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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 17 April

Cabinet Decisions taken on 17 April

1. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of a forensic review carried out at the main Stores of the CWA at Cité La Cure following reports of alleged irregularities and malpractices. In the light of the report, the Central Water Board has decided to initiate disciplinary action against 11 incriminated employees.
Cabinet has also decided that similar reviews be carried out in other governmental organizations.

2. Cabinet has taken note of the various measures proposed to improve the financial situation of the National Transport Corporation.

3. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius and the Federated States of Micronesia have been selected by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to receive the 2009 Climate Protection Award. The Award places Mauritius as one of the world’s leading countries working for the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases and the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

4. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the visit of Dr Catherine Gaud, “Médecin Chef de Service de l’Unité d’Immunologie Clinique” of Reunion Island, from 06 to 08 April 2009 in Mauritius. She, inter alia, participated in a two-day training programme targeting medical officers holding a diploma in HIV/AIDS with a view to upgrading their skills in the management of people living with HIV. She also attended the National AIDS Committee chaired by the Prime Minister, where issues relating to the protocols for the treatment and management of patients living with HIV were reviewed.
Subsequent to the meetings with Dr Gaud, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has initiated a series of measures for a better monitoring of and follow up on persons with HIV/AIDS.

5. Cabinet has taken note that the National Human Resource Development Plan, which was launched in April 2007, has been reviewed to reflect significant changes that have occurred recently in the field of human capital management, particularly in the context of economic development and globalization.
The revised National Human Resource Development Plan, which would enable the formulation of appropriate human resource development and labour market policies, -
(a) places emphasis on future corporate skills and opportunities that would be required for the country;
(b) focuses on strategies to be adopted by stakeholders to skill manpower to achieve a competitive human capital;
(c) highlights future training and education needs necessary for the labour force to enter the next stage of development; and
(d) attempts to identify the reasons behind the low level of interest shown by most employers to have their staff trained and to avail themselves of the training facilities being offered.

6. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements being made by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions to implement the Budgetary measure regarding the extension of the Sale by Levy Solidarity Fund to cover cases of households whose income is less than Rs 7,500 per month and who are facing difficulties to service their mortgage following the death or serious incapacity of a wage earner.
The criteria for assessing eligibility of applicants, which would be in accordance with the guidelines prepared by the High Level Committee on Sale by Levy Solidarity Fund are, inter alia, -
(a) the household income per month inclusive of National Pension and Social Aid should not exceed Rs 7,500;
(b) the loan taken should be either a housing loan or a loan taken for setting up of own business where only residence has been given as guarantee;
(c) loan taken from recognized lending institutions only would be considered;
(d) death or serious incapacity, as spelt out in the Social Aid Act and the National Pension Act, occurred on or after 01 July 2007; and
(e) in case of death of both spouses, the children would be eligible for assistance depending on their meeting relevant criteria mentioned above.

7. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Electronic Transactions (Amendment) Bill which amends the Electronic Transactions Act to enable the Information and Communication Technologies Authority to discharge the functions and exercise the powers of the Controller of Certification Authorities, an entity responsible for regulating Certifying Authorities within the National Public Key Infrastructure for Mauritius. The Certifying Authorities provide policy and technical framework for secure and trustworthy electronic transactions through systematic and diligent issuance, management and revocation of digital certificates. Mauritius would make use of the National Public Key Infrastructure for the first time with the smart card based Mauritius National Identity Card. The holder of the new identity card would be able to generate his/her digital signature for use on electronic versions of documents.

8. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Hindi Pracharini Sabha (Amendment) Bill which amends the Hindi Pracharini Sabha Act to provide for elected members of the Sabha to hold office for a period of three years, instead of one year, as approved at its Annual General Meeting in September 2006. The Hindi Pracharini Sabha Act provides for the establishment and management of the Hindi Pracharini Sabha which aims at propagating hindi language and literature.

9. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Occupational Safety and Health (Amendment) Bill which amends the Occupational Safety and Health Act to authorize employees or safety and health officers, who are employed on a full-time basis, to be employed as safety and health officers on a part-time basis in respect of one other employer in view of the additional duties and responsibilities devolving on safety and health officers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 2005 and given the growing complexity of safety and health issues now arising in places of work.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the National Contact Point Meeting of the World Customs Organisation-Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Eastern and Southern Africa would be held in Mauritius in October/November 2009. The Regional Intelligence Liaison Office, supported by the Customs Enforcement Network, is responsible for the collection and analysis of data, as well as the dissemination of information on trends, modus operandi, roots and significant cases of fraud.
The Meeting would help reinforce the commitment of Mauritius towards regional cooperation in terms of networking and intelligence sharing and render enforcement action by the customs services more effective.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the AGOA Week organised by the Ministry of Industry, Science and Research from 06 to 10 April 2009 to promote exports to the USA following the obtention of the Third Country Fabric Derogation under AGOA in October 2008. In the light of discussions and interactions during the Week, the Minister of Industry, Science and Research would chair an AGOA Cell, comprising representatives of public and private sector organizations, to steer the export strategy on the textile and non-textile sectors to the USA.

12. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Society of Authors would, on 22 April 2009, launch a general awareness campaign to sensitize the business community and the public on the need to protect Intellectual Property Rights. The campaign would, inter alia, comprise –
(a) a DVD conception on Intellectual Property Rights;
(b) an essay competition for college students; and
(c) talks in colleges and youth centres.
Cabinet has further taken note that Miss Florie Liser, Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa, who would be in Mauritius in the second fortnight of April 2009, would launch the campaign.

13. Cabinet has taken note that the International Atomic Energy Agency would organize a Regional Training Course on Radiation Protection for Doctors using Fluoroscopy in Mauritius on 29 and 30 June 2009. The Course, which is designed for Orthopaedic Surgeons, Urologists, Gastroenterologists, Gynaecologists and Vascular Surgeons who are involved in interventional procedures guided by X-ray fluoroscopy, aims at raising awareness of the requirements of International Basic Standards in medical exposure and application of requirements to specialities, such as orthopaedic surgery, urology and gynaecology.

14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Forum on Internet Governance for ICT Policy Makers and Regulators in Africa organized by the African Telecommunications Union in Mauritius from 17 to 19 March 2009. The issues discussed were, inter alia, -
(a) country code Top Level Domain Operational models;
(b) Domain Name System Security and the depletion of Internet Protocol version 4 addresses; and
(c) the role of community in the management and operation of country code Top Level Domain.

15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Fifth AU Trade Ministers Meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 19 and 20 March 2009. The main items discussed were:
(a) WTO Negotiations;
(b) State of Play of EPA negotiations;
(c) AU participation in the 8th AGOA Forum; and
(d) The impact of the international financial crises on trade and economic development.