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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 27 April 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 27 April 2007

1. With a view to extending eligibility of Carer's Allowance to a larger number of parents having children under 15 years of age with multiple congenital deformities, Cabinet has taken note that the Social Aid Regulations would be amended to increase the annual earnings ceiling of the parents in receipt of the Allowance from Rs 200,000 to Rs 250,000 per annum.

2. Cabinet has taken note that, following discussions with the Japan Tuna Fisheries Cooperative Association (JTFCA), the Fishing Agreement signed between Mauritius and the Association would be amended to provide for an increase in the number of licences to be issued, i.e. from 30 to 50, and for a new structure of licences and VMS fees.

Cabinet has further taken note that the JTFCA would be the sole representative/agent of Japanese vessels fishing in Mauritius maritime zones, and fish caught would be landed or transhipped at Port Louis.

3. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Sugar Insurance Fund (Amendment) Bill which amends the Sugar Insurance Fund Act to give effect to the recommendations of the 2006 Actuarial Review of the Fund, conducted by Hewitt LY Ltd. Certain provisions of the Act have been redrafted with a view to updating them and at the same time enabling the Sugar Insurance Fund Board to better operate and manage the Fund and improve services provided to the planting community.

4. Cabinet has taken note of the good performance of the State Trading Corporation. The Corporation which registered a loss of Rs1,974m in July 2005, has recorded a positive balance of Rs17m in February 2007.

5. Cabinet has taken note that the Court of Investigation on the disappearance of the 17 fishermen on board King Fish II and King Fish V has started its work.

Cabinet has agreed that, in the meantime, the norms of security on board fishing vessels be made more stringent and that stiffer penalties be imposed for non-compliance to these norms. The National Coast Guard would be asked to exercise these verifications.

6. Cabinet has taken note of the improved performance of the EPZ Sector for the months of January and February 2007 as compared to the same period in 2006. Total exports of the Sector increased by 25% and the performance of the main sub-sectors is as follows –

(i) Apparel and Clothing products registered a growth of 34%; and

(ii) Textile yarns and fabrics registered a growth rate of 33%.


7. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Meeting that the Minister of Education & Human Resources had with Mr Gilles Broussaud, Director of the "Institut Universitaire de Technologie de Limoges" on the "Protocole de Collaboration" between the University of Limoges and the Technical School Management Trust Fund. In line with the new orientations in Technical and Vocational Education and Training framework in Mauritius and the specificities of the French system, an agreement was signed providing inter alia for an audit during the first year to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the "Institut Supérieur de Technologie" (IST) to become a tertiary institution for the eventual award of the "Licence Professionnelle".

The Agreement extends the same privileges to those students who joined the IST in 2006, and who are to complete their studies in 2008-2009, as the former students, namely the award of the "Diplôme Universitaire Supérieur de Technologie" delivered by University of Limoges, the possibility of completing their higher studies in France should they wish to do so, and the availability of scholarships for the best students to pursue further studies at the University of Limoges in France.

8. Following representations made by bus operators regarding fake bus passes, in circulation, Cabinet has taken note that arrangements have been made by the National Transport Authority for the issue of new bus passes with improved security features, to Senior Citizens and beneficiaries of Invalid's Basic Pension.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development to Belgium, Germany and USA with a view to promoting Aid for Trade with the respective Governments and at the 2007 World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

Mauritius got the full support of all to use Aid for Trade in the context of regional trade liberalization in the COMESA and SADC regions which would eventually set the stage for a Free Trade Area (FTA) with the EU under the Economic Partnership Agreement and offer a platform for the natural evolution of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act into a FTA with the US.

In Belgium, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development signed a customs agreement which provides for –

(i) mutual assistance and exchange of information to fight fraud by increasing the transparency of customs operations; and

(ii) technical assistance and expertise on new techniques to combat violations of customs regulations.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance & Economic Development had meetings, inter alia, with –

(a) Mr Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Belgium;

(b) Dr Uschi Eid, former Minister of Development and currently Chair of the Development Committee of the German Parliament; and

(c) HE Mr Jean-Baptiste Compaoré, Minister of Finance and Budget of Burkina Faso.

10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Youth & Sports in the 31st Ministerial Session of the “Conference des Ministres de la Jeunesse et des Sports des Pays ayant le Français en partage” (CONFEJES) held in Dakar, Senegal on 14 and 15 April 2007. The main issues discussed and decisions reached were, inter alia, as follows -

(i) a New Bureau for 2007/2009 was constituted under the Chairmanship of Senegal. The Indian Ocean would be represented by Mauritius and Comoros.

(ii) The CONFEJES Programme for 2007 comprising 26 projects relating to Institutional Support, Youth Promotion, Sports Development and Training Programme, was adopted.

The Conference recommended that the UNDP should give urgent consideration to the inclusion of Sports and Physical Education in the Human Development Index.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Sixth Meeting of the Conseil Permanent des Jeux des Iles de l’Océan Indien (CIJ) held in Antananarivo, Madagascar from 13 to 15 April 2007 in connection with the organization of the seventh Indian Ocean Islands Games in Madagascar from 9 to 19 August 2007. The Meeting –

(i) finalized the Technical Rules and Regulations of the Games;

(ii) reviewed progress regarding works being carried out at sports infrastructure to be used during the Games; and

(iii) assessed the rehabilitation works at the site identified for the “Village des Jeux” where all the participants would be accommodated.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the situation at the level of the management of the Mauritius Swimming Federation, and that, in accordance with the provisions of the Sports Act, the Minister of Youth & Sports, in consultation with the Mauritius National Olympic Committee, proposes to set up a Caretaker Committee to temporarily manage the affairs of the Federation.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of the Ilois Welfare Fund for the year 2007 - 2009 with Mr Louis Olivier Bancoult, OSK, as Chairperson. The seven representatives of the Ilois Community elected to serve on the Board are:-
(i) BATISTE, Mrs Rita
(ii) JAFFAR, Mrs Marie Léonide
(iii) MARDAY, Mrs Jenny
(iv) SADRIEN, Mrs Marie Janine
(v) SAMINADEN, Mr Louis Rosemond
(vi) TALATE, Mrs Marie Lisette
(vii) XAVIER, Mr Joseph Mico

14. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with measures announced by the Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues in his budget speech at the Rodrigues Regional Assembly in March 2007 to promote commerce and competition, as well as to create a more business friendly environment in Rodrigues, regulations would be made under the Consumer Protection (Price and Supplies control) Act to remove 13 items from the list of goods under price control applicable to Rodrigues. These items includes –
(a) Biscuits
(b) Corrugated Iron Sheets
(c) Detergent and Soap Powder
(d) Exercise Books
(e) Food Preparations containing Cocoa
(f) Infant Foods
(g) Nails
(h) Pastas and Noodles
(i) Plywood
(j) Potassium-based Additive
(k) Pulses
(l) Soap (laundry and toilet)
(m) Toothpaste.