CABINET DECISIONS – 5 MARCH 2010
1. Taking into consideration the increase in the number of women and children needing specialized medical care, Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, had, during his mission to the UK in September 2009, discussed with Dr Ian Jacobs, Consultant Gynaecologist and Dean of the University College London and Dr Anthony Silverstone, Consultant Gynaecologist, for the setting up of a Specialized Children and Women Hospital. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of the project. The Specialized Hospital would comprise a modern high-tech gynaecology ward to provide for individualized and personalized care to patients with serious gynaecological pathology, like advanced endometriosis, carcinoma, and other related pathologies.
2. In line with Government’s vision to provide quality health care services to the elderly and to improve their quality of life, Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a National Geriatric Hospital to provide state-of-the-art treatment and care to meet the needs of senior citizens suffering from chronic conditions associated with non-communicable diseases (such as, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases), cancer, joint diseases, mental disorders, renal impairment and eye diseases. The hospital would also be a Centre of Excellence through the provisions of clinical training to undergraduate and post-graduate medical students and paramedical personnel.
3. Cabinet has taken note that the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Empowerment would make regulations under the Investment Promotion Act to review the criteria for the issue of an occupation permit to investors, professionals and self-employed persons and a residence permit to retired non-citizens to reflect current conditions whilst remaining in line with Government’s objective to attract quality investment and talents and, at the same time, to deter abuse of the system by persons with no genuine intention to participate in the economic development of Mauritius. The new criteria would, inter alia, provide that -
(a) besides an annual turnover exceeding Rs 4m, the investor should make an initial investment of US$100,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency;
(b) a professional should have a monthly salary exceeding Rs 75,000 to be able to register in Mauritius;
(c) a self-employed person should, besides an annual income of Rs 600,000, make an investment of US$35,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency; and
(d) a retired non-citizen should make an initial transfer of at least US$40,000 or its equivalent in freely convertible foreign currency when first settling in Mauritius.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of a Biological and Behavioural Surveillance Survey on Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) carried out in Mauritius from October to December 2009 by Dr Lisa Johnston, Epidemiologist from Holland and Consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The Survey has revealed that the number of IDUs in Mauritius in the population aged 15 years and above ranges from 5,700 to 10,400 in 2009 as compared to 17,000 to 18,000 in 2004. Dr Johnston has recommended, inter alia, –
(a) harm reduction programmes to be scaled up with a view to reducing needle sharing practices;
(b) treatment opportunities for IDUs to be extended through the scaling up of the Methadone Substitution Therapy Programme;
(c) behaviour change interventions and awareness campaigns aiming at promoting single partner relationship, as well as the use of condom to be undertaken; and
(d) the management and treatment for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Cabinet has further taken note that some of the recommendations contained in the Report, particularly those regarding scaling up of harm reduction programmes, awareness campaigns for the use of condom and voluntary counselling and testing in Mobile Clinics, are already being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the promulgation of the Consumer Protection (Control of Imports) (Amendment) Regulations which would provide for the inclusion, as controlled goods, of two-stroke outboard engines that meet the exhaust and noise emission requirements as stipulated in the EU Directives.
6. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of a wind farm project at Plaine des Roches in line with the Maurice Ile Durable concept.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the main health infrastructural projects,
(a) the upgrading of Dr A.G. Jeetoo Hospital and Flacq Hospital;
(b) the extension of the Accident and Emergency Department at SSRN Hospital;
(c) the rehabilitation of Long Mountain Area Health Centre;
(d) the construction of a Medi-Clinic at Plaine Verte;
(e) the renovation of Mahebourg Hospital; and
(f) the setting up of a Neurosurgical and Spinal Block at Victoria Hospital.
8. Cabinet has taken note of development in the review of existing regulations relating to the services sector with a view to strengthening the regulatory framework for developing Mauritius into a services-based economy.
9. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the National Day Celebrations and on the occasion of the National Youth Day, the Ministry of Youth and Sports would organise a Dance Competition and Concert on 11 March 2010 in the parking area of SSR Botanic Garden, Pamplemousses with a view to providing a platform to young people to express their talent and creativity, as well as fostering the spirit of patriotism. Prior to the concert, a ‘Défilé’ would converge to the parking area of SSR Botanic Garden from the market place, Pamplemousses.
10. Cabinet has taken note that financing agreements for an amount of about Euro 93m (Rs 4b) have been signed with the EU. These grant resources would be made available over the next two years subject to the successful implementation of the performance indicators mutually agreed upon by the EU, Government and the corporate Sugar Sector and would be used to finance the implementation of the Government Economic Reform Programme.
11. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the Mauritius-Africa Initiative, the United Nations Development Programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Human Resources, would organize an International Workshop on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from 22 to 25 March 2010. The objectives of the Workshop are, inter alia, to -
(a) review the status of provision of ECCE in the region;
(b) identify capacity development needs for ECCE - from policy planning and programming to implementation and monitoring;
(c) sensitize and consolidate Public-Private Partnership and the South-South/North-South collaboration; and
(d) share international experiences, as well as information, on new trends in competency-based curriculum development, assessment, research and teachers’ training.
Fifty delegates from African countries and international organizations would attend the Workshop.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the organisation of a National Cyber Law Seminar on 22 March 2010 by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, with Justice Rajesh Tandon, Presiding Officer, Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of India, as key speaker. The objective of the Workshop is to sensitize stakeholders on the promotion of a national culture of cybersecurity.
Cabinet has further taken note that Justice Tandon would, on 25 March 2010, deliver a lecture on cybercrime related alertness to Form VI students.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the recommendations of French experts from the “Direction Départementale de la Protection Judiciaire de la Jeunesse de la Réunion”, on the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders with a view to empowering them to earn a living after their release.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the Science Project Competition 2009, organized by the Ministry of Industry, Science and Research, in collaboration with the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, with a view to creating awareness on the importance of science and technology in industry. The competition was open to all Lower VI students. The winners were:
1st prize - Royal College of Curepipe
2nd prize - Bell Village SSS
3rd Prize - Queen Elizabeth College
Cabinet has further taken note that the Science Project Competition 2010 edition has been launched under the theme "Promoting a Green and Sustainable Industry."
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure and External Communications from 18 to 21 February 2010 to Italy where he participated in the BORSA Internazionale Del Turismo with a view to giving added dynamism and effectiveness to the promotional campaigns in Italy, a strategically important market for the attainment of the tourism growth objectives.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Leisure and External Communications had working sessions with, inter alia, Italian-based tour operators/ travel agents selling Mauritian holiday packages and senior officials of Eurofly and Air Mauritius based in Italy and had meetings with representatives of specialized magazines.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Environment and National Development Unit from 24 to 26 February 2010 to Indonesia where he participated in the Eleventh Special Session of UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum which discussed, amongst others, international environmental governance and sustainable development, the green economy and bio-diversity, ecosystem services, environmental law, and financing options for chemical and wastes.
In the margins of the Forum, the Minister of Environment and National Development Unit met the Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Local Government, Rodrigues and Outer Islands from 22 to 26 February 2010 to Botswana where he participated in the 26th Board Meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum which discussed –
(a) the promotion of best practices and a democratic culture in improving local government;
(b) the promotion of gender equality and equity in local government and the empowerment of women; and
(c) climate change and its impact on local government.
Cabinet has further taken note that, at the opening of the Board Meeting, members paid homage to late Dr James Burty David, by observing one minute of silence.
18. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -
(a) the National Institute for Cooperative Entrepreneurship Council with Mr Sunil Dev Gopaul, MSK, as Chairperson; and
(b) the Outer Islands Development Board with Mr Jean François Battour as Chairperson.