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Prime Minister's Office>Cab inet Decisions taken on 19 June

Cab inet Decisions taken on 19 June

1. With a view to alleviating the difficulties encountered by taxi owners and operators of contract cars and contract buses in the wake of the global economic crisis, Cabinet has agreed, as a temporary measure, to certain conditions attached to their operation being modified, namely -
(a) the renewal of vehicles for use as taxi, contract car and contract bus that becomes due being postponed until January 2011; and
(b) contract car and contract bus licences, which are unimplemented, being retained for one more year with the possibility of extending that delay up to January 2011.

2. Cabinet has taken note that the Agricultural Research and Extension Unit would set up an Experiment Station at Pamplemousses for the promotion of fruit production in the context of food security programmes. The main object of the project is to showcase the state-of-the-art technology, along with the whole value chain in fruit production, i.e., nursery, orchard, pack-house and processing unit. The Station would be inaugurated on 1 July 2009.

3. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security proposes to set up an Agricultural Land Bank to promote agricultural diversification to meet the objectives set in the Food Security Strategic Plan. Cabinet has further taken note that, with a view to making optimal use of lands, all agricultural State lands, which are not being developed by the current lessees, would be retrieved and allocated to prospective potential entrepreneurs.

4. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security, in collaboration with the Central Statistics Office, would conduct a National Livestock Census with a view to collecting information for the setting up of a database and a livestock information system. The Census would cover livestock breeders engaged in the rearing of cattle, goats, sheep, deer, pigs and poultry. The Census, which would start in October 2009, would last for six months.

5. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Notaries (Amendment) Bill, which amends the Notaries Act in order to bring it in line with the principles and norms set by the International Union of Notaries. The Bill provides, inter alia, for the Chamber of Notaries to lay down a Code of Ethics for notaries with a view to setting rules of practice, rules of professional conduct and rules in relation to the keeping and auditing of accounts.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) Examinations would be held from 20 to 23 October 2009, as follows -
Tuesday 20 October French
Wednesday 21 October English
Thursday 22 October History & Geography
Asian Languages/Arabic
Friday 23 October Mathematics
About 25,293 candidates would take part in the Examinations. Results would be published on 10 December 2009.

7. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security authorizing local importers to source buffalo meat from any of the 20 Indian abattoirs approved by the Agricultural Products Exports Development Authority of India, subject to the Authority confirming that the Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points and ISO 9002 Standards have been complied with.

8. Cabinet has taken note that the Richelieu Livestock Feed Factory would be closed down with effect from 1 August 2009 and that a Scheme, managed by the Agricultural Research and Extension Unit, has been set up to assist small breeders to procure livestock feeds from the private manufacturers at a subsidized rate.

9. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security would launch a National Campaign on Household Food Security to encourage the cultivation of fruit trees in each household with a view to boosting up food production. In this context, fruit trees, plants and planting materials would be distributed freely to all households. The objective of the campaign is to increase production of fresh fruits, such as, banana, mango, litchi, hog plum (fruit de cythère), guava, papaya, breadfruit and jackfruit amongst other fruit species.
Cabinet has further taken note that, in the same wake, the Agricultural Research and Extension Unit and the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute propose to distribute the following publications with a view to sensitizing the public on possibilities that exist in the agro-business sector -
(a) Opportunities in Chilli Processing;
(b) Farming News; and
(c) Some Common Toxic Plants Found in Mauritius.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the agricultural zone covered by Phase II of the Northern Plains Irrigation Project would be deproclaimed to allow land owners who have not been cultivating sugar cane during the past 10 years to develop their land.

11. Cabinet has taken note that the forthcoming Meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum would be held in Mauritius from 28 to 30 October 2009. About 15 delegates, including three Ministers and Mayors, from various member countries, would attend the Meeting.

12. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to improving the quality of catering services in health institutions, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with L’AHRIM and the Human Resource Development Council, has mounted an exchange cum training programme for the benefit of about 100 staff of the Catering Unit of the regional and specialized hospitals. Arrangements are being made for the cooks to be eventually trained at the Sir Gaëtan Duval Hotel School.

13. Cabinet has taken note that, for the first time, Mauritius would participate in the cultural component of the 6th Edition of the “Jeux de la Francophonie” scheduled to be held in Beyrouth, Lebanon from 27 September to 06 October 2009. During a pre-selection exercise carried out at national level by a Regional Panel of the “Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie”, the following artists/artistic groups have been selected –
Song - L’Esprit Ravanne
Story Telling - Nanette, Yannick Jean Paul
Creative Dancing - SR Dance Co.
Literature - Issack, Amina Bibi
Painting - Alleck, Nirveda
Photography - Montille, Nadine
Sculpture - Bundhoo, Dhund Shersingh

14. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Mauritius Land Transport Authority Bill, which provides for the establishment of the Mauritius Land Transport Authority, through the merger of the National Transport Authority, the Road Development Authority and the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit, to be responsible for -
(a) the construction, care, maintenance and improvement of motorways and main roads;
(b) the effective management and regulation of land transport;
(c) the development and implementation of policies, strategies and schemes in relation to road traffic, road safety and road transport; and
(d) the licensing and registration of motor vehicles and trailers.

15. Cabinet has taken note that, following the upgrading of the pandemic alert of Influenza A(H1N1) by the World Health Organisation to phase 6, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has worked out a Draft National Preparedness Plan as required by the World Health Organisation focussing on -
(a) situation monitoring and assessment through a proper surveillance system to detect influenza;
(b) prevention and containment using both non-pharmaceutical community-based measures and pharmaceutical products;
(c) isolation of cases, social distance measures and quarantine;
(d) reinforcement of personal and environmental hygiene practices; and
(e) the health sector readiness.

16. Cabinet has taken note of the joint initiatives taken by the Board of Investment, Enterprise Mauritius and the Information and Communication Technologies Authority to promote Mauritius as a cost-competitive, high-quality and knowledge-intensive outsourcing destination.
Cabinet has further taken note that, in this connection, two major conferences, namely the Internet Data Centre Conference and the International Outsourcing Forum, would be held in Mauritius in September/October 2009 with a view to connecting local operators to potential outsourcers and showcasing Mauritius as an emerging off-shoring and outsourcing destination.

17. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the first round of negotiations on Free Trade Agreement between Mauritius and Turkey held in Mauritius on 3 and 4 June 2009, during which Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Customs and Trade Facilitation and Fisheries were, amongst others, discussed.

18. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius ratifying the Amendment to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to include Belarus among the countries, which have agreed to reduce green house gas emissions to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the period
2008-2012. The Convention, which has been ratified by 192 countries, provides for Governments to -
(a) gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices;
(b) launch national strategies for addressing greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries; and
(c) cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

19. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
(a) the National Heritage Fund Board with Miss Diana Bablee as Chairperson;
(b) the Seafarers’ Welfare Fund Board with Mr Ahmed Khodabucus as Chairperson; and
(c) the Construction Industry Development Board with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping (Public Infrastructure Division) as Chairperson.