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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 16 May 2008

Cabinet Decisions taken on 16 May 2008

1. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the setting up of the Mauritius Land Transport Authority, a corporate body, which would integrate and take over the functions of the National Transport Authority, the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit and the Road Development Authority to achieve streamlined and integrated development of policy, planning and implementation of new projects and effective management and regulation of existing systems relating to land transport.

2. Cabinet has taken note of the recommendations of the National Remuneration Board regarding workers of the Livestock Industry and that the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations & Employment would make new Remuneration Order Regulations embodying those recommendations. The main recommendations of the National Remuneration Board are, inter alia, –
(i) A wage increase varying between 14% to 19% to the different categories of workers.
(ii) An increase in maternity allowance from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000.
(iii) The grant of either 2 weeks' or 12 weeks' leave on full pay to a worker suffering still birth; the 12 weeks' leave being deductible from the entitlement of the three paid confinements.
(iv) The conferment to a female worker, who is nursing her unweaned child, of a break of one hour daily or half an hour twice daily with pay.
(v) A worker being paid a day's pay in respect of each day of annual leave outstanding at the end of a period of 12 months, except where, before the end of the period he/she is dismissed for misconduct.
(vi) 6 days' leave on full pay on the occasion of the worker's first civil or religious marriage.
(vii) 3 days' leave on full pay to a worker on the occasion of –
(a) the marriage of his/her child; and
(b) the death of his/her spouse, child, father, mother, brother or sister.
(viii) The "subsistence allowance" being restyled "meal allowance" and the quantum being increased from Rs 15 to Rs 50.
(ix) The term "funeral expenses" being changed to "Death Grant" and the amount of grant being increased from Rs1500 to Rs3500.
(x) Payment of wages for a monthly paid worker being effected not later than the last working day of the month, instead of the second working day in the following month as is the case presently.

3. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius ratifying an Agreement signed with the Government of the Republic of Namibia on mutual exemption of visa requirements with a view to further strengthening the friendly relations, promoting trade and economic development and facilitating movement of citizens between the two countries.

4. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organised by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, with the collaboration of other health stakeholders, to mark the World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2008. The theme for this year is "Tobacco-Free Youth".
The activities would comprise, inter alia, -
(i) a national programme with the participation of students and youth, who would be called upon to take a pledge committing themselves to avoid smoking in their life and to help their relatives stop smoking;
(ii) a sensitization campaign on the pledge to be taken by officers of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the Ministry of Education & Human Resources;
(iii) sensitization programmes on the theme of the year; and
(iv) the holding of talks on tobacco and cardiovascular diseases by the Heart Foundation Mauritius.

5. Cabinet has agreed to a statue of late Sir Satcam Boolell, G.C.S.K., G.O.S.K., Q.C., being put up at Place d’Armes, Port Louis to pay homage to his invaluable contribution to the country as lawyer, prolific writer and politician for over half a century.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the United Nations Population Fund, formerly known as United Nations Fund for Population Activities, have signed an agreement for the implementation of a number of projects, under the Country Programme Action Plan 2008-2011, aimed at improving sexual reproductive health of young people and underserved groups, the prevention of HIV/AIDS for a better quality of life and a more gender equitable society.

7. Cabinet has taken note of the final recommendations of a study carried out by the Centre for Applied Social Research of the University of Mauritius on Discriminatory Practices in the Mauritian Labour Market. The main objective of the study was to identify existing imbalances or discriminatory practices in employment and the discriminatory elements which contribute to inequality to access to employment or unequal treatment in employment.
The recommendations of the Study are, inter alia, -
(a) companies and partnerships should be required to inscribe in the constitutive instruments the principle of adherence to non-discriminatory policies.
(b) The final assessment at primary education level needs to reflect a more inclusive approach towards the needs of the children.
(c) The labour market requires a continuous influx of new entrants with a considerable level of educational achievement.

8. Cabinet has taken note that the Tourism (Amendment) Act would be proclaimed on 1 June 2008 to ensure better enforcement and monitoring of its provisions particularly, with regard to the new activities introduced under the Act, such as –
(a) private club;
(b) pub;
(c) dolphin and whale watching; and
(d) operating health and fitness centre within hotel premises.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Education & Human Resources to Mozambique from 5 to 9 May 2008 where he attended the 2008 Biennial Meeting of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa. The theme of the Meeting was "Beyond Primary Education: Challenges and Approaches to Expanding Learning Opportunities in Africa”.
The objective of the Meeting was to encourage open discussions between African Ministers of Education, development agencies, and other education professionals.
In the margins of the Meeting, the Minister of Education & Human Resources had bilateral meetings, inter alia, with -
(a) Hon Aires B. B. Ali, Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Mozambique, with whom he discussed collaboration in the areas of primary, secondary and higher education, teacher’s training and teaching of Portuguese Language; and

(b) Prof Jorge Lopes Armando, Dean of Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences of the University of Eduardo Mondiane, Mozambique for an agreement with the University of Mauritius, in particular for the promotion and teaching of Portuguese Language.

10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Sixth Ordinary Session of the African Union Labour & Social Affairs Commission held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 21 to 25 April 2008. The mandate of the Commission is to -
(a) develop cooperation between Member States of the African Union in the field of labour and social affairs;
(b) study the labour and social problems peculiar to these countries;
(c) examine all questions related to ILO or other specialized agencies of UN whose activities have a bearing on labour and social questions; and
(d) adopt an African common position to present a united front in defence of African interests, both at the International Labour Conference and any other international meetings dealing with social and labour matters.

11. Cabinet has taken note that, following the resignation of Mrs Meenakshi Bhogun-Ramjutton, the services of Miss Leelamanee Poonoosamy Padiachy, Barrister-at-Law, have been retained to provide legal assistance to workers appearing before the Termination of Contracts Service Board.

12. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Baboorunjitsing Goordyal, GOSK, CSK, has been reappointed Chairperson of the National Pensions Board.