CABINET DECISIONS – 15 JANUARY 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note that the devastating earthquake, which struck Haïti on 12 January 2010, took many lives and caused extensive destruction. Government presents its deepest condolences to the Government and people of the Republic of Haïti and to all other victims and their families. In a spirit of solidarity, Government has agreed to contribute an amount of USD 500,000 (about Rs15.5m) to the reconstruction process.
Cabinet has further taken note that five Mauritian nationals were in Haïti at the time of the earthquake. Information has been received that four of them are safe and sound, whereas information is being sought from the UN on one of them. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade is following up the matter very closely.
On a proposal of the Prime Minister, Cabinet has agreed to the organisation of a "Télédon" at national level. A Ministerial Committee has been set up for the organization of the "Télédon".
2. Following the launching of a set of commemorative medals by the Director General of UNESCO, in the presence of Dr the Honourable Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, in September 2009, Cabinet has agreed to the issue of the medals in September 2010 to mark the 110th Birth Anniversary of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, father of the Nation.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the Maurice Ile Durable concept, wind farms in certain parts of the country would be set up for the generation of electricity in line with the Long Term Energy Strategy 2009 – 2025.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of an Enhancement Programme, as an alternative to private tuition in Standard IV, in line with the Education and Human Resource Strategy Plan 2008-2020 to provide more equity in learning opportunities to all pupils, as well as to alleviate the situation of a majority of parents for whom private tuition represents a major financial burden. The Programme, prepared by the Mauritius Institute of Education and the Mauritius College of the Air, would cover the pedagogical aspects of Standard IV curriculum, as well as co-curricular and extra-curricular components to render the learning experiences more enriching, enjoyable and rewarding. The Programme would be run three days a week in sessions of 75 minutes. The use of school premises for private tuition in Standard IV would not be allowed, pending an amendment to the Education Act for the banning of private tuition.
5. Cabinet has taken note of development in the setting up of fully-automated licensed motor vehicle testing stations to assess and certify the road-worthiness of motor vehicles. Taking into account the number of registered vehicles, three such stations would be set up around the country to examine light motor vehicles, i.e., cars, dual-purpose vehicles, vans, taxis, motorcycles and auto cycles and two others to examine exclusively heavy vehicles, i.e., vehicles exceeding 3.5 tons gross weight, including buses.
6. Cabinet has taken note that, as a build-up campaign for the National Day Celebrations 2010, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources proposes to organise –
(a) a “Festival Mauricien”, a one-week event preceding the official programme on 12 March and highlighting creative Mauritian skills in artistic and cultural activities;
(b) a fusion music/dance item depicting the music and dance styles of the Mauritian society; and
(c) presentation of an award for recognized sports, artistic and literary achievements contributing towards the consolidation of National Unity during the preceding year.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the Carers’ Strategy and Action Plan elaborated by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions in line with the commitment of Government to enhance the quality of life of persons with disabilities and those who are bedridden. The main objectives of the Carers’ Strategy are to -
(a) create a pool of carers through formal training to respond to the demand for paid carers by families having under their responsibility persons requiring care;
(b) provide basic training to informal carers to enable them to provide better quality care to members of their families;
(c) provide respite care services to informal carers looking after persons with disabilities to enable them to participate in educational, social and community programmes;
(d) enable informal carers to balance employment needs with their care role in the family; and
(e) provide a platform for informal carers to express views in decision-making.
The Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare & Reform Institutions, which disburses about Rs 600m yearly as Carers’ Allowance, would ensure that the quality of care being provided to beneficiaries of carers’ allowance is of a reasonable standard.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the bilateral air services talks held between the Aeronautical Authority of Mauritius and that of South Africa, to review existing Air Services Agreements to provide for increased seat capacity, particularly in the context of the forthcoming FIFA World Cup 2010 to be hosted by South Africa. The new Memorandum of Understanding concluded provides for, inter alia, -
(a) an incremental increase in weekly seat capacity of the designated airline(s) of each party from 2,100 to 3,000 seats per week per direction as from 1 April 2010 to reach 4,200 seats per week per direction in 01 April 2014. In the context of the FIFA World Cup 2010, it has been agreed that no restrictions would be observed on the number of frequencies, as well as seat capacity, on the supplementary flights to be operated by the designated airline(s) of each Party during the period 01 April to 31 October 2010.
