1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, the Police Complaints Bill and the National Preventive Mechanism Bill. The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, which amends the Protection of Human Rights Act, provides for the National Human Rights Commission to operate through three Divisions, namely the Human Rights Division, the Police Complaints Division and the National Preventive Mechanism Division and for the broadening of the functions of the Commission in line with the Paris Principles. It also provides for every member to hold Office for a term of four years. The Police Complaints Bill sets up the Police Complaints Division to investigate complaints made against members of the Police Force, other than allegations of corruption and money laundering and the National Preventive Mechanism Bill sets up the National Preventive Mechanism Division which would be the National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
2. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill which amends the MBC Act to provide for the Disciplinary Committees set up under the Act to be constituted of independent persons as recommended by Mr D. Vellien, former Magistrate of the Intermediate Court, in his report on the Fact Finding Committee set up in June 2011 to enquire into the dismissal by the Corporation of Mrs Rehana Ameer, then President of the MBC Staff Association. The Bill further provides that, in cases of disciplinary action justifying dismissal, the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee shall be a person who has held judicial office or is a Barrister of not less than ten years’ standing. A member or a person who is or was an employee of the Corporation, shall not be qualified to sit on any Disciplinary Committee.
3. Cabinet has taken note of the implementation of the new Health Insurance Scheme set up to provide facilities to employees of both the public sector and the private sector contributing to the National Savings Fund as announced in Budget Speech 2012. The Scheme, which would come into operation on 16 July 2012, would enable employees who have contributed for at least six months, to transfer their contribution made as from January 2012 as premium payment to any private medical scheme of their choice.
4. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Supplementary Appropriation (2011) Bill which provides for the Supplementary Appropriation, by programmes, of an additional sum of Rs6.1 billion in respect of the Financial Year 2011, in excess of the expenditure appropriated for the 135 programmes by the Appropriation (2011) Act 2010.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the 9th Session of the Sino-Mauritian Joint Commission held in Mauritius on 4 July 2012. The meeting reviewed the Sino- Mauritian Cooperation over the last 40 years during which Mauritius has obtained around Rs18 billion in the form of grants, interest free loans and commercial loans to implement key infrastructure projects, such as airport, roads, housing and sewerage system, which have contributed positively to the economic and social development of Mauritius. The Committee also discussed the restructuring of the Jin Fei Trade and Economic Zone project, chinese investment in the manufacturing sector, and infrastructure development. During the meeting, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development also signed a grant Agreement of RMB60m (Rs270m) to support the implementation of infrastructure projects of our choice.
6. Cabinet has taken note of consultations being carried out by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development in the context of the presentation of the next Budget. Consultations are centered on a vision of outcome improvements over the next 10 years and policies and strategies for structural reforms are being reviewed to enable the country’s transition from middle to high income status with a fairer income distribution and consistent with the Maurice Ile Durable vision.
7. Cabinet has taken note of the implementation by the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, in collaboration with EU-ACP Development of Food Safety Systems (EDES) of a project to strengthen food safety systems for poultry, honey and pineapple with a view to improving trade flows with the EU and reassure importers that the products meet the EU sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards and norms. In this context, Mr Antoine Nguz, Regional Coordinator of EDES, will visit Mauritius from 13 to 20 July 2012 to train producers of poultry, honey and pineapple on the Self Assessment Guide of EDES.
8. Cabinet has taken note of the arrangements being made by the National Heritage Fund for the inscription of four elements of our intangible cultural heritage, i.e., the traditional Mauritian Sega, Bhojpuri folk music/song/dance, Sega Tambour of Rodrigues and Sega Typique Ilois on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
9. Cabinet has taken note that 157 cooperative enterprises and SMEs from Mauritius and Rodrigues participated in the first National Cooperative and SME Fair organized by the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives in the context of the celebration of the International Cooperative Day and the International Year of Cooperatives. The objectives of the National Fair were, inter alia, to showcase the importance of cooperatives and SMEs and provide a marketing platform. The event attracted more than 12,000 visitors. The products marketed were haberdashery, jewellery, fruits, vegetables, groceries and food items produced by cooperatives and SMEs.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of a regional workshop, under the Africa Adaptation Programme, on Leveraging Public Finance to Catalyse Private Sector Engagement in Climate Resilient Development in Mauritius from 13 to 17 August 2012. The main objective of the Workshop is to develop technical competencies of personnel of key public and private institutions on the use of relevant climate data on sector specific climate change budgeting for adaptation. The 20 countries, implementing the Africa Adaptation Programme and local stakeholders, would participate in the Workshop.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of an International Conference on Textiles and Apparel Sustainability from 16 to 19 July 2012 by the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Mauritius. The Conference would address the issues of sustainability in the broad areas of textile and apparel technology, production and consumption. It would enable participants to share research output, insights and ideas and keep abreast with the latest knowledge in sustainability frameworks and tools, green manufacturing, trade competitiveness, climatic change and globalization. Participants from Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, amongst others, would attend the Conference.
12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping to Hong Kong where he participated in the World Hindu Economic Conference. The aim of the Conference was to bring financially successful elements within the Hindu Society together so that each group could share their business knowledge, experience and expertise and everybody could benefit from that interaction. The theme of the Conference was Shaping World Economy and Making Society Prosperous.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Housing and Lands to Singapore where he participated in the World Cities Summit 2012. The Summit, a biennial event focusing on cities, offers a platform for networking and sharing best practices and solutions for urbanization challenges. The Summit discussed, inter alia, water and the environment, trends and opportunities that are currently shaping and transforming cities into sustainable centres of global networks and economic vitality for the future. The theme chosen this year was Liveable and Sustainable Cities.
14. Cabinet has taken note that Mr Haymandoyal Dillum and Mr Israhyananda Dhalladoo have been appointed Ambassadors.
15. Cabinet has taken note of the following appointments –
(a) Mr Serge Ng Tat Chung, MSK, as Chairperson of the Private Secondary Schools Authority;
(b) Mr Rohit Narain Guttee as Chairperson of the Road Development Authority;
(c) Mr Edley Chimon as Chairperson of the Board of Le Morne Heritage Trust Fund; and
(d) Dr Abdool Rechad Sayfoo as Chairperson of the Mauritius Qualifications Authority.