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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Office>Cabinet Decisions 16 December 2011

Cabinet Decisions 16 December 2011

1. Cabinet has taken note that the High Powered Committee, set up under the Chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development to examine the Report of the Truth and Justice Commission, held its first meeting on 15 December 2011. In view of the thickness of the Report and the far reaching implications of the recommendations contained therein, the Committee agreed to focus on the recommendations that could generate quick wins. Moreover, the relevant Ministries have been requested to set up a dedicated unit to look into the issues/recommendations in the Report and come up with concrete proposals. The second meeting of the High Powered Committee is scheduled for the second week of January 2012.

2. Cabinet has taken note that the Local Government Act 2011, which was assented by the President of the Republic on 12 December 2011, has been proclaimed, in toto, to come into operation on 15 December 2011.
Cabinet has also taken note that the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands had a meeting with the Chief Executives of Local Authorities on 15 December 2011 to make necessary arrangements for the immediate implementation of the Local Government Act.

3. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the Education and Human Resources Strategy Plan 2008-2020 and for a fourth year of schooling to be added to prevocational education as announced in Budget Speech 2012, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources proposes to launch a new Prevocational Education Programme as from January 2012. Given that systemic and process-related weaknesses have been recorded in the current system of prevocational training, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, after consultation with all stakeholders, proposes to revamp the Programme and introduce a new strategy whereby, amongst others, emphasis would be laid on soft skills and work-based experience; a new Bridging-the-Gap Programme based on practical activities would be introduced; the Programme would lead to a formal certification pitched on the National Qualifications Framework, recognized by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority; and drop-outs would also be tracked. Those students who have successfully completed the 4-year prevocational education would be considered as holding a qualification at par with the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) (MQA, Level 1 qualification).

4. Cabinet has taken note of the results of the CPE Examinations 2011. Out of 23,176 candidates examined, 15,890 have passed, i.e., 68.56%, as compared to 68.54% in 2010. The results show an upward trend since 2006, except 2007, and is being sustained at around 68.5%. As regards Rodrigues, the pass rate has increased from 61.71% in 2010 to 62.68% in 2011. The overall pass rate in ZEP schools is 35.6%. Out of 28 ZEP schools, 6 have scored between 40% and 50% and 5 have attained a pass rate of above 50%. As in previous years, girls (74.89%) have performed better than boys (62.72%). 1,494 pupils have scored an aggregate of 24, with four A+ or more.

5. Cabinet has agreed to the formal allocation to the Roman Catholic Diocese of two plots of State land at Vingt Cinq Village on the North Island and Sainte Rita Village in the South Island of Agalega on which stand the Chapelle Sacré Coeur and the Chapelle Sainte Rita respectively.

6. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of the Crime Occurrence Tracking System at the Mauritius Police Force. The project aims at closely monitoring crime occurrences over the country. Phase 1 of the project was made operational on 30 November 2011 at Pointe-aux-Sables and Coromandel Police Stations. Phase II of the project, which provides for the integration of external stakeholders, such as the Central Population Database, the National Transport Authority, the Passport and Immigration Office, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Forensic Science Laboratory and the Prisons Service, is scheduled to be operational in February 2012. Phase III, which would address the system functionalities, is scheduled to be completed in April 2012.

7. Following the success of the national campaign on the protection of fruits against birds, carried out in 2009 and 2010, and with a view to giving a further boost to the availability of local fruits, particularly litchis, mangoes and longanes, on the market, Cabinet has agreed to extend the Grant Scheme for the purchase of nets to protect fruits against particularly bats, for the current fruit season. Fruit growers would, on the recommendation of AREU, be allowed to purchase a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 nets at 25% of the cost thereof.
Cabinet has further taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security to prohibit the bat population to reach a pest status.

8. As announced in the Budget Speech 2012 and with a view to boosting the export of agricultural products, Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of a new Freight Rebate Scheme whereby the Agricultural Marketing Board would refund to both exporters and producers, who are registered with the Agricultural Marketing Board and the Small Planters Welfare Fund, 12.5% of the freight cost in respect of unprocessed or minimally processed fruits, vegetables, as well as flowers, exported to countries which are members of the World Trade Organization.

9. Cabinet has taken note that the Attorney General is formulating a new Juvenile Justice Bill with a view to adapting legislation on juvenile justice to new realities and reforming the Juvenile Offenders Act to take on board international standards relating to juveniles in contact with law and their detention, as well as the recommendations made in various reports, such as the UNICEF Report on Juvenile Justice Administration in Mauritius, the Report on the Rehabilitation of Juvenile Offenders in Mauritius and the Rapport Evaluatif sur le Fonctionnement des Rehabilitation Youth Centres.

10. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin, 852,347 tourists visited Mauritius during the period January to November 2011 as compared to 819,978 for the corresponding period in 2010, i.e., an increase of 3.9%. During the month of November 2011, some 87,348 tourists visited Mauritius as compared to 85,982 in November 2010, i.e., an increase of 1.6%. Growth has been registered in the following tourist markets: France (+2.9%), Spain (+41.0%), Switzerland (+12.3%), Russia (+139.0%), China (+106.7%) and Reunion Island (+2.1%).

11. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Revenue Authority, on behalf of Government, would sign the Agreement establishing the African Tax Administration Forum. The African Tax Administration Forum, created in 2009, promotes efficient and effective tax administration, as well as information-sharing, peer learning, cooperation and coordination among national tax administration in Africa.