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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 29 January

Cabinet Decisions taken on 29 January

1. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius has been classified 6th out of 163 countries (first in Africa) in the 2010 Environment Performance Index prepared by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy of Yale University and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network of Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Mauritius has scored a total of 80.6 out of 100 and is placed sixth after Iceland, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Sweden and Norway.
The Environment Performance Index evaluates the performance of countries on 25 indicators tracked across 10 policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. The overall Environment Performance Index rankings provide an indicative sense of which countries are doing best against the array of environmental pressures that every nation faces.

2. Cabinet has taken note of the Cambridge School Certificate Results 2009. Out of a total of 17,498 students who took part in the examination, 13,586 were successful resulting in a percentage pass rate of 77.64% as compared to 76.73% in 2007 and 76.53% in 2008. Ten Secondary schools, i.e., 6 private and 4 state schools, have registered a 100% pass rate.

3. Cabinet has taken note that, following the meeting that the Prime Minister had with Professor Derek Yellon, Director of the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute, and Sir John Tooke, Vice-Provost of the University College London, during his visit to the UK in September 2009, the Hatter Cardiovascular Institute would hold its next Annual Meeting in Mauritius from 16 to 19 August 2010. On the same occasion, a Conference on Cardiovascular and Related Diseases would be held on 23 and 24 August 2010 with the collaboration of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and the participation of renowned professors in Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Diabetes. The Conference would address a number of issues pertaining to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and related diseases, particularly diabetes, and provide a platform to the medical and paramedical personnel, from both the private and the public sectors, as well as the representatives of Tertiary Education Institutes, to interact with the eminent Professors.

4. With a view to preventing the spread of HIV infection among drug users, Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life is further scaling up the Methadone Substitution Therapy Programme and the Needle Exchange Programme. New Day Care Centres would also be operational in Flacq and Ste Croix. Cabinet has further taken note that a full-fledged Harm Reduction Unit would be set up at the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to monitor and harmonize the implementation of the two programmes.

5. Cabinet has taken note that, in view of the escalating rate of diabetes coupled with obesity, dyslipidaemia and hypertension, a Diabetes and Vascular Health Centre would be operational as from February 2010 on the compound of the New Souillac Hospital in line with the recommendations of the National Service Framework for Diabetes and supported by the International Advisory Committee on Diabetes. The Centre would, in the first instance, operate as a Training Centre for medical and paramedical staff, as well as other officers/professionals involved in diabetes prevention and care, and, thereafter, be developed into a Referral Centre which would, inter alia, cater for patients’ education on diabetes control, diet, foot care, physical exercise and healthy lifestyle and be used as special Clinic for feet, eyes, kidneys and cardiovascular disease.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the “Festival Mauricien”, organised as a build-up campaign preceding the official programme for the National Day, would be launched on 5 March 2010 at the Municipality of Quatre Bornes and the Municipality of Vacoas/Phoenix. The launching ceremony will precede the 24/7 programmes to be organised by the Human Resource Development Council in Quatre Bornes and Vacoas on 6 and 7 March 2010.

7. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities of the Mobile Clinic of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life for the year 2010 targeting about 100,000 adults in 25 localities and 25,000 students. The services offered by the Mobile Clinic are screening for diabetes, hypertension, breast and cervical cancer, HIV and AIDS, obesity, vision and dental caries, as well as counselling on nutrition, dental health and the practice of physical activities.

8. Cabinet has taken note that, as from January 2010, physiotherapy and occupational therapy services are being provided to the severely disabled persons residing at Foyer Trochetia and 18 Charitable Institutions with a view to promoting and maintaining their mobility and helping them perform daily activities, such as feeding and bathing. The services would also be extended to children, with severe disabilities, attending Day Care Centres.

9. Cabinet has taken note that, as announced in the Budget 2010, the ‘Work from Home’ Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Scheme would be launched, on a pilot basis, as from February 2010 by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in collaboration with the Board of Investment and the National Empowerment Foundation. The Scheme would focus on creating opportunities for full time or part time employment, particularly for women who want to work from home while attending to other responsibilities, persons with physical disabilities, unemployed graduates and school leavers. The Scheme is expected to create about 500 jobs, through 100 licensed users working from home on a 24/7 basis, with each user employing a minimum of four to five additional persons.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority Act 2009 has been proclaimed to take effect from 29 January 2010. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority Act aims at, inter alia, -
(a) promoting a conducive business environment and empowering SMEs to emerge and grow;
(b) promoting a service delivery network which increases the contribution of SMEs in the national economy and enhances economic growth;
(c) enhancing competitiveness of SMEs;
(d) devising and implementing development support programmes and schemes for SMEs;
(e) facilitating, assisting and providing the necessary support to SMEs to gain market access and business opportunities and to compete successfully in the national and international markets; and
(f) promoting and developing entrepreneurship.

11. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Health and Quality of Life would amend –
(a) the Medical Council (Medical Institutions) Regulations to include the Central South University and the Chongqing Medical University, China on the list of medical institutions recognized by the Medical Council of Mauritius; and
(b) the Dental Council (Medical Institutions) Regulations to include the University of Mauritius (SSR Medical College) on the list of medical institutions recognized by the Dental Council of Mauritius.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the promulgation of the Environment Protection (Designated National Authority) Regulations 2010 which establish procedures to promote the development and implementation of projects under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, which enable industrialized countries to meet their greenhouse gases emissions reduction targets by funding projects in developing countries with a view to achieving sustainable development.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Empowerment from 17 to 23 January 2010 to India where he participated in an Investment Promotion Mission organized by the Board of Investment and in the Global Economic Summit organized by the All India Association of Industries and the World Trade Centre in Mumbai.
The objectives of the Investment Mission were, inter alia, to -
(a) reinforce the image of Mauritius as a reputable and attractive financial services centre;
(b) promote investment opportunities in Mauritius, namely in ICT/BPO, pharmaceutical and healthcare, as well as real estate and property development; and
(c) sensitize Indian investors on the possibility of using Mauritius as a gateway for penetrating the Eastern and Southern African markets.
During his mission, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Empowerment had meetings with, inter alia, the Hon P. Mukherjee, Minister of Finance and Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.

14. Cabinet has taken note that the Cruise Jetty at Port Louis Harbour would be fully operational as from 30 January 2010. Facilities have been designed to accommodate cruise vessels of up to 300 metres. The Jetty would be named after late Mr P. Christian Decotter in recognition of his contribution to the tourism industry.

15. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
(a) the Board of the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development; and
(b) the Board of Trustees of the Trade Union Trust Fund.