1. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of a Ministerial Committee to look into the importation of foodstuffs and other products from Japan, particularly from the areas affected by radiation following the country’s nuclear crisis. The Committee which would be chaired by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, would comprise –
(a) the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade;
(b) the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security;
(c) the Minister of Industry and Commerce;
(d) the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology;
(e) the Minister of Health and Quality of Life; and
(f) the Minister of Business, Enterprise, Cooperatives and Consumer Protection.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Asset Recovery Bill which prescribes procedures to enable the State to recover assets, which are proceeds or instrumentalities of crime or terrorist property, where a person has been convicted of an offence, or where there has been no prosecution but it can be proved that the property represents proceeds or instrumentalities of unlawful activity or terrorist property. The Bill would apply not only to drug offences but also to offences committed in a foreign state, which, if committed in Mauritius, would constitute an offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of not less than 12 months. The Bill also makes provision for the establishment of an Enforcement Authority who will be the Director of Public Prosecutions.
3. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements being made for the provision of a temporary night shelter at Abattoir Road, Roche Bois to the vulnerable group, commonly known as “sans domicile fixe”, in line with Government’s objective to combat poverty and social exclusion. The project, which is being implemented on a pilot basis, would take on board only male “sans domicile fixe”, in the first instance. These people would also be provided with medical check-up facilities, appropriate counselling and training so that they become employable and can integrate the society.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the National Computer Board, jointly with the Mauritius IT Industry Association, would hold the first edition of the Professional Information Technology Exhibition and Conference (ProIT 2011) from 20 to 22 April 2011 at the Freeport of Mauritius Exhibition Centre, Mer Rouge. The main objectives of the exhibition and conference are, inter alia, to -
(a) create awareness on business solutions for corporate bodies, enterprises and the business community;
(b) provide information on products, services and technologies that empower business; and
(c) sensitize participants on the application of ICT and technologies for effective business and individual solutions.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions would promulgate regulations to amend the Schedules to the Social Aid Act and the Unemployment Hardship Relief Act to provide for an increase of 3.2% on all benefits/allowances, such as Social Aid, Unemployment Hardship Relief, Allowance to child and abandoned woman, as well as on the income ceiling for eligibility for refund of examination fees, as announced in Budget Speech 2011.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the closure of Union St. Aubin Sugar Factory with effect from the end of crop season 2010 under the Cane Planters and Millers Arbitration and Control Board Act. Moreover, one of the performance indicators for the disbursement of funds under the 9th European Development Fund to support the sugar reform programme was the centralization of milling activities with a view to establishing cost effective and competitive sugar factories as outlined in the Multi-Annual Adaptation Strategy.
Cabinet has taken note that the cane from the factory areas of Union St. Aubin, Bel Ombre, St. Félix and Britannia would be milled at Omnicane Milling Operations Ltd. and the provisions of the Blue Print in regard to planters and employees would be implemented. Moreover, Omnicane Milling Operations Ltd., in consultation with the Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit and the Road Development Authority, would participate in the improvement of road infrastructure and bridges to ensure the safe conveyance of sugar cane.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands and the Africa Institute for Environmentally Sound Management of Hazardous and Other Wastes would sign a Memorandum of Understanding providing for the implementation of a project on the Inventory of Hazardous Materials in Mauritius.
8. Cabinet has agreed to the Mauritius Standards Bureau and the Association Française de Normalisation signing a Memorandum of Understanding providing for cooperation in the field of standardization and quality on the basis of international principles and regulations with a view to enhancing the understanding of processes for the development of national standards.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized to mark the World Day for Physical Activity observed on 6 April, viz. –
(a) release of the National Action Plan on Physical Activity 2011-2014, which aims at raising awareness on the benefits of physical activities;
(b) holding of a training of trainers workshop;
(c) organization of sports and recreational activities, including Tai Chi, boxing, street football, basketball, volleyball and traditional games, such as “lamarelle” and “rope skipping”; and
(d) mounting of sensitization campaigns.
The theme chosen to mark the event this year is “Together for an Active and Happy Life”.
10. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Revision of Laws (Amendment) Bill which aims at amending the Revision of Laws Act to enable the regular publication of updates in the form of Supplements, whenever amendments or corrections are made to laws or when new enactments are passed by the National Assembly. The Bill also provides for the Supplements to have the same force and authority as revised editions.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of Les Salines Waterfront Development Project, i.e., the Neotown Project. The project, which would be implemented in phases, would comprise, inter alia, a hotel, boardwalks and marine gardens, a tourist heritage centre, a luxury condominium complex, a boutique hotel, a marina club, an apartment complex, office buildings, shopping malls, an office campus, tourist attractions and entertainment facilities.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities would promulgate the Radiation Protection (Permit Fees for the Importation of Sources) Regulations to prescribe for fees to be levied by the Radiation Protection Authority for the issue of a permit for the importation of a radiation source with a view to better controlling the importation and the safe and secure management of radiation sources in line with the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to Rodrigues in the context of the centenary celebration of the International Women’s Day. The following activities were organized on that occasion –
(a) a Forum on Femmes Agents de la Transformation: Les Défis de la Femme Rodriguaise when the role of women as active agents of transformation in the social, economic and political spheres was examined;
(b) a workshop on Rajeunissement des Associations Féminines to sensitize the youth on the need to sustain the women’s movement; and
(c) a workshop on The Role of Science and Technology for Women in Sustainable Resource Management: Exploring the Scope of Organic Farming in Rodrigues to assess the scope of organic farming.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands to Wales where he participated in the Commonwealth Local Government Conference which had as theme Energizing Local Economies: Partnerships for Prosperous Communities. The Conference discussed, inter alia, the role of local government in economic development, and strategies for partnerships, particularly, with the private sector.
Cabinet has further taken note that the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, on his way to the Forum, met Mr Alain Perret, Préfet et Directeur de la Sécurité Civile and the Brigade des Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris, with whom he discussed cooperation in the field of fire fighting and the management of flood and flood-related risks.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Information and Communication Technology to Botswana where he officially launched a subsidiary company of the State Informatics Ltd., the SIL Botswana (Propriety) Co. Ltd. (SILBOTS). The subsidiary company is the second established by the State Informatics Ltd. in Africa after SILNAM in Namibia.
In the margins of the mission, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology met, inter alia, the Hon Frank Ramsden, Minister of Transport and Communications of Botswana with whom he discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of ICT and cybercrimes.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of Trustees of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre Trust Fund with Mr Kreety Kumar Motee as Chairperson