1. Cabinet has taken note that, at the invitation of HE Mr James Alix Michel, GCSK, President of the Republic of Seychelles, Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, would proceed to the Seychelles on 16 June 2012 on a State Visit and be the Chief Guest at its National Day Celebrations. During his visit, the Prime Minister would address an Extraordinary Session of the Seychelles National Assembly, and have bilateral talks with the President on issues of mutual interest. Two Memoranda of Understanding would be signed, namely -
(a) a Memorandum of Understanding on health cooperation providing for the exchange of experience and expertise in the field of health, and the treatment of patients from Seychelles in specialized institutions in Mauritius; and
(b) a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of research and education, as well as the mutual recognition of qualifications to enable postgraduate studies at either institutions.
2. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the mission of Dr the Hon Navinchandra Ramgoolam, GCSK, FRCP, Prime Minister, to the United Kingdom last week.
The Prime Minister had a meeting with the British Prime Minister at 10, Downing Street on 8 June 2012 on the issue of sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago and exchanged views on the UK-Mauritius Trade and Investment Conference held in London this week; the ongoing threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean and on the need for all countries of the region to actively participate in concerted international efforts against piracy in the region; and the Euro crisis. After the bilateral meeting, the British Prime Minister and the Prime Minister signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Transfer of Suspected Pirates and Seized Property.
At the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Prime Minister also attended the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Queen.
3. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius has been selected by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) to host its Congress in 2016. It is the first time that this prestigious Congress will be held in the African Continent. The last Congress was held in Singapore this year and the next would be held in Miami, USA in 2014. The ICCA holds its Congress every two years to discuss different aspects of international dispute resolution. The ICCA, a worldwide non-governmental organization accredited by the United Nations, is devoted to promoting the use and improving the processes of arbitration, conciliation and other forms of resolving international commercial disputes. It has played a critical role in the development of arbitral rules and regulations, such as the UNCITRAL Model Law.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the World Health Organisation would organize a Workshop on childhood obesity in Mauritius from 2 to 4 July 2012 with a view to developing a draft Action Plan for the prevention of childhood obesity for Mauritius by using the tool known as “Prioritizing areas for action in the field of population-based prevention of childhood obesity” developed by the Organisation. Mauritius is one of the two African countries chosen by WHO for the design of such a Country Plan. Public Health policy decision makers, civil society, non-governmental organisations, international and regional organisations such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the European Union, would attend the Workshop.
According to the preliminary findings of the Global School-based Student Health Survey carried out in 2011, 22.7% boys and 19.3% girls aged 13 to 15 years were found to be overweight, and 7.9% boys and 4.6% girls of the same age group were obese.
5. Cabinet has reviewed the situation in energy demand in the short, medium and long terms and taken note of the updated electricity generation expansion plan of the CEB to cope with the increasing demand in electricity. The CEB is also considering the use of liquefied natural gas, a cleaner source of energy as an alternative to coal, for the generation of electricity in the long term. Moreover, Government is also promoting the implementation of renewable energy projects by private enterprises/individuals.
6. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, which amends the Land Acquisition Act to provide for the expeditious hearing of appeals which seek to challenge the legality of compulsory acquisition of property by the State and the interim payment of compensation to an interested party pending the determination of the amount by the Board of Assessment.
7. Cabinet has taken note of arrangements being made by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping to address the problem of landslide, particularly at Chitrakoot and Quatre Soeurs. As regards Quatre Soeurs, the geotechnical consultancy firm has recommended the relocation of the inhabitants. The Ministry of Housing and Lands would, subsequently, allocate plots of land at Camp Ithier to the inhabitants, and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping would provide technical support.
Cabinet has further taken note that an agreement has been entered with the Japan International Cooperation Agency for landslide management and capacity development on coastal protection and rehabilitation.
8. Cabinet has taken note that, in line with Government Programme 2012-2015, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection would promulgate regulations under the Hire Purchase and Credit Sales Act to revise the current Annual Percentage Rate from 24.8% to 19% to match the drop in repo rate. The Annual Percentage Rate is a determining factor that influences the amount payable by consumers when they indulge in hire purchase and credit sales transactions.
9. Cabinet has agreed to the price of bread of 100 grams (pain maison) being increased from Rs2.50 to Rs2.70, i.e., by 8%, with effect from 18 June 2012, to enable bakeries to cope with the increase in manufacturing costs. The retail price of bread of 100 grams was last revised downwards from Rs2.65 to Rs2.50 in December 2008.
10. Cabinet has taken note that the Postal Authority, on the recommendation of the Stamps Advisory Committee, has approved the issue of two additional stamps in 2012 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and the 240th anniversary of the setting up of the first Post Office in Mauritius.
