Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 6 August

Cabinet Decisions taken on 6 August

1. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, from 24 to 27 July 2010 to Kampala, Uganda where he participated in the 13th Summit of the African Peer Review Forum and the 15th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union. He led the Mauritius delegation, which comprised, amongst others, Dr the Hon Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.
The Summit of the African Peer Review Forum, inter alia, focused on peer reviewing Mauritius. The main objective of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating States conform to the values, codes and standards of political, economic and corporate governance and socio-economic development contained in the African Union Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance for political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional, and continental integration. The Country Review Report on Mauritius presented by the APRM Panel to the Forum underscores that Mauritius has successfully built up very strong democratic credentials in the African continent and globally.
In his address to the Summit of the APR Forum, the Prime Minister pointed out that the APRM exercise has assessed the success story of our country and helped identify the strengths and weaknesses in our systems and institutions. He pointed out that our Constitution does not allow for any discrimination, nevertheless an Equal Opportunities Act has been adopted, a Truth and Justice Commission set up to heal the scars of the sequels of slavery and a new Ministry of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment created to help those at the bottom of the ladder, eradicate poverty and combat exclusion.
The theme of the 15th AU Summit was “Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa” and the key issues on the agenda of the Assembly included, among others, Peace and Security in Africa, celebration of the African Year of Peace and Security, Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, UN Security Council Reform, Climate Change, the International Criminal Court and the warrant of arrest on President Bashir of Sudan, the situation in the Middle East and the transformation of the African Union Commission into the African Union Authority.
In his address to the 15th AU Summit, the Prime Minister, inter alia,:-
(a) underlined the fact that the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) cannot be achieved unless there is economic growth and education;
(b) stressed on the fact that no woman should die to give birth and that there was need in Africa for a systemic change from disease specific policies to family-oriented measures;
(c) spoke of measures taken by Government to improve its health services, which have led to Mauritius having the highest life expectancy and the lowest infant and maternal mortality rate on the African Continent; and
(d) mentioned the setting up of an Institute for Women’s Health to cater for specific health and medical needs of women with state-of-the-art technology in Mauritius.
The AU Summit adopted actions, in particular aiming at attaining the MDGs 4, 5 and 6, including the launching of the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa, with the theme “Africa is not indifferent: No woman should die while giving life”, mobilization of adequate resources for integrated health programmes up to 15% of the national budget, the sharing of best practices within regions, regular evaluation and reporting of progress achieved by Member States.
The Prime Minister expressed concern about the unilateral decision of the British Government for the creation of a Marine Park around the Chagos Archipelago. Following the issue of sovereignty of Mauritius on the Chagos Archipelago raised by the Prime Minister, the Assembly approved the following Resolution:-
“The Assembly,
RE-AFFIRMS that the Chagos Archipelago, including Diego Garcia, which was unlawfully excised by the former colonial power from the territory of Mauritius in violation of UN Resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 and 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965 which prohibit colonial powers from dismembering colonial territories prior to granting independence, forms an integral part of the territory of the Republic of Mauritius and CALLS UPON the United Kingdom to expeditiously put an end to its continued unlawful occupation of the Chagos Archipelago with a view to enabling Mauritius to effectively exercise its sovereignty over the Archipelago.”

2. Cabinet has taken note that flood in the southern part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has submerged villages, caused loss of lives and rendered more than 500,000 people homeless. Government presents its condolences to the Government and the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and to all the victims and their families. In a spirit of solidarity, Government has agreed to contribute an amount of USD300,000 to the reconstruction process.

3. Cabinet has taken note that, under the Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, the Mauritius Telecom Foundation would assist the National Computer Board in two projects aiming at further promoting Information and Communication Technology in Mauritius, namely the purchase and operation of a Cyber-caravan equipped with some 15 computers and internet connectivity and the setting up of 150 computer clubs in Social Welfare Centres, Community Centres and Day Care Centres around the country. The projects, which would be implemented under the Community Empowerment Programme, would benefit, particularly, the unemployed, students and senior citizens, and are in line with Government’s objective to build an Information Society and encourage the development of local content and creativity. With the implementation of the two projects, internet penetration, which is currently at 30%, would increase to about 60% over a period of one year.

