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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Office>Cabinet Decisions 04 March 2011

Cabinet Decisions 04 March 2011

1. Cabinet has taken note that, on an invitation of Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, HE Mr Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Republic of Maldives, has accepted to be the Chief Guest for this year’s National Day Celebrations. He would be on a State Visit from 11 to 13 March 2011. He would be received at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport by Ministers and Members of the Diplomatic Corps. During his visit, President Nasheed would, amongst others, have a working session with the Prime Minister on a number of issues of common interest.

2. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life would shortly recruit about 100 newly qualified medical officers under the Pre-registration Training Scheme.

3. Cabinet has taken note of the implementation of the HIV and AIDS Operational Plan for the year 2011 in the context of the National Multisectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework 2007-2011 which defines the main strategies to prevent new HIV infection and provide care and support to people living with HIV and AIDS. The major activities contained in the Operational Plan 2011 include, inter alia, –
(a) review of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Surveillance Systems;
(b) conduct of epidemiological studies;
(c) setting up of National Day Care Centres for the treatment and care of HIV patients at Regional Hospitals, namely SSRN Hospital, Flacq Hospital and J. Nehru Hospital;
(d) developing and implementing Information, Education and Communication programmes for dedicated groups; and
(e) setting up of an Induction Centre for Methadone Substitution Therapy in Prisons and four Drop-in-Centres for methadone clients.

4. Cabinet has taken note of the launching of the National Platform of “Women in Politics” on 8 March 2011 on the occasion of the celebration of the International Women’s Day. The main objectives of the Platform are to -
(a) increase the representation of women in politics;
(b) enhance capacity building of women for negotiation and lobbying; and
(c) encourage the elaboration of a legislation favouring the integration of women in politics.

5. Cabinet has taken note of the setting up of a “Study Mauritius” Office at Ebène Cybertower 1 to act as a platform to provide information on programmes offered by public and private tertiary education institutions in Mauritius. The Office will link up with tertiary institutions, recruiting agents for overseas studies and Embassies to gather and provide data on available programmes and guide students in their choice. The Office would also provide information on funding facilities provided by banks, scholarships foundations, the Human Resource Knowledge and Arts Fund, the Mauritius Civil Service Mutual Aid Association Ltd and the Employees Welfare Fund.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology had organised a Tertiary Education Fair in February 2011 to provide an opportunity to students to interact directly with the local providers of tertiary education and recruiting agents and obtain information on fees and courses available.

6. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the setting up of a Unified Business Enterprise Board under the aegis of the Ministry of Business, Enterprise, Cooperatives and Consumer Protection, as announced in the 2011 Budget Speech, to further develop the SME Sector. The Board would be an umbrella organization regrouping all public sector organisations dealing with the development of small and medium enterprises, i.e., enterprises with a turnover of up to Rs50m.

7. Cabinet has taken note that, in view of the increase in the number of cases of cancer, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life has developed and is implementing a National Cancer Control Programme and Action Plan aiming at reducing the incidence of mortality due to cancer and improving the quality of life of cancer patients. The Ministry would conduct a Cervical Cancer Screening Programme targeting about 250,000 women aged between 30 and 60 years. Moreover, the Ministry is organising a Cervical Cancer Sensitization Month during which sensitization campaigns, workshops and capacity building would be held.

8. Cabinet has taken note of additional measures taken by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to better monitor the operation of Child Day Care Centres providing services to children in the age group of three months to three years. Out of 264 Day Care Centres in operation, 180 are operating illegally. The Ministry proposes to stiffen penalties for non-compliance with the Child Protection Act.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the organization in October 2011 of the first Inter-Tertiary Educational Institutions’ Sports Competition with the participation of students of both public and private tertiary education institutions. The following sports disciplines would be held this year -
(a) athletics;
(b) football;
(c) volley ball;
(d) basket ball;
(e) table tennis;
(f) badminton; and
(g) an exhibition cricket match.