11. Cabinet has taken note that the Computer Emergency Response Team of Mauritius (CERT-MU), a Unit of the National Computer Board, is now affiliated to the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams, which is an international confederation of trusted computer emergency response teams and recognized as the global leader in Information Security incident response. The CERT-MU provides information and assistance to organizations and the general public on implementing proactive measures to reduce the risk of information security incidents as well as responding to such incidents as and when they occur.
12. Cabinet has taken note that, according to provisional exports data for the period January to May 2012, exports of the Export Oriented Enterprise Sector have increased by 2.1% as compared to the corresponding period in 2011. The value of exports has also increased from Rs18.12 billion to Rs18.50 billion.
13. Cabinet has taken note that Enterprise Mauritius would hold the Mauritius International Trade Expo (MAITEX) 2012 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre from 5 to 8 July. The main objective of MAITEX 2012 is to enhance the visibility of the Mauritian savoir-faire by laying emphasis on locally manufactured goods with a view to positioning Mauritius as a reliable supplier of quality products at competitive prices. It is expected that some 100 local companies, from sectors such as Textile and Garments, Agro and Agri-business, Light Engineering, Printing and Publishing, Jewellery, Luxury Items, and Seafood, would exhibit their products. MAITEX would be an exhibition cum sales event whereby the exhibitors would be able to conduct professional business meetings over the first two days and sell to the general public on the last two days.
14. Cabinet has taken note that Mauritius would adhere to the International Partnership for Expanding Waste Management Services of Local Authorities which assists Governments and local authorities to expand their waste management services by accelerating the uptake of waste-related infrastructure and services at various stages of waste management, such as waste avoidance, prevention, minimization, segregation, collection, transport, recycling, recovery, reuse, treatment and disposal.
15. Cabinet has taken note that the University of Mauritius would organize an International Conference on Radio and Antenna Days of the Indian Ocean from 24 to 28 September 2012. The aim of the Conference is to discuss recent developments, theories and practical applications of radio frequency engineering, including radio waves, antenna, propagation and electromagnetic compatibility. Professor Subramaniam Ananthakrishnan, Raja Ramanna Fellow at the Electronic Science Department of Pune University and Professor Bernard Veyret, Researcher at the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection would be the keynote speakers at the Conference. University and Industry researchers, mainly from Europe, Asia and Africa, would participate in the Conference.
16. Cabinet has taken note of a twinning proposal between the village of Grand Baie and the City of Shanghai. The proposal would enable, inter alia, collaboration in the fields of sports and waste collection, disposal and recycling.
17. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of Music Day, celebrated on 21 June, musical programmes would be organized in different regions of the country, as well as in schools, Centres de Lecture et d’Animation Culturelle, by, amongst others, persons with disabilities, the Arpège Ecole de Musique, the Conservatoire National de Musique François Mitterand, the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, the Association des Auteurs Compositeurs Mauriciens and the Centres de Formation Artistique.
18. Cabinet has taken note of the activities organized by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in the context of the International Day of the African Child commemorated on 16 June, viz. -
(a) the 16 Days 16 Rights Campaign to raise awareness and understanding among both adults and children on children’s rights;
(b) an inter-generational session from the different Ecoles Des Parents focusing on the roles and responsibilities of parents and children;
(c) an interactive forum debate on Le droit à l’écoute active des enfants;
(d) a television programme on the theme A Nou Ecoute Nou Bann Zanfan; and
(e) a cultural show on Zanfan Moris Zanfan Le Mond.
The theme adopted for the International Day of the African Child is The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill.
19. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent visit of a technical delegation led by the Minister of Housing and Lands to Rodrigues, at the request of the Chief Commissioner, to look into, inter alia, the implementation of the Land Administration, Valuation and Information Management System (LAVIMS) as announced in Government Programme 2012-2015, advise on the way forward on audit for land granted or reserved for industrial and tourism related projects, and the setting up of a full-fledged planning unit.
20. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Tourism and Leisure to Reunion Island. The main objective of the mission was to promote the Mauritius Shopping Fiesta with a view to boosting tourist arrivals from Reunion Island, the main regional tourist market. He also launched the 109 Euros promotional offer over 2,000 seats, for travels of not more than 2 nights.
21. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius contributing an amount of USD 20,000 to the UNESCO’s Emergency Multi-Donor Fund to sustain its level of activity, including the expansion of the ocean-based tsunami early warning system.
22. Cabinet has taken note of the constitution of the Council of the Professional Architects, subsequent to the promulgation of the Professional Architects’ Council Act in March 2012.