1. Cabinet has reviewed the situation in Syria and condemns all acts of violence, particularly the killing of innocent civilians. Cabinet believes that it is the prime responsibility of the Syrian Government to ensure an immediate end to such acts including alleged violence by the Free Syrian Army. Mauritius supports the Kofi Annan Six Point Peace Plan and all peace and goodwill initiatives by the international community for an early solution. Mauritius will continue to support all moves taken at the level of the UN, including the UN Special Mission, for the unconditional restoration of peace in Syria.
2. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements made so far regarding Hadj pilgrimage and that the Hadj Authorities of the Saudi Government have impressed for the implementation of all requirements as a necessary condition for obtaining a Hadj Visa.
3. Cabinet has taken note that, under the Small and Medium Enterprises Financing Scheme to support SMEs as announced in 2012 Budget Speech, 475 Small and Medium Enterprises have, during the period December 2011 to April 2012, been granted credit facilities for a total amount of Rs445m.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities would launch the Observatoire de l’Energie on 13 June 2012. The Observatoire de l’Energie would collect and analyze data on energy uses by all sectors of the economy to better understand the national energy situation and accordingly formulate appropriate energy strategies. The Observatoire would also facilitate the evaluation of the effectiveness of applied energy technologies. Cabinet has further taken note that the website of the Energy Efficiency Management Office would also be launched on the occasion.
5. Cabinet has taken note that, with a view to promoting and positioning Mauritius as a quality destination for foreign direct investment and a gateway for investment into Africa as announced in Budget Speech 2012, negotiations on a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement have been finalised with the Republic of Gabon and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with the Republic of Gabon and the State of Kuwait.
Cabinet has also taken note that a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement have, recently, been signed with the Republic of Kenya.
6. Cabinet has agreed to Government, in a spirit of solidarity, contributing an amount of US$50,000 to the Comoros for its reconstruction following the recent torrential rains which have killed three people, injured many others and caused widespread destruction.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the conclusion of the Mauritius-US Trade Principles for the Information Communication Technology Services which would enhance the national regulatory capacity and support the expansion of the ICT networks and services to further economic development. The Trade Principles provide general guidelines for cooperation based on the principles of, inter alia, transparency, open networks, network access and use, cross-border information flows, use of spectrum and inter-connection and international cooperation. Mauritius is the first African country to conclude a Trade Principles for Information Communication Technology Services with the US.
8. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius signing the third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure. The Protocol would enable children who are victims of abuses and violations of their rights to submit complaints to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. The new instrument reinforces the international system of accountability for human rights and ensures the full protection of children’s rights and the participatory approach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
9. Cabinet has taken note that, according to the last statistical bulletin of the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure, 71,396 tourists visited Mauritius in the month of May 2012 as compared to 68,214 in May 2011, i.e., an increase of 4.7%. Growth has been registered in the following markets: Germany (+13.1%), UK (+0.8%), Russia (+144.4%), China (+18.8%), South Africa (+15.9%) and Reunion Island (+67.4%).
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and Le Caudan Waterfront, would organize the eighth edition of the Dragon Boat Festival on 24 June 2012 at Le Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis. The Dragon Boat Festival is one of the traditional festivals which are celebrated in China for more than 2,000 years. The event would also be marked by a defilé and cultural items.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities would promulgate the Radiation Protection (Personal Radiation Monitoring Service) Regulations which provide for the measurement of the exposure of radiation workers to ionizing radiation with a view to protecting them from the harmful effect of radiation.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the current status of the implementation of projects under the Integrated Resort Scheme. Since the inception of the Scheme, 534 residential units have been sold; 80% of the units sold are in respect of 3 IRS projects, namely the Tamarina, Anahita and Les Villas de Bel Ombre. As at date, the Board of Investment has approved 15 IRS projects and 5 others are under construction. Cabinet has also taken note that, under the Real Estate Scheme which allows land owners to engage in mini IRS projects in partnership with property developers, 6 projects have been completed and 20 others are under implementation.
13. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Consumer Protection (Price and Supplies Control) (Amendment) Bill which amends the Consumer Protection (Price and Supplies Control) Act to ban the display of tobacco products by traders at any point of sale, except the duty-free shops at the airports of Mauritius and Rodrigues.
14. Cabinet has taken note of the activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life to mark the World Blood Donor Day which would be observed on 14 June, viz., –
(a) sensitization of young persons to ensure continuance of blood donation in the future generations;
(b) a one-day workshop on Blood Donors Motivation, Recruitment and Retention – New Strategies; and
(c) blood donation activities across the island.
The theme chosen this year by the World Health Organisation is Every Blood Donor is a Hero.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the results of the second round of the pricing survey carried out by the Price Observatory from November 2011 to May 2012. The survey has revealed that –
(a) the average cost of the 55 targeted basic commodities decreased by 2.5%;
(b) the rate of price differential between the cheapest and the highest-priced shop-sign was 32%; and
(c) the districts of Grand Port, Pamplemousses and Moka were the cheapest, while those of Savanne, Port Louis and Black River remain the most expensive.
16. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Standards Bureau would promulgate Regulations to amend the Schedule to the Mauritius Standards Bureau (Certification Mark) Regulations to revise the fees applicable for the sale of standards and the provision of testing and calibration services, to cope up with the increase in operation costs.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade to Angola where he participated in the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community. The Summit considered the political situation in the region particularly Madagascar and Zimbabwe, the mid-term review of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan and progress in the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan.
18. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection to Tanzania where he participated in the 47th Meeting of African Development Bank Group. The theme of the Meeting was Africa and the emerging global landscape – challenges and opportunities. The Meeting, inter alia, assessed the global economic outlook and discussed on a long term strategy to deal with youth unemployment, growth and Africa’s transition to a green economy.
In the margins of the Meeting, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection had bilateral meetings with, amongst others, the President and the Vice-President of the African Development Bank; Mr D. Elazami Elidrissi, representative of the Governor of Morocco; Mr Alaya Bettaieb, Secretary of State to the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Republic of Tunisia; Mr Yukihisa Fujita, Senior Vice-Minister of Finance, Member of the House of Councillors, Democratic Party of Japan; and Dr Barbara C. Samuels II, Executive Director of the Global Clearing House for Development Finance.
19. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to Zimbabwe where she participated in the High Level Meeting of the GlobalPOWER Women Network Africa. The topics discussed were, inter alia, Young Women, Girls and HIV; Eliminating New Infections in Children and Keeping Mothers Alive; Maternal Health; Campaign to Accelerate the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa; Investing in Women's Health; and Leadership and Accountability. The Meeting culminated in a Harare Call to Action, which comprises, amongst others, the commitments of African countries to set up national chapters of the GlobalPOWER Women Network Africa with a view to monitoring performance on commitments and resolutions, as well as the impact of budgets for women and girls at national level, and to developing action plans accordingly.
20. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of –
(a) the Board of the Beach Authority with Mr Jaykissoon Anand Nunkoo as Chairperson; and
(b) the Board of the Mauritius Standards Bureau with Mr Elam Lallmahomed as Chairperson.