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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Office>Cabinet Decisions-14 September 2012

Cabinet Decisions-14 September 2012

1. Cabinet has agreed to the payment of salary compensation as from 1 January 2013 as follows -
Monthly Basic Wage/Salary
Additional Remuneration per Month
Up to Rs7,000
Rs7,001 - Rs8,000
4.3% (rounded to the next rupee)
Above Rs8,000

The cost of implementation is estimated at Rs1.6 billion for the private sector, and all the 350,000 Mauritian and foreign workers in the private sector will benefit from the salary compensation. The Report of the Pay Research Bureau, due in October 2012, will adjust the salaries of the public sector employees to compensate for loss in purchasing power.

2. Cabinet has taken note of the status in the implementation of the Mauritius National Identity Card Project under a Government-to-Government configuration with the Government of Singapore. The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, a Government entity, would lead the Project. The Mauritius National Identity Card, a polycarbonate contactless smart card, will comprise secure data, such as civil data, photo, address and fingerprint, stored electronically in the card chip in an irreversible laser engraved format. It is expected that the implementation of the Project would be completed by December 2014.

3. Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of an Agriculture Infrastructural Development Programme under the Food Security Fund, in line with the measures enunciated in Government Programme 2012-2015 to strengthen the Agri-food Sector. The main objectives of the Programme are to provide more incentives and facilities to planters, such as repair of damaged access roads, construction of wheel tracks and provision of irrigation facilities and proper drainage systems, to make optimal use of land and aquatic resources for food and livestock production. The development projects identified for this year include the construction of reinforced concrete wheel tracks from Henrietta to Robinson Link Road, Curepipe and at La Marie Derauvil Access Road, Plaine Sophie; the rehabilitation of the existing irrigation infrastructure at Arsenal litchi farm; and the setting up of irrigation facilities at Rouge Terre and Bois Marchand.

4. Cabinet has taken note that, following the recent fire outbreaks in sugarcane fields when some 1,500 Arpents of sugarcane have been burnt, the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security has initiated a series of measures, including -
(a) arrangements for the urgent processing of the burnt canes;
(b) regular patrols by the Police, the helicopter service and the SMF;
(c) strict adherence to the protocol for controlled burning of sugarcane; and
(d) sensitization campaign against criminal burning of sugarcane.
Cabinet has also taken note that a Technical Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Executive Officer of the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority has been set up to monitor the situation.

5. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment would promulgate regulations to give effect to the recommendations of the National Remuneration Board in respect of the employees of the Cleaning Sector. The salient features of the recommendations are -
(a) a wage increase varying between 10% to 20%;
(b) increase in the annual leave entitlement from 14 days to 16 days;
(c) increase in the meal allowance from Rs50 to Rs70;
(d) provision of protective equipment, such as raincoat, cap and respiratory mask, to workers exposed to noxious substances;
(e) payment of a death grant of Rs3,500, instead of Rs2,000, upon the death of a worker who reckons at least 12 months’ continuous service;
(f) 12 weeks’ maternity leave, on full pay, being no longer limited to 3 confinements and such benefits being extended to employees reckoning less than 12 months’ continuous employment, albeit without pay, and the maternity allowance being increased from Rs500 to Rs2,000;
(g) grant of a break of one hour daily or half an hour twice daily, with pay, to a female worker who is nursing her unweaned child;
(h) increase in the payment of a death grant from Rs2,000 to Rs3,500; and
(i) workers, who are regularly exposed to dust and/or noxious substances and emanations, to undergo a complete medical check-up at the expense of the employer every 6 months.

6. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology and the Council for Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings and the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prizewinners Meetings would sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which would provide for support in the fields of natural science and economics. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, set up in 1951, aim at bringing together young scientists from all over the world to meet and interact with Nobel Laureates. Every year, some 550 young scientists participate in the Meetings, which are attended by some 20 to 35 Nobel Prize winners. The Meetings are inspired by the guiding principle Educate. Inspire. Connect.

7. Cabinet has agreed to allow the use of coal water slurry as a source of fuel in Mauritius. Coal water slurry, widely used in the USA, Canada and China, burns cleaner than conventional coal, is free of dust, has less harmful emissions released in the atmosphere, and is an efficient substitute for conventional coal, oil or gas to be used in industrial boilers of up to 20 tons.

8. Cabinet has taken note that the Energy Efficiency Management Office of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities would hold the National Energy Efficiency Awareness Week from 24 to 30 September 2012. The objective of the Awareness Week is to sensitize the public on efficient management of energy. The theme of the event is More With Less Energy. The programme of activities comprises an Open Forum on energy efficiency, a sensitization and education campaign on the introduction of Energy Efficiency labels/standards/certificates, and a demonstration on the testing of energy-efficient vehicles.

9. Cabinet has taken note that receipt in the Tourism Sector at the end of July 2012 amounted to Rs26.6 billion, representing a growth of 9.3% over the same period as last year.

10. Cabinet has taken note that the Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, would organize a regional Workshop in Mauritius from 16 to 18 October 2012 to validate the report on the current state of Strategic Performance Management in five African countries, namely Mauritius, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania. The aim of the case studies was to identify common trends and emerging themes in the performance management field and covered, among others, an assessment of performance management in the selected countries. The Strategic Performance Management tools successfully adopted in Mauritius include Performance Management System, ISO certification, customer service charters, public service awards, customer/counter improvements and mystery shopping. Some 30 delegates are expected to attend the Workshop.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the recent mission of the Attorney General to Maputo, Mozambique where he participated in the 12th Council of Ministers’ Meeting of the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group. The Meeting, inter alia, reviewed the implementation of the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism, approved the Strategic Plan for 2012/2015, and set up the Global Network Coordination Group to promote cooperation between the Financial Action Task Force and the Financial Action Task Force style Regional Bodies, and develop and enhance the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards.

12. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives to Seychelles where he participated in the Ministerial Meeting for an Accelerated Programme for Economic Integration. The objective of the Meeting was to launch an Accelerated Programme for Economic Integration in line with the spirit of rapid integration based on variable geometry and variable approach adopted by the Joint Council of Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and those of the Southern African Development Community to promote economic cooperation through more intensive trade, trade in goods and services and investments in Africa. The Meeting agreed, amongst others, to accelerate reforms in the elimination of barriers to trade in goods, the promotion of trade in services, the improvement of business regulatory environment and trade facilitation. The proposed programme would start initially with five like-minded and reform-oriented countries, namely Malawi, Seychelles, Zambia, Mozambique and Mauritius, and would, subsequently, be open to other African countries.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to India where she participated in the 12th Global Conference on Trade Liberalisation and its Global Impact on Women Entrepreneurs. The objectives of the Conference were to discuss the issues and challenges facing women-owned businesses, create a linkage with women-to-women partnerships, and bring women and artisans on a common platform.
In the margins of the Conference, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare had meetings, among others, with the Hon Shri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, the Hon Smt Krishna Tirath, Minister of State (Additional Charge) for Women and Child Development and the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women.

14. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of -
(a) the Mauritius Accreditation Service Advisory Council with Dr Iqbal Bhugun as Chairperson; and
(b) the Traditional Medicine Board with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Quality of Life as Chairperson.