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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 26 March

Cabinet Decisions taken on 26 March

1. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the Long Term Energy Strategy and as enunciated in Budget Speech 2010, the CEB has put in place a framework to encourage small power producers to produce electricity from renewable energy sources for their own consumption and to sell any excess to the CEB. A Grid Code for connecting electricity produced by the small independent power producers to the grid of the CEB has been developed and feed-in tariffs for electricity sold introduced.

2. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to better assisting households with low income, the criteria for eligibility for assistance for the extension of electricity network up to a residence and the displacement of poles/insulation of bare wires, have been reviewed and the income ceiling has been increased from Rs 15,000 to Rs 17,500.

3. Cabinet has taken note of a request made by the Prime Minister to the MBC to launch additional digital television channels dedicated to 24-hour broadcasting in languages that are widely spoken and taught in Mauritius, viz., Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi and Mandarin. The additional channels would not only help meet viewers’ expectations but also contribute to further consolidate our diverse cultural heritage in the spirit of Unity in Diversity.

4. Cabinet has taken note that the Unveiling Ceremony of the bust of late Renganaden Seeneevassen would be held on 11 April 2010 at the Recreational Area of the Renganaden Seeneevassen Building, Port Louis.

5. Cabinet has agreed to a bust of late Sir Harilal Vaghjee being put up in the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Hall, New Government Centre, Port Louis, in recognition to his distinguished contribution in parliamentary affairs as the first Mauritian Speaker of the then Legislative Assembly.

6. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a Price Observatory and a “Caddy-type” Commission to ensure transparency in the evolution of prices of commodities, protect consumers and stimulate competition. The Price Observatory, in particular its “Caddy-type” Commission, would provide consumers with information on the shopping outlets practising the lowest or the highest price policy, establish difference in the cost of a caddy region-wise and highlight the elements that make the difference in prices.

7. Cabinet has taken note of the various activities that would be organized, from 16 July to 29 August 2010, by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources, in collaboration with the French Government, to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Naval Battle of Grand Port, viz,
(a) exhibition on the Battle of Grand Port at Pte Canon, Mahebourg;
(b) setting up of an “Espace Surcouf” at the Mahebourg Museum;
(c) production and broadcast of a documentary on the Battle by the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation;
(d) setting up of a historic village depicting life at that time at Vieux Grand Port;
(e) cultural programme with light and sound;
(f) twinning of the primary schools of Willoughby and Dupéré with a school in St Malo, France; and
(g) organization of a “Chasse aux Trésors”

8. Cabinet has taken note of the visit of Professor Atul Bhaskar, Paediatric Orthopaedic/Spinal Surgeon from India from 15 to 21 March 2010 when he operated on 20 complex scoliosis patients.
Cabinet has further taken note of the forthcoming visits of the following foreign medical teams –
(a) Dr Carol Ann Benn, Breast Surgeon from Johannesburg, South Africa, from 24 April to 1 May 2010 as main resource person for a Workshop on the Treatment of Breast Cancer;
(b) Dr Hans Bürkle, Medical Specialist in conservative orthopaedic treatment of spine injuries from Germany from 3 to 17 April 2010 to conduct workshops and treat patients with disc prolapse and continuous sciatic pain;
(c) Dr Sulleman Moreea, Consultant Gastroenterologist/Hepatologist and Deputy Director of Medicine, Bradford Hospitals Trust, from 30 March to 4 April 2010 to conduct an operating session at the Endoscopy Unit, SSRN Hospital;
(d) Dr Lindsay Cabon, a Mauritian Medical Practitioner working in France, in April 2010 for a training programme in acupuncture for doctors in the public sector; and
(e) Professor Cyrus Tabatabay, Ophthalmic Surgeon from the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, from 09 to 15 May 2010 to operate on complex vitreo retinal cases.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of the "Salon des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises" from 1 to 4 April 2010 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, Pailles, with a view to promoting the marketing and showcasing of products manufactured by Small and Medium Enterprises. About 150 Small and Medium Enterprises, including those from Rodrigues, would be present at the Salon.

10. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of the Landfill Gas to Energy project at Mare Chicose in line with the Maurice Ile Durable initiative. The project comprises the use of the landfill gas, i.e., methane and carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, to generate electricity at a relatively lower cost.

11. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius applying for membership of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The purpose of the Conference is to harmonize the rules of private international law with a view to enabling individuals and juridical persons around the world to enjoy a high degree of legal security despite differences between legal systems. Although Mauritius is not a member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, it is party to a number of Conventions adopted by the Conference.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the performance of the Export Oriented Enterprises Sector for the period January and February 2010. Total exports, as compared to January and February 2009, have increased by 13.5% to reach Rs 5.26 billion. Some of the sectors that have registered growth are: Textile and Clothing (+5.1%), Clothing (Pullovers, Cardigans, T-shirts and Trousers) (+5.1%), Textile Yarns and Fabrics (+4.3%), Fish and Fish Preparations (+14.4%), Pearls and Precious Stones (+19.6%), Jewellery and Toys (+275.9%) and Games and Sporting Goods (+155.6%). The United Kingdom, France and the USA, which are our main export markets, registered an increase of 11.3%, 30.6% and 35.8% respectively.

13. Cabinet has taken note of additional measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to ensure that food put on sale is fit for human consumption and to control the importation and sale of foodstuff. Health inspectors are regularly inspecting food processing units and food outlets and have seized foodstuff unfit for human consumption.

14. Cabinet has taken note that, following the promulgation of the Public Health (Prohibition on Advertisement, Sponsorship and Restriction on Sale and Consumption in Public Places, of Alcoholic Drinks) Regulations in 2008 and the aggressive campaigns by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, the consumption of alcoholic products, which was on the rise, has decreased as hereunder –
Product 2007 2008 2009
Beer (Litres) 33,900,575 36,133,982 36,098,478
Fruit Wine (Litres) 5,545,479 6,083,673 5,283,713
Spirits (Litres) 15,696,056 17,758,092 13,408,464

15. Cabinet has taken note of development in the preparation of the participation of Mauritius in World Expo 2010 to be held in Shanghai, China from May to October 2010. The Mauritian Stand, a “maison créole”, would include goods manufactured locally and a Mauritian cuisine. Mauritius would also be represented at the Expo by a cultural troupe.

16. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of the Land Administration, Valuation and Information Management System Project which aims at optimizing land resources, managing and maintaining the Cadastral System and promoting, developing and contributing to the development of an integrated spatial reference database on land tenure, land transactions and ownerships.

17. Cabinet has agreed to the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Paraguay following a request from its Government.

18. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Information and Communication Technology from 15 to 18 March 2010 to India where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Informatics Centre Services Inc., with a view to enhancing collaboration on e-Government projects between the two countries.
In the margins of his mission, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology met the following personalities:
(a) the Hon Sachin Pilot, Minister of State of Communications and Information Technology;
(b) Mr K. Rahman Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha; and
(c) Mr R. P. Saxena, Deputy Director General, National Informatics Centre.