1. Cabinet has taken note that the President of the Republic has, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appointed the Hon Mrs Prateebah Koomaree Bholah as Parliamentary Private Secretary with effect from 2 August 2012.
2. Cabinet has taken note that, following intense lobbying by Mauritius, the US Congress has, on 2 August 2012, approved the renewal of the AGOA third country fabric provision. With the new amendment, the duration of the third country fabric provision would be aligned to the expiry date of AGOA preferences, i.e., September 2015. The enacted measures would shortly be signed into law by President Obama.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, following discussions the Prime Minister had with Mr Sheikh Majid Al Maulla, Senior Vice-President of The Emirates Group, the airfare for pilgrims proceeding for Hadj this year has been reduced to US$1,170. Moreover, it has been decided that Hadj pilgrims will be exempted from the payment of all local airport taxes.
4. Cabinet has taken note of the strained industrial relations in the Sugar Sector and mandated the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment to meet all parties concerned, as soon as possible, to reach an agreement on all contentious issues.
5. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection would promulgate the Consumer Protection (Scrap Metal) (Amendment) Regulations with a view to further tightening legislation to limit the number of thefts of metal and metallic equipment, and to provide for harsher penalties. Exports of copper will, henceforth, be banned.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, set up under the Chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development to develop coherent and standardized policies to tackle the duality of difficulty of the private sector of recruiting local workers with the appropriate skills, and of recruiting foreign workers in the context of high local unemployment. The Inter-Ministerial Committee has recommended that the various training schemes offered by the Human Resource Development Council and the National Empowerment Foundation be standardized to better motivate the unemployed to follow training programmes with a view to meeting market needs. The Committee also considered the motives of certain employers to resort to the employment of foreign workers only. Moreover, all employers/companies that have more than 10 employees, would have to register to the Electronic Labour Exchange, and recruit jobseekers registered with the Employment Service of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, before resorting to the recruitment of foreign workers.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Tourism and Leisure would promulgate regulations under the Tourism Authority Act to better regulate the dolphin and whale watching activity and the swimming with dolphin in consonance with international guidelines and regulations. A series of measures, encompassing a licensing scheme, training, sensitization, adoption of safety and security norms, as well as monitoring, would be implemented to ensure that the activity is conducted in the best possible conditions and in a sustainable manner.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the various activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Islamic Cultural Centre and the Urdu Speaking Union, in the context of the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr at national level, viz., -
(a) a cultural show comprising drama/comedy, and ghazal, quawali and Naat recitals; and
(b) an Eid Fair on the premises of the Islamic Cultural Centre, comprising, amongst others, exhibition and sales of Muslim dresses, perfumes, etc., fun and games for children (horse riding, jumping castle); mehendi application and display; and calligraphy exhibition.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the setting up of an Institute of Technology in Mauritius, similar to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. The project, which would be implemented in phases under the assistance of IIT Delhi, would not only upgrade the pool of local engineers, but also become a regional centre for quality education in the fields of engineering and research and innovation in line with Government objective to make Mauritius a regional Knowledge Centre.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of intercultural education in schools in line with the principles of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. The aim of the Decade is to integrate principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning in order to allow for a more sustainable, economically viable and just society for all. In this context, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources has initiated a series of measures, including a comprehensive review of the curriculum at Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary levels in the light of developments worldwide and to take care of our national needs, integration of the philosophy and values of intercultural education by the Mauritius Institute of Education in the teacher training and curriculum development, conduct of a Study on the Situation of Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Understanding at School Level and promotion of intercultural evaluation in schools by the Centre de Valeurs de l’Océan Indien of the Mauritius Institute of Education.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the setting up of the Social Registry of Mauritius. The objectives of the Registry are to:
(a) better target beneficiaries of social programmes;
(b) manage social programmes in an integrated manner;
(c) better harmonize the criteria for the different social programmes run by different Ministries; and
(d) analyze cyclical and structural poverty reduction policies.
12. Cabinet has taken note that Infotech 2012 would be held at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, Pailles from 13 to 16 September 2012. Infotech 2012 would comprise product demos, an ICT exhibition and Career Guidance Corner, an ICT Job Fair, a Gaming, Shopping and Delivery Zone and various thematic Conferences. The aim is to create awareness of emerging technologies and provide business opportunities in ICT Sector.
13. Cabinet has taken note that, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the visit of Manilal Doctor in Mauritius, a bust of Manilal Doctor would be unveiled on the premises of Manilal Doctor State Secondary School at Lallmatie.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in the field of textile and clothing signed between the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Textiles of India during the official visit of the Prime Minister to India in February 2012. India has,inter alia, agreed to provide technical assistance in capacity building, in various fields including Fashion and Design, as well as Creative Industries.
Cabinet has also taken note that Shri Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textile of India would lead a delegation to Mauritius in September 2012 to further strengthen cooperation in the field of Textile and Clothing.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he participated in the Nineteenth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Head of States and Governments of the African Union. The theme of the Assembly was Boosting Intra-African Trade. The Assembly, inter alia, considered peace and security in Africa, AU Border Programme, UN Reforms, outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference), Millennium Development Goals and Maternal Health.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade also participated in the 17th Summit of the Forum of Head of States and Governments of the African Peer Review Mechanism.
In the margins of the Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade had a number of bilateral meetings with representatives of Australia, Bhutan, Finland, Georgia, India, Republic of Korea, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, the United Kingdom, Indian Ocean Commission and COMESA.
16. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Fisheries to Malaysia where he took stock of the Recirculating Aquaculture System, specifically in the Mauritian context, and finalized discussions with regard to the Memorandum of Understanding to be signed with Sepang Today Aquaculture Centre for the development of aquaculture in Mauritius.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of the National Solidarity Fund with Mrs F. Ng Cheng Hin, MSK, as Chairperson.
18. Cabinet has taken note of the appointment of -
(a) Mrs Sarita Boodhoo as Chairperson of the Bhojpuri Speaking Union;
(b) Mr Arnaud Carpooran as Chairperson of the Kreol Speaking Union; and
(c) Mr Tang Yun Sing, GOSK, CSK, OSK, OBE, as Chairperson of the Chinese Speaking Union.