1. In line with Government’s strategy to increase road safety and to comply with international norms and subsequently reduce casualties on roads, Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill which provides for the application of the Penalty Points System to driving licences, payment of fixed penalties, and for lane discipline on a dual carriageway. Penalty points attributed to an offence will remain effective for a period of three years and when accumulated over a period of time, may lead to the suspension of a driver’s licence. Penalty points would be assigned to certain road traffic offences, including –
(a) failing to wear securely a prescribed protective helmet while riding a motorcycle or an autocycle;
(b) neglecting or refusing to comply with traffic directions given by a police officer;
(c) using a hand held or hand-free microphone or telephone handset whilst driving a motor vehicle;
(d) using a vehicle on a road without prescribed lights during hours of darkness; and
(e) exceeding speed.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Certificate of Character Bill, which repeals and replaces the Certificate of Morality Act. The Bill provides for the issue of certificates of character to attest as to the previous convictions, if any, of a person. The procedure for the application of a Certificate of Character is being simplified, the application of certificates can be made electronically, and an employer cannot require a worker to submit another certificate within a period of one year following the submission of a certificate. The Bill, also, provides that a person who has been convicted of a specified minor offence, been given a non-custodial sentence in specified cases or been granted a free pardon in respect of an offence, shall be deemed not to have committed the offence, for the purpose of being issued a certificate of character.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the Mauritius National Identity Card Project with the assistance of the Government of Singapore. The Singaporean authorities would not only deliver a state-of-the-art identity card with world-class biometric and identity management technology and systems but also allow Government to improve its services through the Mauritius National Identity Scheme, and benefit from the expertise of world class experts in the fields of e-Government and national security.
4. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with commitments taken by Government, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, with the assistance of the Embassy of the United States of America, would hold a Training Programme to encourage women to move into the political arena. The Training Programme would provide trainees with the necessary insights and understanding of the local political setting and how to harness resources, mobilize people and improve one’s communication abilities to be in a better position to enter politics.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the introduction of a user-friendly national postcode by the Mauritius Post Ltd., in line with its strategy to modernize the addressing system. Postcode allows for more efficient and accurate sorting of mail, reduce mis-sorting and speed up delivery. The project, which has been successfully implemented on a pilot basis at Lallmatie, Bon Acceuil and Brisée Verdière from January to March 2012, is being extended to Vacoas, Rivière des Anguilles, Triolet, Trois Boutiques and Rodrigues. The system will cover the country by the end of 2013.
6. Cabinet has taken note of the major infrastructural development programmes for the next three years with an estimated project value of Rs82 billion, i.e., over 21% of our National Income, comprising, inter alia, the setting up of a 100 MW coal power station upgradable to 300 MW, a light rail transit system between Curepipe and Port Louis, the development of Port Louis into the transshipment hub for the Indian Ocean region, and Phase II of the Road Decongestion Programme.
7. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the implementation of the Mauritius Light Rail Transit Project, with the collaboration with the Government of Singapore on a Government-to-Government basis.
8. Cabinet has taken note of a proposal of the Department of Science and Technology of South Africa to site one of the dishes of the Square Kilometer Array Project in Mauritius. The Project, based in Manchester, UK, is a global collaboration of 67 institutions in 20 countries, aimed at providing answers to fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of the Universe. The Square Kilometer Array, the largest and most sensitive radio telescope ever built, will survey the sky more than ten thousand times faster than ever before and provide the highest resolution images in astronomy.
9. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the Fifth Global Innovation Index 2012 published by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation and INSEAD, a leading International Business School, Mauritius has been ranked as the most innovative country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
10. Cabinet has agreed to the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection amending the Consumer Protection (Control of Imports) Regulations 1999 to reintroduce salt as a controlled item under the List of Controlled Goods with a view to protecting the local salt industry and safeguarding employment in the sector, as well as preserving the salt pans, which form part of the National Heritage.
11. Cabinet has taken note that, to mark the World Population Day 2012 commemorated on 11 July, the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with stakeholders, would, amongst others, organize a workshop to develop a national strategy to sensitize the public on Reproductive Health Services, mount sensitization and awareness campaigns and conduct training courses for the medical and paramedical staff. The theme chosen by the United Nations Population Fund for this year’s World Population Day is Universal Access to Reproductive Health Service.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security would promulgate the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden Trust (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations to, inter alia, increase entrance fees paid by non-Mauritians and raise the tariffs for activities, such as film shooting and photographic sessions, with a view to allowing the Trust to meet its obligations and commitments.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives to Reunion Island where he was invited by the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de La Réunion to be the Chief Guest at La Soirée de remise des Trophées de l’Entrepreneur CCI Réunion 2012. In the margins of the event, the Minister discussed matters of mutual interest with the President of the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de La Réunion and visited three enterprises involved in the transformation and conservation of agricultural products, the production and installation of photovoltaic panels for business and residential units, and the conception, installation and maintenance of systems relating to the technical management of buildings.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the following appointments –
(a) Mrs Ayesha Jeewa, Attorney at Law, as Chairperson of the Board of the Open University of Mauritius; and
(b) Dr Kaviraj Sharma Sukon as Director General of the Open University of Mauritius.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Board of Management of the Public Officers’ Welfare Council with Mr D. P. Ruhee, OSK, former Senior Chief Executive, as Chairperson.