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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Office>Cabinet Decisions 01 June 2012

Cabinet Decisions 01 June 2012

1. In line with Government's objective to review the Building Act which dates back to 1919, and to replace it with a new legislative framework to cater for new and emerging exigencies in the Construction Industry, Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Building Control Bill which provides for every building to be designed, constructed and maintained in such a way as to guarantee people’s safety, society’s well-being, the protection of the environment and aesthetic values. The Bill also defines and regulates the responsibility and accountability of professionals involved in the construction processes.

2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Licensing of Recruiting Agents for Overseas Educational and Training Institutions (Amendment) Bill to better regulate the licensing of persons or institutions recruiting students for admission to overseas educational and training institutions. The Bill also provides for severe penalties to contraveners.

3. In line with the commitment of Government to fight piracy, Cabinet has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding on the conditions of transfer of suspected pirates and seized property to Mauritius, being signed with the United Kingdom. The Memorandum of Understanding defines the conditions and modalities for the transfer of persons suspected of attempting to commit, committing or having committed acts of piracy, and captured and detained by UK Forces in the proximity of the territorial seas of Mauritius, the transfer of associated property seized by UK Forces as well as the treatment of the transferred persons. No transferred person will be charged with an offence that carries a death penalty, be sentenced to death or be subject of an application of the death penalty in accordance with the Mauritius’ Abolition of Death Penalty Act. The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed during the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to the UK.

4. Cabinet has taken note that the Federation of Chinese Societies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture, would organize the 3rd World Chinese Conference from 6 to 9 September 2012. The Conference would coincide with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. The issues that would be addressed during the Conference are –
(a) The role of the Chinese diaspora in the shaping of the modern world;
(b) Mauritius as a gateway to Africa for Chinese investment;
(c) Trade and investment in Mauritius;
(d) The Tourism Industry;
(e) Finance and the Offshore Sector;
(f) Business forum; and
(g) Education.
Cabinet has further taken note that, in the context of the Conference, the following activities would be held –
(a) inauguration of the Chinese Cultural Centre at Baie du Tombeau;
(b) trade fair and painting exhibition at Port Louis Waterfront;
(c) cultural shows; and
(d) celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Middle School.

5. Cabinet has taken note that, following the collapse of La Barraque Road during the recent heavy rainfall, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, with the assistance of Omnicane Milling Operations Ltd, is proceeding with the construction of a new bridge to bypass Jamin Bridge at La Sourdine and the realignment of part of La Barraque Road (B8) to restore a safe road infrastructure between the village of l’Escalier and other villages.

6. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with its policy to provide equal opportunities to all entrepreneurs, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, with the assistance of Microsoft, would conduct a Digital Literacy Course to empower entrepreneurs with skills in ICT to enable them to further develop their enterprises.

7. Cabinet has agreed to the nomination of Mr Coomaravel Pyaneandee, Barrister-at-Law, for election as member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee, inter alia, considers Reports of States Parties submitted under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

8. Cabinet has taken note of the list of Public Holidays for the year 2013.
Public Holidays
New Year
Tuesday 1 January
New Year
Wednesday 2 January
Thaipoosam Cavadee
Sunday 27 January
Abolition of Slavery
Friday 1 February
Chinese Spring Festival
Sunday 10 February
Maha Shivaratree
Sunday 10 March
National Day
Tuesday 12 March
Thursday 11 April
Labour Day
Wednesday 1 May
Friday 9 August
Ganesh Chaturthi
Tuesday 10 September
All Saints Day
Friday 1 November
Arrival of Indentured Labourers
Saturday 2 November
Sunday 3 November
Wednesday 25 December
*The exact date of this festival is subject to confirmation as its celebration depends on the visibility of the moon.

9. Cabinet has agreed to the Investment Promotion (Real Estate Development Scheme) Regulations being amended to provide for a minimum selling price of serviced land under the Integrated Resort Scheme to allow a non-citizen to acquire an IRS residential property and customize his residence according to his needs and taste under strict conditions, instead of acquiring a pre-constructed property.

10. Cabinet has taken note of measures being taken by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to control vector-borne diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in certain regions of the country following the recent heavy rainfall, namely –
(a) intensive awareness campaign on mosquito control; and
(b) regular larviciding of regions with high mosquito population density.
The public is advised to drain all stagnant water to avoid the breeding of mosquitoes.

11. Cabinet has taken note of development in the implementation of the National e-Health Strategic Plan which aims at putting in place an appropriate Information and Communications Technology Strategy for improving the work processes in the health sector with emphasis on the quality of service delivery. The Plan would be implemented, on a pilot basis, at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, which has in place the required physical infrastructure and the Integrated Hospital Management System. Thereafter, it would be extended to other hospitals and health centres.

12. In line with the Government Programme 2012-2015 to undertake a major rationalization of para-statal bodies and state-owned enterprises to improve cost-effectiveness, quality of services and optimal use of human resources, Cabinet has agreed to the Tea Industry Control Act being repealed. The activities of the Tea Board would be taken over by the Agricultural Services of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security and arrangements would be made to redeploy the staff of the Board in the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security.

13. Cabinet has taken note that the Coordination Unit of the ACP Sugar Research Programme would hold a mid-term review workshop in Mauritius from 1 to 4 October 2012. The objectives of the Workshop would be, inter alia, to review the first results obtained in the projects supported by the ACP and devise a framework for a future ACP sugar research programme. The projects form an integrated research programme aiming at –
(a) developing of new sugar cane varieties that are better adapted to the future needs of the sugar industry in ACP countries;
(b) a reduction in the costs and environmental stress of sugar cane production;
(c) a reduction of losses in sugar cane processing and an increase in revenues from by-products, such as electricity and ethanol; and
(d) a closer collaboration between ACP sugar cane research institutes and service organizations with research results and experiences more widely shared.

14. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands to Belize where he participated in the Board Meeting of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum which, inter alia, endorsed the action for laying emphasis on greater regional approach to strengthen capacity building and approved the conduct of training activities at regional levels to carry out research to identify good governance practices.

15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Health and Quality of Life to Geneva, where he participated in the 65th World Health Assembly. The Assembly discussed, among others, reform at the World Health Organisation, the Global Monitoring Framework and Indicators for non-communicable diseases, a draft comprehensive Implementation Plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, the social determinants of health and the implementation of the International Health Regulations.
In the margins of the World Health Assembly, the Minister of Health and Quality of Life had meetings, inter alia, with Professor Cyrus Tabatabay, eminent Ophthalmologist at the ‘Hopitaux Universitaires de Genève’, Professor Georges Vlastos, Breast Surgeon and Dr (Mrs) Anne Therèse Vlastos, Specialist in Cervical Cancer at the ‘Hopitaux Universitaires de Genève’ and Professor J.M. Nabholtz from Hartman Oncology Institute, France.

16. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Soobhash Gobine has been appointed Senior Adviser and Director of Communications at the Prime Minister’s Office.