs10 000.

7. Cabinet has taken note that there is need for an integrated approach for the conservation and protection of our natural heritage and biodiversity to mitigate the impact of climate change and global warming on our fragile island ecosystem and to protect endemic species. In that connection, a Committee has been set up to prepare a concept paper which would examine all these aspects, as well as, linkages with institutions of friendly countries and possibilities of assistance to showcase Mauritius as a focal point for the protection and preservation of biodiversity, particularly in the Mascarenes Islands.
Cabinet has further taken note that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed between the Mauritius Museum Council and the National Museum of Natural History Naturalis of the Netherlands to provide, inter alia, for a framework to promote research on reconstructing the world of the Dodo and the factors of its demise.
Cabinet has also taken note that it is proposed to commemorate, in 2009, the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin who visited Mauritius in 1836 and used observations from Mauritius and Chagos for his theory.

8. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities being organized from 23 to 29 April 2007 by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport & Shipping in the context of the First United Nations Global Road Safety Week, viz. the launching of –

(i) Road Safety Clubs in primary and secondary schools to sensitize students regarding road safety measures;

(ii) Regional Road Safety Committees for the promotion of road safety campaigns in each district. This new project would encourage members of the Regional Road Safety Committees to be strong supporters of road safety, act as facilitators for road safety projects and come up with road safety initiatives in their respective localities; and

(iii) Road Safety Campaigns on the following themes – Speeding, Drink Driving, Pedestrian Safety, Mobile Phones, Use of Seat Belts, Two Wheelers and Wearing of Helmets.

The United Nations General Assembly had, in December 2005, adopted a resolution with a view to improving Global Road Safety issues. The objectives of the Road Safety Week are to raise awareness about the societal impact and costs of road accident injuries and to highlight, in particular, the risks for young road users who constitute a major group at risk of death, injury and disability on the road.

Cabinet has further taken note that the Road Safety Week would also be organized in Rodrigues as from 4 May 2007.

9. Cabinet has taken note the report of a study on health risk behaviour among youth in Mauritius and Rodrigues conducted by the Mauritius Institute of Health. The main objective of the study was to identify behaviour of youths detrimental to their mental, physical and social well-being. The survey covered various areas viz., traffic safety, violence, coerced sex and suicide, tobacco, alcohol and other drugs use, substance use, sexual behaviour, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, body weight, dietary habits and physical and recreational activities. The youths attributed their risky behaviour mainly to family problems, carelessness, anger/frustration and the wish to enjoy sex and drugs. The study has revealed that there is a strong relationship among substance use, sexual risk, injury, violence and suicide.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the International Bureau of Education (IBE) of UNESCO would hold its fifth International Seminar in Mauritius from 18 to 23 June 2007. The main mission of IBE is to act as UNESCO’s centre specialized in contents, methods and structure of education. It builds networks to share expertise on curriculum development in all regions of the world and aims at introducing modern approaches in curriculum design and implementation, improving practical skills and promoting informed dialogue at regional and international levels. The Seminar would focus on the theme “Analysis and Innovations to be carried out in curricula in the context of Education for All in Sub-Saharan countries towards poverty alleviation”.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the first Meeting of the Friends of United Nations Environment Organisation (UNEO) held on 12 and 13 April 2007 in Agadir, Morocco. The meeting was a follow up of the Paris Conference for Global Ecological Governance convened by President Chirac, when a resolution was taken for the consolidation of the International environmental governance which would build on the current United Nations Environment Programme strengthening it with new attributes and resources. A group of friends of the United Nations Environment Organisation was, therefore, formed to support the transformation of the United Nations Environment Programme into a United Nations Environment Organisation in the context of the reforms at the United Nations. The group is to contribute actively to the consultations in the UN General Assembly on strengthening international governance of the environment, and promote the initiative in all relevant international and regional bodies, in consultation with all the actors concerned.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -

(a) the National Pensions Board with Mr Baboorunjitsing Goordyal, GOSK, CSK as Chairperson;

(b) the Islamic Cultural Centre Trust Fund Board with Mr Abdool Sammad Nazeer as Chairperson; and

(c) the Council of Registered Professional Engineers for the period 2007–2009.