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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 29 June 2007

Cabinet Decisions taken on 29 June 2007

1. Cabinet has taken note that the first Land-Based Oceanic Industry would be set up at Flic en Flac. The Land-Based Oceanic Industry aims at commercially exploiting the characteristics, unique to, deep sea water for the production of desalinated mineral water, the replacement of conventional electrical air conditioning, use in the development of organic pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, as well as for thalassotherapy and aquaculture, amongst others.

This project would constitute one of the new pillars of economic growth and establish linkages with other economic activities like tourism and manufacturing. While generating revenue from export and local tourism market, it would create productive employment opportunities and also accelerate the economic democratization process.

2. As enunciated in Budget Speech 2007-2008 regarding the role of women in the economy and with a view to providing equal opportunities to enable them enter the world of work, Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development, Family Welfare & Consumer Protection, in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development and the Industrial and Vocational Training Board, would, on 4 July 2007, launch a first awareness campaign on job opportunities in the construction sector targeting about 1000 women, particularly retrenched workers.

The objective of the campaign is to motivate women to take advantage of the facilities being offered by the Empowerment Programme and to encourage them to take non-traditional jobs such as electricians, plumbers, tile layers, drivers, painters, metal working and gardeners.

3. Cabinet has taken note of the organisation of a joint Consultative Workshop on “Marine and Agricultural Resources Support Programme” by the Ministry of Agro Industry & Fisheries and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, from 04 to 06 July 2007.

The objective of the Programme is to contribute towards improving the livelihood of poor and vulnerable Mauritian and Rodriguan rural households dependent on marine resources, sugarcane and textile industries. The three components of the Programme are sustainable marine resource management, diversification of rural incomes and employment, and programme management.

4. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Local Government to Lusaka, Zambia from 18 to 20 June 2007, where he participated in the Commonwealth Local Government Forum Peer Review Regional Dissemination Seminar as Vice-Chairperson of the Forum. It was unanimously agreed to extend the pilot project of the International Peer Reviews conducted by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, in collaboration with the United Council Association of Zimbabwe, to all member states of SADC.

The following parameters are used in measuring local democracy in the implementation of the project:-

(i) participation;
(ii) effectiveness/efficiency;
(iii) accountability;
(iv) social welfare and security; and
(v) equity.

5. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Public Utilities to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where he discussed arrangements and modalities for the Hajj Pilgrimage 2007. The Saudi Authorities have agreed to increase the quota of Mauritius for Hajj Pilgrimage from 1200 to 1300. The Minister also made a plea for a further increase in quota and requested for a special discounted royalty fee.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Industry, Small & Medium Enterprises, Commerce & Cooperatives would, as an annual feature, launch an Excellence Award Competition among domestic manufacturing enterprises in Textile and Clothing, Jewellery and Diamond processing, Seafood Processing, Agro-Industry and other emerging sectors.

The broad objectives of the competition are to:

(i) encourage and stimulate best business practices in the manufacturing sector for achievement of higher productivity and competitiveness;

(ii) introduce economic and productivity assessment tools among participating enterprises to improve performance;

(iii) provide due recognition to enterprises that are making continuous efforts to improve management and operational practices; and

(iv) identify role models to demonstrate the benefits in adopting world class standards.

7. Cabinet has taken note that the Wildlife and National Parks Act 1993 would be amended to reflect new developments in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species which recognises that wild fauna and flora, in their many beautiful and varied forms, are an irreplaceable part of nature which must be protected.

8. Cabinet has taken note that the SSR Medical College would, as from July/August 2007, run postgraduate programmes in selected specialities, such as Anatomy, Physiology, Bio-Chemistry, Community Medicine, Pathology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, FMT & ENT and Opthalmology. Cabinet has further taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life would make appropriate arrangements for students of the College to follow clinical training in public health institutions.

9. With a view to enhancing the export competitiveness of Mauritius and enabling Mauritian products to penetrate and carve a niche in the global market place, Cabinet has taken note of measures initiated by the Mauritius Standards Bureau for the development and promotion of national standards harmonized with international standards to support the manufacturing and services sectors in improving the quality of their products and services and the effective implementation of regulations relating to quality and safety of locally manufactured and imported goods.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment, jointly with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is organising a National Tripartite Workshop on the ILO Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems 2001 from 16 to 18 July 2007.
The objective of the Workshop is to sensitize stakeholders on the Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Management Systems which have been shaped by internationally agreed occupational safety and health principles as defined in relevant international labour standards. The Guidelines provide a powerful instrument for the development of a sustainable safety culture within enterprises and guidance for the integration of Occupational Safety and Health management system elements as a component of policy and management arrangements to continually improve OSH performance.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the AU Ministerial Committee of the Countries of the Region on Comoros led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa to discuss the political situation in the Archipelago with a view to enabling the Comorian Government to overcome the current crisis and enhance the long-term capacity of the institutions of the Union. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade & Cooperation formed part of the mission.

The Mission inter alia decided to dispatch a ministerial delegation to the Comoros to engage the Comorian authorities, in the implementation of its recommendations as well as addressing the issues of governance, including the inadequacies of constitutional arrangements, and capacity building.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the 96th Session of the International Labour Conference held in Geneva from 30 May to 15 June 2007. The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment, along with representatives of workers and employers, participated in the Conference.

The Conference -
(a) considered the General Global Report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work;
(b) examined the Report on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations. The cases of 24 countries for persistent non-compliance with labour standards were considered;
(c) adopted the Work in the Fishing Convention 2007 (No.188) and a Work in Fishing Recommendation (No.199), and the Report on the Promotion of Sustainable Enterprises.

Cabinet has also taken note that the ILO awarded its first annual Decent Work Research Prize to Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of South Africa, and to Professor Emeritus Carmelo Mesa-Logo of the University of Pittsburgh for their contribution in improving lives of people around the world.

Cabinet has further taken note that during the Conference the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment also attended the 33B African Regional Labour Administration Centre Governing Council Meeting of Ministers and the International Organisation for Migration SADC Ministers Meeting.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –

(i) the Rehabilitation Youth Centre Board of Visitors with Mrs R. Brigemohane as Chairperson;

(ii) the Probation Hostel for Boys Managing Committee with Mr T. Thodda as Chairperson; and

(iii) the Probation Home for Girls Managing Committee with Mrs S. Baguant, CSK, OSK, as Chairperson.