1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Maritime Zones (Amendment No. 2) Bill which amends the Maritime Zones Act to provide for the Island of Tromelin and its surrounding maritime areas, as delimited, to be co-managed by Mauritius and France in accordance with Agreements entered into between the two States, without prejudice to the sovereignty of Mauritius over the Island of Tromelin and its surrounding maritime areas.
2. Cabinet has taken note of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture to celebrate Christmas at national level, viz., shows, comprising special Christmas songs and performances by the Creole Speaking Union, la Conservatoire de Musique François Mitterand, Group ABAIM and local artists at Trianon and Grand Baie, and a Caravanne Noël at the Esplanade Rose Belle, Trou d’Eau Douce Public Beach, Grand Gaube Public Beach, Bambous Village and Résidence Père Laval, Quatre Bornes.
3. Cabinet has taken note of measures being taken by the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms to digitize Human Resource Management functions in the Civil Service for a speedier and more efficient service, automate Human Resource functions and facilitate interface amongst the various Ministries/Departments/Service Commissions. The project would be implemented on a pilot basis in six Ministries/Departments, namely the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, the Public Service Commission, the Disciplined Forces Service Commission and the Treasury Department. All Ministries/Departments would be connected to the System by 2015.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Summit of Heads of State and Government of COMESA has endorsed the candidature of Dr D. Jhurry, National Research Chair, as a member of the COMESA Innovation Council. The Council, established in June 2012, is an advisory council to the Committee on Science Technology and Innovation, Member States and the regional centres of excellence on matters relating to science and technology. It will also contribute to the development of a COMESA Innovation Roadmap and advise on strategies for its implementation.
5. Cabinet has taken note of the performance of the Export-Oriented Enterprise Sector for the period January to November 2012 as compared to the corresponding period in 2011. The value of exports of the Sector increased from Rs39.17 billion to Rs42.02 billion, i.e., by 7.3%. Increase has been registered in the following sub-sectors – Pullovers and Cardigans (+46.0%), Shirts (+7.1%), Trousers (+19.0%), Fish and Fish Preparations (+33.0%), Pearls, Precious and Semi-precious Stones (5.3%), Jewellery (+26.6%), Optical Goods (+11.2%), and Watches and Clocks (+8.7%). Exports to the European countries have increased - UK (+2.0%), France (+6.1%), Spain (+28.8%) and Belgium (+39.9%). Exports to South Africa have also increased by 35.3%.
6. Cabinet has taken note that a High Level Task Force has been set up under the Chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping to look into the organization of Cavadee and Maha Shivaratree festivals in 2013.
7. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms would advise the President of the Republic to make the Civil Establishment Order and the Civil Establishment (Rodrigues Regional Assembly) Order, which reflect changes on the approved establishment of Ministries/Departments and the Rodrigues Regional Assembly for the financial year 2013 and incorporate the recommendations contained in the Pay Research Bureau Report 2013 with regard to changes in established posts, new salary codes and salary scales.
8. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, in collaboration with the Blood Donors’ Association, would hold a Mega Blood Donation on Esplanade Emmanuel Anquetil, Port Louis on 20 December 2012. The blood collected would help cater for the demand of blood during the end-of-the-year festive period and the cyclonic period. About 150 to 200 pints of blood are required daily in public and private health institutions to attend to emergencies.
9. Cabinet has taken note of the publication of the Family Planning and Demographic Yearbook 2011, which provides information on population, family planning and health service points for the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues during the year 2011. According to the Report, -
(a) total fertility rate was 1.42, i.e., below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1;
(b) the age structure of the population is changing from a young to an ageing one. It is forecast that the percentage of population aged 60 years and above will reach 29.9% in 2051, as compared to 11.8% in 2011; and
(c) infant mortality rate has declined to 12.6 per 1,000 live births as compared to 18.6 for period 1992–2001.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection would promulgate regulations under the Consumer Protection (Price and Supplies Control) Act to make it mandatory for an authorized dealer to affix the Auction Sheet and the pre-shipment inspection certificate of an imported second-hand motor vehicle on the windscreen of that vehicle and to review the fees payable on the issue of licences and permits for the importation of second-hand motor vehicles.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection would promulgate the Consumer Protection (Control of Imports) (Amendment No. 6) Regulations to remove certain items, such as plastic carry bags (Vest Type), life jackets, and used pneumatic tyres of rubber, from the list of controlled goods requiring import permits in line with the recommendations of the Report on the Study on Non-Tariff Barriers and to improve trade competitiveness in Mauritius.
12. Cabinet has taken note that, following representations to the effect that the subsidized Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders destined for domestic purpose are also being used for commercial purposes, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, after consultation with the operators, would promulgate regulations to differentiate between the domestic 12 kg Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinder which will be fitted with regulators and the commercial 12 kg cylinder which will be fitted with a Pest-o-lite valve.
13. Cabinet has taken note of the appointment of –
(a) Mr Ramesh Sunt as Chairperson of the National Transport Authority; and
(b) Mr S.K. Pather, Supervising Officer of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, to act as Chairperson of the Mauritius Land Transport Authority.