1. Cabinet has taken note that Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, would attend the Extraordinary SADC Summit to be held in Namibia on 20 May 2011 to consider, amongst others, the SADC Mediation Recommendations on Madagascar, the Report of the Troika on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe, and the Report of the Ministerial Task Force on the COMESA-EAC-SADC Free Trade Area.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, in view of the increase in the number of subscribers and the market being more competitive, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority has decided to revise the mobile origination and termination rates with a view to reducing the inter-mobile and fixed to mobile call tariffs. There would subsequently be a reduction of Rs 0.30 per minute, i.e., by 33%, on calls from a fixed line to a mobile line and from a mobile to another mobile on a different network. The new tariffs would take effect from 1 July 2011.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, following the high level talks that the Prime Minister had with the Singaporean authorities during his official visit to Singapore in September last, a delegation from the Singapore Public Utilities Board and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise visited Mauritius in October 2010 to carry out a needs assessment of the water management requirements. The Singapore team has, inter alia, proposed the development of Total Water Management in Mauritius to achieve a 24/7 potable water supply, reduce non-revenue water, improve management of water resources and develop a Strategic Water Sector Plan to meet increasing and changing needs. The report is currently being examined.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the water supply situation in the country and of measures taken to mobilize additional resources to ensure a reliable water supply: additional boreholes, including deeper ones, have been drilled at Beaux Songes and Petite Rivière; and new sites for boreholes have also been identified. Arrangements are being made for the transfer of water from Mare Longue Reservoir to Mare aux Vacoas Reservoir which is at 40.7% full and the construction of small dams is being considered.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the revision of the Cash Prize Scheme for rewarding athletes who obtain a medal at major international or regional sports events. The cash prize awarded to athletes, upon winning a medal, and their coaches has been revised significantly upwards with a view to providing a new dynamism to high level sports and encouraging athletes to reach excellence in major international competitions.
6. Cabinet has taken note of the launching of the “Lifelong Learning for Women’s Empowerment” on 19 May 2011 in the presence of Sir John Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning. The programme aims at empowering women to improve their livelihood through Open and Distance Learning and the use of modern technology.
7. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies Bill and the Law Practitioners (Amendment) Bill which aim at implementing certain recommendations of the Presidential Commission chaired by Lord Mackay of Clashfern (the Mackay Commission).
The Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies Bill provides for the establishment of an Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies to promote proficiency and ensure the maintenance of standards in the Judiciary and among law practitioners and legal officers with a view to enhancing the justice system.
The Law Practitioners (Amendment) Bill provides for the establishment of a Council for Vocational Legal Education, ensures that persons, who wish to be considered for appointment as a judicial or legal officer, follow an appropriate course and enables a citizen of Mauritius, who has obtained a professional qualification as, or equivalent to that of, barrister in another Commonwealth country or the United States, to apply for admission to practise in Mauritius as a barrister.
8. Cabinet has taken note of development in the upgrading of the Airstrip of Agalega. In the first phase, the following works would be carried out: resurfacing of the existing runway, construction of a new taxiway and apron, and provision of shoulders, adequate fuel storage facility and basic firefighting facilities.
9. Cabinet has taken note of development in the preparation of a 10-Year Infrastructure Investment Plan to meet the targets set out in Budget Speech 2011 to reach a GDP of one trillion rupees and an income per capita of USD 20,000 or higher by 2020. In order to reach that target, more than Rs250 billion would be invested on infrastructure development over the next 10 years. The 10-Year Plan would also provide clarity to private investors on the future infrastructure pipeline and plans of the Government.
10. Cabinet has taken note of development in the setting up of a Documentation/ Research Centre on Gender Issues at the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in line with Government Programme 2010-2015. The Centre would be a database of literature and research on women’s issues and gender equality.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the organization of the Human Resource Excellence Award 2011 by the Human Resource Development Council operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources. The aim of the Award, which will be an annual feature, is to reward public or private sector organizations and individuals engaged in good human resource practices and encourage stakeholders to work towards effective human resource management and development.
12. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity observed on 22 May, viz., -
(a) opening of and guided visit to the Petrin Conservation Management Area;
(b) inauguration of bird hide, launching of craft market and opening of endemic garden at the Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary;
(c) inauguration of Seed Bank, Arboretum and Quarantine for islets at the Native Plant Propagation Centre in Curepipe; and
(d) distribution of the critically endangered endemic “lys”, Crinium Mauritianum, found only in the region of Midlands Dam, to educational institutions.
The theme chosen for the International Day for Biological Diversity 2011 is Forest Biodiversity.
Cabinet has also taken note of the additional measures taken by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security to protect forests and the nature terrestrial biodiversity, viz. re-afforestation projects throughout the country, and free distribution of seedlings of endangered plants.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the participation of Mauritius in the Eighth Indian Ocean Islands Games to be held in the Seychelles from 5 to 14 August 2011. Mauritius will participate in all the 12 sports disciplines, namely, Athletics, Basketball, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Football, Judo, Table Tennis, Swimming, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Yatching, as well as Handisports.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of the Second Meeting of the Governing Council of the World Hindi Secretariat in Mauritius on 16 May 2011. The Meeting would be co-chaired by HE Smt Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs of the Republic of India and the Hon V.K. Bunwaree, Minister of Education and Human Resources. In this context, HE Smt Preneet Kaur would visit Mauritius from 15 to 16 May 2011. During her stay, she would also pay courtesy calls on the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of –
(a) the Law Reform Commission with Mr Guy Ollivry, QC, GOSK, as Chairperson; and
(b) the Human Resource Development Council with Mr Dhananjay Ramful, Barrister-at-Law, as Chairperson.