10. Cabinet has taken note of activities to be organised in the context of the World Water Day, observed on 22 March, viz., –
(a) a Water Forum and an exhibition on water resources, water distribution, re-use and recycling of used water;
(b) a project competition for Upper and Lower VI students on water conservation and a painting competition for primary school students;
(c) a one-day seminar on water and related issues; and
(d) Open days at La Marie Treatment Plant.
The theme chosen by UN this year is Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge.

11. Cabinet has agreed to the Schedule of Commitments of Mauritius in the context of the COMESA Trade in Services Negotiations. The Schedule is based on the liberalization commitments already taken by Mauritius at the WTO and in the context of the Economic Partnerships Agreement negotiations with the EU with a view to transforming Mauritius into a services-based economy.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the position regarding admission in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools for the academic year 2011. The gross enrolment was as follows: -
(a) Pre-primary Sector - 30,192 (including 11,571 new entrants);
(b) Primary Schools, i.e., (std I) - 16,509;
(c) Secondary Schools (Form I mainstream) -13,071;
(d) Prevocational Schools - 1,602;
(e) Special Education Needs Schools - 65; and
(f) Mauritius Institute of Training and Development - 1,420.
Cabinet has further taken note that admission to Lower VI was on the basis of the new criteria as announced in Government Programme to widen access to upper secondary education. A total of 3,972 students were transferred and admitted to Lower VI in February 2011.

13. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands would promulgate the Statutory Bodies Family Protection Fund (Pensions) Regulations to provide for the payment of a basic unreduced pension to an associate in accordance with the recommendations of the Pay Research Bureau Report 2008.

14. Cabinet has taken note of the promulgation of the National Pensions (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations, the National Pensions (Increase in Pensions) Regulations and the National Pensions (Industrial Injuries) Regulations to provide for the increase in non-contributory pensions, contributory pensions, disablement pension, survivor's pension, orphan's industrial injury pension to reflect the measures announced in the Budget Speech 2011.

15. Cabinet has taken note of the organization by the Société Odontologique de Paris, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, of the 10th Edition of the Journées de Chirurgie Dentaires in Mauritius. The seminar, which would be held from 30 April to 4 May 2011, would enable the transfer of knowledge and skills on latest developments in the dental field and new techniques for filling root canals, jaw pain, periodontal surgery and tooth implant would be canvassed. About 150 foreign and local dental professionals are expected to attend the seminar.

16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security to Italy where, in his capacity as Governor of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, he participated in the 34th Session of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Governors Council. The theme of the Session was: Feeding future generations - Young rural people today, prosperous farmers tomorrow. Discussions focused in areas, such as information communications technology for livelihoods and rural microenterprises.
In the margins of the Meeting, the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security had meetings with Mrs A. Tutwiler, Deputy Director General, and Mr M. Traore, Assistant Director General, Agricultural and Consumer Protection Department at the Food and Agricultural Organisation, on the programme of agriculture and rural development of Government.

17. Cabinet has taken note of the recent mission of the Minister of Information and Communication Technology to Spain where he participated in the Global System for Mobile Communications Association Ministerial Programme held in the context of the Mobile World Congress. The Global System for Mobile Communications Association is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities to drive the growth of the mobile communications industry. The Meeting took stock of various innovations taking place in the field of mobile communication, such as Embedded Mobile House, Global High Speed Packet Access Mobile Broadband Connections, Real-time Mobile Communications Delivery, Plan to Make Instant Messaging, and Live Video Sharing.
In the margins of the Meeting, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology had bilateral meetings with, inter alia, Shri Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for IT, India, Mr Sunil Mittal, Chairperson of Bharati Group, Dr K. Ganapathy, President of Apollo Telemedicine Networking Foundation, and other ICT operators.

18. Cabinet has taken note of the nomination of Mr Harish Bundhoo, former Director of Statistics, as Chairperson of the Price Observatory. The Price Observatory would favour transparency in the evolution of prices of commodities and protect consumers and also encourage competition amongst players by providing information on the region practicing the lowest or the highest pricing policy.