1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Piracy and Maritime Violence Bill, which makes better provision, inter alia, for –
(a) the prosecution of piracy and related offences pursuant to the obligations of Mauritius under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
(b) the handing over to Mauritius of persons suspected of having committed acts of piracy, maritime attack and related offences pursuant to agreements or arrangements with the European Union and other States for the purposes of investigation and prosecution; and
(c) the repatriation of non-citizens suspected of having committed offences and the transfer of persons convicted of offences of piracy and maritime violence.
2. Cabinet has taken note that a High Level Task Force has been set up under the Chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping to look into the organization of Cavadee and Maha Shivaratree festivals in 2012.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with Budget Speech 2012, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority has approved a reduction of up to 12% in the tariffs of ADSL for residential customers and of up to 50% for businesses particularly to boost the SME Sector. Tariffs for international connectivity will also be reduced significantly.
4. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the Seafood Week, the Ministry of Fisheries and Rodrigues would, on 3 December 2011, organize an Open Day at the Albion Fisheries Research Centre and the Fisheries Training and Extension Centre. The following activities would also be organized on that occasion –
(a) display of live marine organisms;
(b) trips in glass-bottom boats to observe marine biodiversity in the lagoon;
(c) visit of laboratories and hatcheries at Albion;
(d) sale of seafood and seafood products; and
(e) display of illegal fishing gears.
Rewards would also be remitted to fishermen who have recovered Fish Aggregate Devices and research equipment.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Hon Jiang Yaoping, Vice-Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, would visit Mauritius from 26 to 30 November 2011. During the visit, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development would discuss a new partnership aiming at transforming Mauritius into a services and a knowledge hub and sign five Agreements for the financing of various projects, including the construction of the Bagatelle Dam.
6. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with the provision of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2006, the Third Political Consultation Mechanism between Mauritius and Russia would discuss international and regional issues including the UN Reform, the situation in the Middle East, Terrorism, WTO, the Global Financial Crisis, regional organizations and the political situation in some countries of the region and Africa. Bilateral discussions would also be held on avenues of cooperation in the fields of education, sports, tourism, culture, agro-industry and trade and investment.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the performance of the Export-Oriented Enterprises Sector based on provisional export data for the period January to October 2011 as compared to the corresponding period in 2010. The value of exports of the Sector increased from Rs32.4 billion to Rs35.99 billion, i.e., by 11%. Exports to the United Kingdom, France and the USA, the traditional export markets, have recorded an increase in the range of 5.5% to 10.3%. The other non-traditional markets have recorded an increase in the range of 21.0% to 69.0%.
8. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the World AIDS Day commemorated on 1 December 2011, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life would, amongst others, -
(a) conduct a National Sensitization and Voluntary Testing Programme in different regions of the country;
(b) hold an exhibition on precautionary measures to be taken to prevent infection of HIV/AIDS, as well as on the various facilities offered for treatment;
(c) launch the Mobile Sensitization and Voluntary Testing Caravan;
(d) open a Drop-in-Centre in Mahebourg; and
(e) organize a Family Day at Petit Sable.
The theme chosen by the World Health Organization for this year is Getting to Zero: Zero HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths.
9. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius acceding to the International Agreement on the use of Inmarsat Ship Earth Stations within Territorial Seas and Ports of the International Mobile Satellite Organization, which permits the operation of approved ship earth stations appertaining to the maritime space communication system provided by Inmarsat Ltd and installed aboard ships. The Stations contribute to maritime safety and efficiency of navigation, and facilitate the implementation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the 52nd Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization Council Meeting and the Annual Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization Forum would be held in Mauritius in September 2012. The Council Meeting considers progress made by and the future plans of the Organization, whilst the Forum offers a platform to stakeholders to evaluate and examine pertinent issues in the Telecommunications Sector.
11. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to safeguarding the interests of local employees and workers, the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment would promulgate the Recruitment of Workers (Amendment) Regulations and the Employment (Non-Citizens) Restrictions (Amendment) Regulations to regulate the activities of private agencies engaged in the recruitment of non-citizens from abroad for employment in Mauritius.
12. Cabinet has taken note that, on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day, commemorated on 5 December, the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, in collaboration with MACOSS and the NGO Trust Fund, would organize a National NGO Award, and a Showcase of Volunteers; lay a wreath at the stela put up at Plaza, Rose Hill, in recognition of the contribution of volunteers; and launch a Common Training Strategy at the James Burty David Recreation Centre, Pointe aux Sables. The theme chosen this year is Volunteerism towards a Stronger Civil Society.
13. Cabinet has taken note that, on the occasion of the Computer Security Day celebrated on 30 November, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, in collaboration with the National Computer Board, would organize, inter alia, a Cyber Security Conference focussing on Cyber Security, Corporate Governance and Information Security, and Vulnerabilities and Business Continuity; an exhibition to demonstrate the latest computer security-based products available on the local market; and Training Programmes by the Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate, Department of Information Technology, India. The main objects of celebrating the Computer Security Day are to raise awareness and promote best practices in Information Technology Security, as well as to sensitize professionals on latest developments in the field of IT security.
14. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection would, shortly, introduce new measures to better monitor the scrap metal activities, including amendments to enabling laws to provide for harsher penalties for thefts of metal and iron equipment and reinforce inspection on sites.