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

Cabinet Decisions 16 September 2011

1. Cabinet has taken note that the Prime Minister has advised the President of the Republic, in virtue of the powers vested in him under the Constitution, to appoint the Hon Joseph Christian Leopold, Member of the National Assembly, to the Office of Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) attached to the Ministry of Fisheries and Rodrigues.

2. Cabinet has agreed to the payment of salary compensation as from 1 January 2012 as follows –
Monthly Basic Wage/Salary Rate
Up to Rs5000 Rs330
Rs5001 - Rs7000 6.6%
Rs7001 - Rs30,000 Rs460
Above Rs30,000 Nil
The cost of implementation will be to the tune of Rs3.5 billion, i.e., Private Sector – Rs1.9 billion, and Public Sector – Rs1.6 billion, including Rs0.9 billion for public sector pensions and indexation of social benefits, such as Basic Retirement Pension.

3. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with Government’s Programme 2010-2015, the Prime Minister has decided to constitute a team of eminent international constitutional experts to look into and make proposals for the reform of our electoral system. The team, which will be headed by Professor Guy Carcassonne, French constitutional expert of international repute, will comprise Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at the Oxford University and Visiting Professor of Constitutional History at King’s College, London, and Dr Pere Vilanova Trias, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Department of Constitutional Law and Political Science at the University of Barcelona, Spain. The three Experts have wide experience in electoral reforms and are frequently consulted by foreign governments and international organizations on constitutional issues.
The terms of reference of the team will be to make proposals for a reform of our electoral system with the following objectives –
(a) Effectiveness: an election should allow the emergence of a majority and it is for the electorate to choose the people by whom they wish to be governed;
(b) Equity: the proposals should address and correct the inordinate imbalances created by the First-Past-the-Post system which has frequently produced results which were grossly disproportionate to the share of votes obtained by the different parties;
(c) Diversity: the electoral system should ensure a fair representation of all the different components of the Mauritian population in Parliament; and
(d) Gender balance: the under representation of women in Parliament must be addressed. The proposals should aim to eventually move towards parity between men and women.

4. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements being made with the State Insurance Company of Mauritius Ltd. (SICOM) for the setting up of a contributory Medical Insurance Scheme for public officers, as recommended in the Report of Pay Research Bureau.

5. Cabinet has taken note of measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to medically assist Hadj pilgrims. On 1 October 2011, vaccination against meningitis ACYW 135 would be carried, free of cost, in the five Regional Hospitals. Vaccination against seasonal flu and medical examinations would be carried out in all Area Health Centres.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the University of Mauritius, in collaboration with the Imperial College, London, would run a Masters’ in Public Health programme as from Academic Year 2012-2013. The programme is designed for students who intend to pursue careers in public health practice, management and/or research at local, national and/or international levels. The University of Mauritius and the Imperial College propose to also conduct research and educational activities of common interest in various fields and exchange programmes for the benefit of faculty members and graduate students.

7. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Supplementary Appropriation (2010) Bill, which provides for the supplementary appropriation, by programmes, of expenditure incurred in excess during Financial Year 2010.

8. Cabinet has taken note that Divali would be celebrated at national level in Bon Accueil on 23 October 2011 with the participation of Sunidhi Chauhan, renowned Indian singer, and popular local artists. Divali would also be celebrated at regional levels by the Municipal Councils and the District Councils.

9. Cabinet has taken note that the Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Commission would be held in Mauritius on 6 October 2011. The Meeting will, inter alia, –
(a) examine the process of deepening integration of the IOC and cooperation in the tourism sector;
(b) explore ways and means to combat sea piracy; and
(c) examine the implementation of the Fisheries Regional Strategy.
Fifty participants, including five Ministers, from Member States of the Indian Ocean Commission would attend the Meeting.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the 33rd Annual Meeting of the International Association of Cancer Registries would be held in Mauritius from 11 to 13 October 2011. The theme of the Meeting will be Cancer: Countries in Transition. The topics that would be discussed include infections and cancer, screening in developing countries, women’s cancer in developing countries, tobacco and cancer, liver cancer and the role of cancer registries in cancer control.

11. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius would chair the Global Forum on Migration and Development for the year 2012.

12. Cabinet has taken note that, since its incorporation, the Price Observatory has conducted four rounds of price data collection. Price analyses have revealed that the Price Observatory has stimulated competition between outlets, reduced prices by an average of 3.3% from May to August 2011, widened the choice available to consumers, and made consumers more selective and save around 15%.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the Land Administration, Valuation and Information Management System (LAVIMS) Project, which aims at optimizing land resources, maintaining a cadastral system and developing an integrated spacial reference database on land tenure, land transactions and ownership. The systems for deeds and cadastre components are already operational as from 1 July 2011. Live transactions, through the Digital Cadastral Database, are being carried out by authorised users of the Registrar General’s Department and the Cadastral Implementation Unit. The quality of the cadastral dataset is being further improved with the upcoming day-to-day transactions that are being ingested into the system with the assignment of a unique Parcel Identification Number (PIN) for each land parcel.

