CABINET DECISIONS –21 MAY 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note of the findings and recommendations of the Report of the Fact Finding Committee set up under the chairmanship of Sir Victor Glover, Kt, GOSK, to inquire into the allegations of abuse of power and privileges made against Mr Rundheersing Bheenick, former Governor of the Bank of Mauritius. Sir Victor Glover, Kt, GOSK, has concluded that the allegations, which were often repeated in the press, stemmed from incorrect or incomplete leaked information. The Bank's records have shown that there was no abuse of privileges in connection with hospitality, remunerations and allowances by the former Governor. The allegations made by the five non-executive Directors of the Board regarding non-compliance by
Mr Bheenick with the Board directives were also unfounded. The Committee has, inter alia, recommended that the Bank of Mauritius Act should be amended to, amongst others, avoid any future conflict between the functions of the Governor and those of the Board.
In the light of the Report of Sir Victor Glover, Kt, GOSK, Cabinet has taken note that Mr Rundheersing Bheenick has been re-appointed Governor of the Bank of Mauritius as from today. Cabinet has further taken note that Mr Mohamed Iqbal Belath, Country Manager for Habib Bank (Mtius) and Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, London, has been appointed Second Deputy Governor of the Bank.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the Report of the Committee on the Ex-Planters of Riche Terre Land Settlement comprising Mr Alain Noël, GOSK, CBE and Mr Jairaj Ramkissoon, Chairperson and Director General of the Food and Agricultural Research Council respectively and invited the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security to examine the Report and make appropriate recommendations.
3. In line with the objective of Government to maintain a clean Mauritius, Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development would launch the ‘Segregation of Waste in Schools’ project and the School Endemic Garden Initiative in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
The objectives of the “Segregation of Waste in Schools” project are to -
(a) sensitize school children to adopt the habit of sorting of waste and to make them environmentally responsible citizens;
(b) influence parents, through their children, to sort their household waste and resort to composting; and
(c) reduce the volume of waste being sent to the landfill or burnt in incinerators, as well as reduce greenhouse gases emissions such as methane and carbon dioxide.
The School Endemic Garden Initiative would foster an active and dynamic interface between students and their environment while developing horticultural and preservation skills. This project would be implemented in about 200 schools over a period of five years. Forty schools (20 primary and 20 secondary) around the country would be targeted during 2010.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development would distribute its Newsletter on the National Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The objectives of the Newsletter are to disseminate information and raise awareness among all stakeholders on sustainable consumption and production and to motivate them to fully engage themselves in the implementation of the National Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production for Mauritius. The Newsletter is available
on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development: http://environment.gov.mu.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life carrying out a national survey on households’ out-of-pocket expenditures on health to generate primary data for the development of the National Health Accounts 2010. National Health Accounts are sets of standardised matrices that describe total expenditure flows within the health sector, both public and private, including households’ out-of-pocket expenditures, non-governmental organizations, employers’ contributions and donor expenditures. National Health Accounts provide evidence-based information to policy makers and other partners for stimulating policy decisions and investment in the health sector.
Cabinet has taken note that, in this connection, the East, Central, Southern, African Health Community, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, would organize a Regional Training Workshop on National Health Accounts in Mauritius from 24 to 29 May 2010.
6. Cabinet has taken note of the activities organized by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to commemorate the International Day of Families observed on 15 May, viz., –
(a) organisation of a Family Day at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden, Pamplemousses on 29 May;
(b) launching of a pamphlet on “Strengthening Family Ties” and of projects on “Strengthening Values for Family Life” and “Men as Partners”; and
(c) organisation of a Capacity Building Programme on Family Therapy and Counselling.
This year the UN has retained the theme “The Impact of Migration on Families around the World”. At national level, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare has chosen the theme “La Famille – Agent de Développement pour une Societé Dynamique”.
In view of the widening gap between young adolescents and parents, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, proposes to introduce an “École des Parents” to equip parents with the necessary skills to enhance parent-child interactions.
7. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin, 85,748 tourists visited Mauritius in the month of March 2010, as compared to 76,425 for the corresponding period of 2009, i.e., an increase of 12.2%.
Our main tourist markets have registered growth as follows –
France (+3.8%), United Kingdom (+3.8%), Italy (+6.9%), Germany (+39.8%), Austria (+50.7%), Switzerland (+48.3%), Belgium (+6.3%), Republic of South Africa (+67.4%) and Reunion Island (+3.8%).
Cabinet has further taken note that for the first quarter of 2010, a total of 249,971 tourists visited Mauritius, as compared to 232,908 for the corresponding period of last year, i.e., an increase of 7.3%.
8. Cabinet has taken note of activities organized by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with other health stakeholders, in the context of “World No Tobacco Day 2010” observed on 31 May, i.e., the organisation of a march, live panel discussions and workshops to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco products, sensitization campaigns in Women Centres, Social Welfare Centres and Community Centres and reading of messages on the ill-effects of tobacco in the morning assembly of educational institutions. The theme chosen this year is “Gender and Tobacco with an Emphasis on Marketing to Women”.
9. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to reinforce the health sector response to avoid a resurgence of Influenza A(H1N1) during the forthcoming winter season, viz.,-
(a) 50,000 doses of non-adjuvanted Influenza A(H1N1) vaccine have been procured, in addition to the 125,000 doses donated by the World Health Organisation.
(b) Vaccination of priority target groups, i.e., the health care workers, pregnant women, has already started and would be extended to patients with chronic diseases.
(c) Awareness and sensitization campaigns around hygiene practices have been intensified.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the World Anti-Doping Agency would hold its Regional
Anti-Doping Office (RADO) Board Meeting for the Indian Ocean in Mauritius on 29 and 30 May 2010. The Meeting would be followed by a sensitization workshop on anti-doping issues for national coaches. The RADO brings together countries of similar geographical background and interests to develop common anti-doping programmes and share knowledge.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the Board of the State Trading Company Mauritius Ltd, a subsidiary of the State Trading Corporation, has decided to wind up the Company.
Cabinet has also taken note that a Special Technical Unit would be set up at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to monitor the running and functioning of the State Trading Corporation and to look into fluctuation of prices of controlled goods.