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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 2 May 2008

Cabinet Decisions taken on 2 May 2008

1. Following the recent announcement made by the Prime Minister, and with a view to alleviating major energy crises resulting mainly from factors like high volatility of petroleum prices, the effects of climate change and the growing demand for electricity by emerging economies, Cabinet has taken note of the setting up of an Inter-Ministerial Committee, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Public Utilities, to uphold Government initiatives for the promotion of renewable energy and to steer the project “Maurice, Ile Durable”.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee will create the required forum to synergise actions to give the necessary leverage and boost for renewable energy projects to take off, as well as ensure that such actions converge towards the policy aims and objectives of Government.

2. Cabinet has taken note of a proposal of JV Sotravic Ltée/Bilfinger Berger for a landfill Gas to Energy Project at Mare Chicose. The project has various environmental benefits, viz., reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, controlling and mitigating environmental nuisances and health risks, promoting sustainable development through the integration of environmental infrastructure, optimizing the use of natural resources, adopting clean and efficient technologies, and improving overall management landfill practices. The project would also be a showcase in the region in the field of proper landfill gas management.

3. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Africa-Americas-Asia Business Summit 2008 held in Mauritius on 17 and 18 March 2008 under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development, with the collaboration of the Commonwealth Business Council, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the Board of Investment. The theme of the Summit was “Enhancing South-South Cooperation for Greater Economic Growth”.

The main objectives of the Summit were to further promote South-South investment and trade, share experiences in development policies in respect of emerging sectors, and to promote joint collaboration between businesses from the South.

The main result of the Summit was the announcement by the Dubai Group to invest US$250m in Mauritius in banking, insurance, hospitality and property sectors.

4. Cabinet has agreed to the submission to the European Commission (EC) of the Mauritius-European Union Joint Annual Report (JAR) 2007 which reviews cooperation with the EC for the year 2007.

The JAR 2007 focuses on the performance of the socio-economic development of the country and the programming of resources for poverty alleviation and capacity building; environment and waste water; and reform in the sugar industry under the 9th European Development Fund. Moreover, the governance commitments, elaborated in the context of the 10th EDF programming, have been updated to take on board progress achieved. The Report has been discussed with all parties concerned, i.e., civil society, the private sector and Ministries and Departments.

5. Cabinet has taken note of the setting up of a Technical Assistance Facility at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development with the assistance of the UNDP and our major development partners to assist all Ministries and Departments to prepare sector strategies to align their programmes and projects to the reform agenda and to undertake feasibility studies with a view to developing a pipeline of projects which would constitute the Public Sector Investment Programme.

Cabinet has further taken note that Capacity Building Programme is also being put up to allow Ministries and Departments to draw on national and international expertise to improve their performance, inter alia, in the areas that would include technical assistance to:

(a) sustain the move to Programme Based Budgeting;
(b) support the expansion of Performance Based Management;
(c) improve the management of Capital Projects;
(d) enhance capacity for Public Private Partnerships;
(e) develop a Public Sector Investment Programme;
(f) enhance implementation capacity of the Empowerment Programme and actions to eradicate absolute poverty;
(g) promote Public Enterprise Restructuring; and
(h) make interns available under the Service to Mauritius Programme.

6. Cabinet has taken note of activities organised by the Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunications, in collaboration with the National Computer Board and Mauritius Telecom Ltd, to mark the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on 17 May 2008 and to celebrate the Internet Fiesta 2008 from 12 to 20 May 2008, viz. -
(i) Awareness on Internet in Cyber-Caravans targeting the disabled, women and unemployed;
(ii) Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) Certificate Award;
(iii) Organisation of a Cyber-Security Workshop;
(iv) Launching of Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-MU);
(v) Launching of IC3 at “Association des Parents de Déficients Auditifs” (APDA) and “Save the Children”;
(vi) Presentation of NetPC at CEDEM and Save the Children; and
(vii) An open day by the Mauritius Telecoms Ltd to demonstrate the range of services offered by the Mauritius Telecom Group, such as Fixed and Mobile services, Internet and convergent services (My.T).

This year, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day has adopted the theme “Connecting Persons with Disabilities: ICT Opportunities for All” to address the special requirements of persons with disabilities. The Theme for the Internet Fiesta 2008 is "Ensemble, donnons du sens à l’Internet".

7. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Public Utilities will delegate the operation and maintenance of the St. Martin Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Wastewater Management Authority. The Treatment Plant which forms part of the Plaines Wilhems Sewerage project, will receive all wastewater from the Plaines Wilhems region. The plant, which is presently operating at a capacity of 40,000 m3/day, will reach its maximum capacity of 87,000 m3/day only after the completion of the ongoing house connections and reticulation projects. This state-of-the-art plant provides for treatment of effluents up to tertiary level. The treated effluent, which meets the parameters, set under the Environment Protection (Standards of Effluent for use in Irrigation) Regulations 2003, is being used by the Irrigation Authority to supplement irrigation water in the western region of the island.

8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Third Meeting of the COMESA Ministers Responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs held on 1 and 2 April 2008 in Lusaka, Zambia. The main objectives of the Meeting were to consider the progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Second Meeting of COMESA Ministers Responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs, and to review and approve the COMESA Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and Action Plan.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -
(i) the Human Resource Development Council with Mr Deepak Tulsidas as Chairperson;
(ii) the Training and Employment of Disabled Persons Board with Mrs Amreeta Nivault as Chairperson;
(iii) the Loïs Lagesse Trust Fund Board with Mr Retnon Pyneeandee as Chairperson; and
(iv) the National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons Board with the Principal Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions, as Chairperson.