CABINET DECISIONS –28 MAY 2010
1. Cabinet has taken note of the recommendations of the Joint Committee set up to examine the legal and other implications of the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Noël/Ramkissoon Committee on Ex-Planters of Riche Terre Land Settlement and, in a spirit of fairness to all ex-planters, agreed to -
(a) compensate 13 of the 22 ex-planters, who had occupied their land, through a cash compensation of Rs 120,000 per arpent with interest accrued, coupled with relocation as recommended therein; and
(b) grant a compensation of Rs 120,000 per arpent with interest accrued to the remaining 9 ex-planters who had abandoned their land and are therefore not eligible for compensation in respect of crop loss.
2. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the implementation of the Road Decongestion Programme, including the Port Louis Ring Road (Phase II), the Harbour Bridge and the A1-M1 Bridge between Belle Etoile and Sorèze projects. The estimated cost of the projects is Rs 18,316 billion.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the National Parental Empowerment Programme launched by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. The Programme aims at -
(a) equipping parents with the necessary skills and knowledge to enable them to cope with family problems;
(b) enhancing the relationship between parents and children;
(c) producing materials for information and education campaigns on parenting;
(d) ensuring parents’ and community awareness of child abuse; and
(e) motivating parents to foster an environment of open communication and mutual accountability for the best interest of children.
4. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements made by the Attorney General to review the Code Civil Mauricien, the Code de Procédure Civile, and the Code de Commerce to reflect the socio-economic changes and development in the legal field. With a view to making the legislation accessible to a wider range of users and enhancing business facilitation, the Codes would be translated into English.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Judges' Rules and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence would be updated and consolidated to take into account the Mauritian realities and to ensure that the rights of the accused and the victims are taken on board.
5. Cabinet has taken note that, following negotiations, the Mauritius Sugar Producers’ Association (MSPA) and the Plantation Workers Union, on behalf of the agricultural workers of the Sugar Industry, members of the MSPA, have signed a Collective Agreement on the new terms and conditions relating, amongst others, to monthly wage, funeral grant, meal allowance and paternity leave. The Agreement also provides that the terms and conditions of employment, already agreed between the parties as per the Protocol d’Accord signed on 1 June 1994 and the different Permanent Arbitration Awards, would continue to be binding.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Housing and Lands and the UN-HABITAT would sign a Memorandum of Understanding providing for a framework of cooperation under the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme - Urban Sector Profiling, a concept providing for an important tool to make an accelerated and action-oriented assessment of the needs and gaps at national and city levels. The UN-HABITAT, the focal point for the monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the UN Habitat Agenda, proposes to undertake an urban sector profiling in 30 ACP countries, including Mauritius, to assess urban management issues. The programme is the first phase of a larger Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme in ACP countries.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Lions Clubs of Mauritius and the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life would sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of an additional Operation Theatre at the Subramania Bharati Eye Hospital, Moka. The Lions Clubs of Mauritius would finance the project to the tune of US$ 194,000.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the training programme that the National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons proposes to launch in cooperative and entrepreneurship for the benefit of some 50 artisans with disabilities who are self-employed and earn a living by making baskets, bags, woodwork, jewellery and other handicraft products. The programme aims at sensitizing them on economies of scale, marketing facilities, product development, as well as the schemes run by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority to assist small entrepreneurs.
9. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, in collaboration with the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), would host a Regional Conference on “Impacts and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Western Indian Ocean Region: Solutions to the Crisis” in October 2010. The WIOMSA, a regional association based in Tanzania and grouping more than 1000 qualified marine scientists from the Eastern African States and the Indian Ocean Islands, promotes the educational, scientific and technological development of marine sciences with a view to sustaining the use and conservation of marine resources. The main objective of the Regional Conference is to provide a platform for sharing knowledge on impacts of climate change, particularly experience gained in the implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Telecom Ltd would host “The 2010 International Cable Protection Committee Meeting” from 31 May to 4 June 2010. The main objectives of the Committee are to promote the safeguarding of submarine cables against man-made and natural hazards and to provide a forum for the exchange of technical and legal information pertaining to submarine cable protection methods and programmes.
11. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius standing as candidate for election for a seat on the International Telecommunication Union Council (ITU) for the period 2010-2014. The role of the Council, in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences, is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the Union's activities, policies and strategies fully respond to today's rapidly changing telecommunications environment. The Council also takes all relevant steps to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the ITU Constitution, the ITU Convention, the Administrative Regulations, as well as the decisions of the Plenipotentiary Conferences and, where appropriate, the decisions of other conferences and meetings of the Union. By becoming a Member, Mauritius can play a significant role in influencing policy and regulatory level decisions in the Information and Communication Technologies arena.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to the Seychelles where he participated in the Regional Ministerial Conference on a Regional Approach to fight Piracy off the Coast of Somalia held on 21 May 2010. The main objective of the Conference was to open up discussions with Member States of the region with a view to developing a comprehensive regional anti-piracy programme with the support of the EU and other regional and international organizations.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Annual Seminar and Constitutive General Assembly of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) held in Mauritius from 17 to 20 May 2010. The objectives of CABRI, a network of Senior Budget Officials from Ministries of Finance around Africa, including Mauritius, are to promote efficient and effective management of public finances, foster economic growth and enhance service delivery with a view to improving the standard of living of people in Africa. Mauritius has been elected as Chair of the Management Committee of CABRI for the next two years.
14. Cabinet has taken note that, on the recommendations of the Probation and After Care Service, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions proposes to amend the Community Service Order Regulations to add eight new organisations to the list of institutions which are willing to obtain the services of community service workers. The Community Service Order Act, promulgated in 2002, provides for a Court to suspend a sentence of imprisonment and make an order requiring a convicted person to perform unpaid work in the open for a specific period of time.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the lagoonal monitoring carried out in the Port Louis region, i.e., from Baie du Tombeau to Pointe aux Sables, during the period January to December 2009. Though improvements have been noted in the quality of the water in the lagoon, the Monitoring Committee has maintained all measures taken so far, including –
(a) No swimming should be undertaken from 700 metres north of the Public Beach of La Pointe at Pointe aux Sables to 100 metres north of Nassau Bay until further notice.
(b) No effluents should be discharged in the storm water drains. The Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life and the Municipality of Port Louis would enforce and ensure same.
16. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organised by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development to mark the World Environment Day 2010 celebrated on 5 June, viz. –
(a) a guided visit to the rich biodiversity of Black River Gorges National Park;
(b) organisation of a symposium on environmental issues at the Municipality of Quatre Bornes;
(c) cleaning up of a spring at Trou d’Eau Douce by the Reef Conservation;
(d) launching of the waste segregation project at Sir Harilal Vaghjee Government School, Triolet;
(e) launching of the school endemic garden project;
(f) cleaning and planting of trees at the Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary by the Ministry of Youth and Sports; and
(g) poster competition on climate change by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The theme decreed by the United Nations for this year’s event is – “Many Species. One Planet. One Future”.