14. Cabinet has taken note of the constitution of the Board of Directors of the National ICT Training Centre Ltd. with Mrs Vedna Sonia Essoo as Chairperson. The company would, inter alia, manage and operate the ICT Academy which would provide knowledge, skills and international certifications to enable youth to have easy access to employment opportunities in the ICT Sector and be a training facility platform geared towards industry training and certification.

15. Cabinet has agreed to the National Real Estate Ltd., a state-owned company, acting as the holding company for institutions responsible for real estate and property development under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, with a view to optimizing the utilization of Government assets and human resources, ensuring better planning and coordination and developing a coherent strategy on real estates and property development.

16. Cabinet has agreed to the Fishing Licence Fees payable by foreign fishing vessels outside Fishing Agreements, the Vessel Monitoring System Fee, the Logbook Deposit Fee, and the Import Permit Fees for fish and fish products being revised upwards to cover expenses in connection with the issue of permits, inspection of consignments at the airport, the port and within the premises of the importers’ cold room, as well as laboratory analyses. A non-refundable Processing Fee for the application of Foreign Fishing Licences and import permits will also be introduced to deter frivolous applications.

17. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions in the context of the United Nations International Day of the Elderly, commemorated on 1 October, viz., –
(a) a National function comprising, amongst others, an intergenerational cultural programme, Defilé de Mode and drama with the participation of senior citizens coming from about 650 Senior Citizens Associations in Mauritius and Rodrigues;
(b) final of a Drama Competition involving the participation of elders from different regions of the country;
(c) launching of the Second Training for Carers Programme leading to a Certificate in Health Care for the Elderly and Disabled, Level II;
(d) workshop with Elderly Watch on the theme “Achievement, Constraints and Way Forward”;
(e) get together programme for elderly living alone;
(f) exhibition/sale of flowers and plants at Espace Vieux Conseil, Port Louis; and
(g) Seminar on Intergenerational Society.
Cabinet has further taken note that the International Day of the Elderly would also be celebrated in Rodrigues on 9 October 2011.
The theme chosen this year is “Joie de Vieillir dans l’Ile Maurice Arc-en-Ciel”.

18. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions to New York where she participated in the Fourth Session of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In her statement at the Session, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions highlighted the different initiatives taken by Government for the welfare of the disabled.
In the margins of the UN Session, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions had discussions with, inter alia, -
(a) Professor Ron McCallum, Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Professor of Labour Law at the University of Sydney; and
(b) Mr Javed Abidi, Honorary Director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled Persons in Delhi.

19. Cabinet has taken note that the Regional Meeting of Correspondants Nationaux of the Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie would be held in Mauritius from 3 to 5 October 2011. The objectives of the Meeting are to formulate the development programme for period 2014-2017 and elaborate a long-term strategy framework for the decade 2014-2023. Member Countries of the Organisation Internationale de La Francophonie of the Central African and Indian Ocean Regions, namely, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Djibouti, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Saö Tome and Principe, the Seychelles and Mauritius, would attend the Meeting.

20. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of World Heart Day 2011, observed on 25 September, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with other stakeholders, would, amongst others, mount an aggressive sensitization campaign on the need to practise physical activities regularly to prevent cardiovascular disease, and conduct a screening programme for non-communicable diseases. This year’s theme of World Heart Day, is "One World, One Home, One Heart". According to the WHO, cardiovascular disease accounts for about 17.1 million deaths annually in the world.

21. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Health and Quality of Life to Côte d’Ivoire where he participated in the 61st Session of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for Africa. The Committee adopted resolutions for –
(a) the establishment of a Pan African Programme for Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change;
(b) the development of a Regional Strategic Plan for Measles Elimination;
(c) building capacity to develop evidenced-based policies, strategies, and operational plans to ensure attainment of Universal Health Coverage; and
(d) the strengthening of regional and international coordination and cooperation in immunization and surveillance activities and promoting intensive engagement of all stakeholders in Polio Eradication.
In the margins of the Regional Committee Meetings, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life met Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director General, as well as Dr Luis Gomez Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa, with whom he discussed, amongst others, matters relating to non-communicable diseases.

22. Cabinet has taken note of the appointments of –
(i) Mr Balraj Narroo, MSK, as Chairperson of the Central Electricity Board;

(ii) Mr Mohamed Iqbal Jahmeerbacus as Chairperson of the Energy Efficiency Management Committee; and
(iii) Mr Veeren Comaren as Director, Human Resource of the Mauritius Duty Free Paradise Co. Ltd.