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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 01 August 2008

Cabinet Decisions taken on 01 August 2008

1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of -
(a) the Employment Relations Bill which aims at amending and consolidating the law relating to trade unions, fundamental rights of workers and employers, collective bargaining, labour disputes and related matters; and
(b) the Employment Rights Bill which aims at revising and consolidating the law relating to employment, contract of employment or service, minimum age for employment, hours of work, payment of remuneration and other basic terms and conditions of employment with a view to ensuring appropriate protection of workers.

2. Cabinet has taken note of the proposals made in the Green Paper on "Equal Access to Justice: Reform of the Legal Aid in Mauritius" prepared by a Working Committee under the chairmanship of Professor P. Torul in the context of the review of our legal system. The Green Paper addresses, amongst others, the following important issues -
(i) The new concept of legal aid;
(ii) Application of legal aid;
(iii) The eligibility test;
(iv) Expanding and extending legal aid services;
(v) Establishment of a Legal Aid Board; and
(vi) Corporate social responsibility.
In view of the nature of the subject which is a major component of ensuring equal access to justice to the poor segment of the population, Cabinet has agreed to the Green Paper being made public with a view to seeking the views and comments of all stakeholders.

3. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities to celebrate the inscription of Le Morne Cultural Landscape on the World Heritage List on 10 August 2008. The programme would include, inter alia, -
(i) wreath laying;
(ii) cultural show; and
(iii) film show: Venus d’Ailleurs of Alain Gordon-Gentil.

4. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the implementation of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport Terminal Extension Project which comprises the construction of a new passenger terminal, provision of additional parking facilities and extension of the taxiway.

5. Cabinet has taken note of the list of Public Holidays for the year 2009 as follows –
New Year Thursday 1 January
New Year Friday 2 January
Chinese Spring Festival Monday 26 January
Abolition of Slavery Sunday 1 February
Thaipoosam Cavadee Sunday 8 February
Maha Shivaratree Monday 23 February
National Day Thursday 12 March
Ougadi Friday 27 March
Labour Day Friday 1 May
Ganesh Chaturthi Monday 24 August
Eid-Ul-Fitr** Sunday 20 September
Divali Saturday 17 October
All Saints Day Sunday 1 November
Arrival of Indentured Labourers Monday 2 November
Christmas Friday 25 December
**The exact date of this festival is subject to confirmation as its celebration depends on the visibility of the moon.

6. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of improving/enhancing our tourism product with a view to maintaining our competitive edge and better facing the increasing competition from our rival tourist destinations, Discover Mauritius Limited, a Government-owned company, has been entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out upgrading/uplifting works at tourist sites and embellishment works at such other places with a view to enhancing the attractiveness and image of Mauritius as an upmarket tourist destination, viz. -
(a) upliftment works of most popular tourist and heritage sites;
(b) planting of decorative plants on central reservation of motorways;
(c) rehabilitation and painting of bus stops; and
(d) embellishment of the entrance at the airport.
Discover Mauritius Ltd would carry out the works in close collaboration with local authorities, the tourist industry operators (hotels, tour operators, etc.) and the forces vives of the respective localities.

7. In line with the policy of Government to connect the maximum number of houses/premises to the sewerage system with a view to protecting the environment, particularly, the aquifers, Cabinet has agreed to the Waste Water Free House Connection Scheme being also extended to commercial premises, i.e., commercial customers would be connected to the public sewer free of charge.

8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure & External Communications to Madagascar, from 21 to 23 July 2008 in the context of the implementation of the strategic partnership project for the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd. The main objectives of the mission were to discuss partnership strategies with top executives of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), the private terminal operator of the Port of Toamasina, main Port of Madagascar and to see de visu ongoing developments at the Port, particularly with the advent of ICTSI.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure & External Communications had working sessions, inter alia, with the Hon P. Botozaza, Minister of Transport, and the Hon E. Randriarimanana, Minister of Environment, Water Resources and Forestry & Tourism, when they reviewed the possibility of enhancing cooperation between the Port of Toamasina and Port Louis as well as the development of cruise tourism among the Indian Ocean Island countries.
In the margins of the visit, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure & External Communications also had a working session with the Ambassador of Morocco in Madagascar with whom he discussed the establishment of air traffic links between Mauritius and Morocco, which welcomes 8 million tourists a year.

9. Cabinet has taken note that Infotech 2008 would be held from 6 to 10 August 2008 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre. Infotech, an annual event, aims at creating awareness on latest and emerging information and communication technologies thereby promoting ICT as an engine of economic growth. Infotech 2008 will have regional and international dimensions and will provide a platform to buyers, investors, entrepreneurs, service providers and other stakeholders from the Business Community from Mauritius, as well as from African and Asian regions, to participate and share experiences and also to establish contacts. This year’s event will comprise, inter alia, :
(a) an Exhibition with the participation of international companies from Malaysia, India, Reunion Island, South Africa, Palestine, Ethiopia, Hong Kong and IOC countries;
(b) an ICT Regional Conference to delve on e-government, Outsourcing and Off-Shoring, and IT Security Culture;
(c) an ICT Career Fair to create an awareness on career opportunities in ICT;
(d) a Call Centre Demo consisting of live demonstration of call centre operations; and
(e) an Awards Ceremony during which awards would be handed over to winners of various competitions.

10. Cabinet has taken note that a delegation from the ‘Parquet Général’ of the Republic of Rwanda would visit Mauritius in August 2008 to understudy our legal system where both common law and civil law systems are applied. The delegation would also have working sessions, inter alia, with the Police Department and the Forensic Science Laboratory.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Cooperative Development Advisory Board with Mr Suttyhudeo Tengur as Chairperson.