(b) The operation of all cargo services between and beyond the territory of the Parties shall be unrestricted, in terms of frequency and aircraft type, with respect to third, fourth and fifth freedom traffic rights.
9. In line with the Convention on Biological Diversity, Cabinet has agreed to the adoption of the National Invasive Alien Species Strategy and Action Plan 2010-2019, which provides a comprehensive and coordinated approach in the management of invasive alien species with a view to minimizing the negative economic, environmental and human health impacts of the species that threaten the ecosystem.
10. Cabinet has taken note of improvements brought in the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders since 2005. With the assistance of NGOs, a series of rehabilitation programmes have been put in place and inmates are, now, engaged in regular non-academic activities, such as sports, swimming, yoga and judo; girls are receiving hairdressing and cooking courses, and a proper schooling programme has been set up with the support of the Mauritian branch of the African Network for the Protection and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect and the Lions Club of Moka.
Cabinet has further taken note that, following the implementation of the programmes, -
(a) four girls sat for the CPE examinations in 2009, amongst whom two have passed with an aggregate of 10 and 15 respectively.
(b) Twelve girls have successfully followed hairdressing courses and would undergo further on-the-job training.
(c) Two boys have successfully completed a foundation course at Sir Kher Jagatsingh Training Centre, Beau Bassin. They would be admitted to the IVTB Ebène for the NTC 3 Course in specialized fields, such as plumbing and electrical installation. Two girls and one boy would start the Foundation Course this year.
(d) Inmates of Rehabilitation Youth Centres have successfully followed a Second Chance Programme delivered jointly by CARITAS and IVTB for a period of nine months.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the Report of Professor V. P. Torul, Mediator, appointed to look into the case of the Educators serving in Rodrigues with regard to their terms and conditions of employment. Prof. Torul has proposed changes in the terms and conditions of service of the Educators to bring parity, fairness and justice, which would be implemented in consultation with the Rodrigues Regional Assembly.
12. Following the merger of the Technical School Management Trust Fund and the Industrial and Vocational Training Board with the newly set up Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, the Minister of Education, Culture and Human Resources would promulgate Regulations to enable the registration of trainees from the Lycée Polytechnique Sir Guy Forget, Flacq and the Industrial and Vocational Training Board with the Institute.
13. Cabinet has taken note of progress in the implementation of the road project at Goodlands, the Phoenix-Beaux Songes Link Road, and the Port Louis Ring Road project.
14. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the Department of Civil Aviation would, with effect from 1 February 2010, introduce a Scheme of Charge for certain of its regulatory functions to enable the Department to recoup financial investments obligated in the discharge of safety and security of civil aviation operations, which had up to now been free of charge.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the promulgation of the Civil Aviation (Terminal Expansion Fee) Regulations which specify the fees applicable for the long haul and short haul journeys, for transit, as well as the categories of passengers who are exempted from the payment of the fee, in particular diplomats and children below two years. The Terminal Expansion Fee is specifically meant to support the financing of the new passenger terminal project at the SSR International Airport.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the second visit of Professor Pierre François Unger, "Conseiller d’Etat en Charge de l’Economie et de la Santé" of the Canton & Republic of Geneva from 29 December 2009 to 4 January 2010.
During his visit, Professor Unger had working sessions with officials of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and signed a new Memorandum of Understanding which provides for -
(a) technical assistance from Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève for the creation of an Allergology Clinic in one of our Regional Hospitals;
(b) technical assistance for the setting up of a specialized unit in the field of organ transplant; and
(c) reinforcement of the programme of cooperation in the field of paediatric cardiac surgery.
17 Cabinet has taken note of the salient Health Statistics in Mauritius and of measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to deal with areas of concern, such as non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS, viz, -
(a) sensitization campaigns, supported by mobile clinics, to address risk factors of lifestyle origin, e.g., obesity, sedentarity, smoking and nutrition;
(b) scaling up of the Methadone Substitution Therapy in addition to the several ongoing activities; and
(c) setting up of an Epidemiology Unit at the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to coordinate data collection, analyse the statistics and generate reports with a view to assisting in decision-making.