4. Cabinet has taken note that, on the intervention of the Minister of Housing and Lands, the Saudi Authorities have agreed to grant 500 visas, in addition to the 1,300 visas granted normally to Mauritians proceeding on Hadj pilgrimage.

5. Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee set up to investigate into the means of disposal of coal fly ash as a result of the increasing use of coal for power generation. The recommendations relate to the technology used in coal and coal/bagasse power plants, the potential uses of coal ash, the supporting institutional and legislative framework required and the environmental and health hazards.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Post-Environment Impact Assessment monitoring of Independent Power Producers, carried out in July 2010, has revealed that -
(a) fly ash was stored in silos or decantation ponds. It was then mixed with scum and used as fertilizer in sugarcane fields;
(b) wetted bottom ash was stored in uncovered semi-enclosed structures; and
(c) bottom ash was being spread on untarred field roads to improve its surface and used as filler materials during land preparation in sugar cane fields.
In view of the potential risk of pollution and other environmental nuisances that may be caused by the disposal of fly and bottom ash, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development has requested the Independent Power Producers to carry out characterization of coal ash, leachability tests and submit a report thereon and observe a 200-metre setback distance between coal ash application sites and water bodies, including boreholes, in view of the potential risk of pollution and other environmental nuisances that may be caused by the disposal of fly ash and bottom ash.

6. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius making a contribution of USD 5,000 to support the International Fund for Agricultural Development in providing permanent debt forgiveness to Haiti in the wake of the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010.

7. Cabinet has taken note that, as announced in Government Programme 2010-2015 for the training of 500 carers and 2,500 informal carers, the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, in collaboration with the Mauritius Institute of Health, would launch a Training Programme for Carers to cater for the growing demand for carers in charitable institutions, homes, as well as in the community. The Programme, which is of six months’ duration and accredited by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority, comprises components relating to social and home-based care for the elderly and the disabled, as well as health issues. The Programme would lead to a National Certificate for Care of the Elderly and the Disabled.

8. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius Telecom Ltd., in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union and the Southern Africa Telecommunications Association, would organise the Telecommunications Senior Management Training Programme from 16 to 20 August 2010 for the benefit of Senior Executives and Senior Managers of Ministries, Regulatory Bodies, Telecom Operators and the telecommunication industry. The following issues would be canvassed during the Training Programme -
(a) Value-based Management and Elements of Financial Analysis;
(b) Telecommunications in the New Environment;
(c) Interconnection; and
(d) International Telecommunications.

9. Cabinet has reviewed the evolution of Influenza A(H1N1) and noted that a decrease in the number of Upper Respiratory Track Infection cases attending Regional Hospitals and Area Health Centres has been recorded during the past week. However, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life continues with its vaccination programme and has made arrangement for vaccination against the Influenza being carried out in its Mobile Van in places such as the University of Mauritius and certain workplaces upon request. Vaccination for children aged 6 months to 8 years would be effected until 20 August 2010 and the second and last dose would be effected after 4 weeks. The vaccination programme would come to an end in September 2010.

10. Cabinet has agreed to the Twelfth Council of Ministers Meeting of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group being held in Mauritius in 2011. The objectives of the Group are, inter alia, to -
(a) adopt and implement the 40 Recommendations plus Special Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force;
(b) apply anti-money laundering measures to all serious crimes; and
(c) implement measures to combat the financing of terrorism.

11. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Housing and Lands to monitor squatting around the country.

12. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development would hold the Annual Business Plan Meeting on 22 and 23 September 2010, to allow Development Partners to interact with Supervising Officers of Ministries with a view to securing assistance for programme design and feasibility studies for projects that are a priority to Government and which would have to be included in the Programme Based Budgeting.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of the MBC with Mr Claude Narain, OSK, as Chairperson.

14. Cabinet has taken note that the Board of the National Housing Development Company Ltd has appointed Mr Osman Mahomed as Managing Director of the Company in replacement of Mr M. Shameem Peerally.