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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Office>Cabinet Decisions 19 October 2012

Cabinet Decisions 19 October 2012

1. Cabinet has agreed to the implementation of the Cyclone and Other Natural Disasters Scheme for 2012-2013, which has been prepared in close collaboration with all stakeholders and sets out the roles and responsibilities of each organization concerned in terms of general preparedness, action to be taken before, during, and in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Apart from Cyclone, Torrential Rain, Landslide, Tsunami, High Waves, the Scheme for 2012-2013 includes Water Crisis and Earthquake.
Cabinet has also taken note of the Summer Season Outlook for 2012-2013 prepared by the Meteorological Services following an assessment of local, regional and global indicators and patterns.
Cabinet has further taken note that, following a request of the Prime Minister to the French Authorities, Experts from the “Département de Sismologie et de l’Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris”, carried out a seismic risk assessment for Rodrigues and Mauritius. According to the Experts, the seismic activities on the Mid-Indian Ridge, would most probably, not exceed magnitude 7 on the Richter scale, and given the distance between the potential seismic source and Rodrigues, the earthquake hazard for Rodrigues is considered to be on the low side. However, following their recommendations, the Mauritius Meteorological Services and the Mauritius Oceanography Institute would, amongst others, acquire additional seismometers for the seismic stations of Rodrigues and Agalega, and update the tsunami inundation map.
Cabinet has also taken note of arrangements being made for the cleaning of rivers, rivulets and drains to avoid flooding.

2. Cabinet has taken note that, following extensive consultations between the Electoral Commissioner’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office, the President of the Republic has been advised to make the draft Municipal City Council and the Municipal Town Council Elections Regulations 2012 and the draft Village Council Elections Regulations 2012 under the Representation of the People Act. The Regulations were duly made by the President today and will come into operation on 22 October 2012.

3. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction into the National Assembly of the Affidavits of Prescription Act (Suspension of Certain Provisions) Bill which provides for the suspension of certain provisions of the Affidavits of Prescription Act so that no application for the transcription of an affidavit of prescription can be made to the Conservator of Mortgages pending the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry on the System of Acquisitive Prescription and any amendment made to the law as a consequence. The Bill also makes provision regarding applications for the transcription of affidavits of prescription that are pending on the Bill becoming law.

4. Cabinet has taken note of developments in the implementation of capital projects by local authorities, as well as the Rodrigues Regional Assembly. The development projects to the tune of Rs210m, comprise, inter alia, resurfacing and construction of roads; construction of drains, pavement, retaining walls, kiosk and petanque court, alleys, footpaths, children playground, bus shelters; construction and lighting of jogging tracks and health tracks; and fencing of playgrounds.

5. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the first phase of the Carbon Footprint Mitigation Project implemented by the Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) in collaboration with the ‘Maurice Ile Durable’ Fund. The project comprised, amongst others, training of some 25 participants from 7 selected companies on the application and principles of carbon footprint measurement, management and mitigation. The 7 selected companies recorded a total reduction of some 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 12.5% in greenhouse gases as compared to 2010, thereby bringing a substantial reduction in operational costs: savings on electricity consumption ranged from 11% to 50%, and on fuel oil from 2% to 70%, i.e., about Rs35 million for all the companies.
Cabinet has further taken note that MEXA has decided to extend the project to 22 companies/institutions with a view to promoting a carbon free culture in line with the ‘Maurice Ile Durable’ concept of sustainable development. The expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is 15% for the 22 companies/institutions.

6. Cabinet has agreed to the Mauritius Research Council Act being amended to widen the mandate of the Council to drive research and innovation and establish appropriate structure to encourage private participation in research and innovation in line with Government Programme 2012-2015. Based on the guiding principles that have been successfully adopted in a number of developing and developed countries, the amendments would enable enhance commercialization of research and development output, and make provisions for intellectual property that are designed to encourage creation and growth of enterprises.

7. Cabinet has taken note of the programme of activities that would be organized by the Ministry of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, to commemorate the 178th Anniversary of the Arrival of Indentured Labourers in Mauritius. The Programme includes wreath laying by eminent dignitaries, a cultural programme by cultural groups from Kerala, India, and exhibitions on Indentured Labour. The Ministry of Arts and Culture would also mount a replica of an Indenture Village as in the 1860’s, with exhibitions, life size models and live cultural performances. The Village would last for three months and performances would be held during week-ends.

8. Cabinet has taken note of the School Calendar for primary and secondary levels for the Academic Year 2013, which is as follows -
1st Term
Monday 14 January to Friday 05
Monday 14 January to Friday 05 April
2nd Term
Monday 22 April to Friday 19
Monday 22 April to Friday 19 July
3rd Term
Monday 19 August to Friday 08
Monday 12 August to Thursday 31 October
Admission of students to Standard I and Form I would be held on Friday 11 January 2013.

9. Cabinet has taken note of the holding of the Inter-Tertiary Educational Institutions Sports Competition (Universiade 2012) from 22 October to 01 November 2012. The event aims at providing an opportunity to students to participate in sports activities, that are crucial for the overall development of individuals, for the promotion of team spirit and healthy competition, as well as for strengthening ties between institutions. The main sports disciplines that would be organized are: athletics, football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, cricket and rugby. About 2,000 students from 27 tertiary education institutions would participate in the event.

10. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development to Tokyo, Japan where he received the award of Best Finance Minister of the year. He also participated in the 2012 Annual Meeting of the IMF and World Bank Group. The main objective of the Meetings was to consider how to return to growth in view of the negative fallout from the problems of the Eurozone and the slowing down of growth in emerging markets, particularly as the growth for the world economy for 2012 has been reduced from 4.0% to 3.3%.
In the margins of the Meetings, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development had bilateral meetings on Double Taxation Agreement and Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with Ministers and senior officials from Cape Verde, Maldives and Togo. He also met Mr Mike Rees and Ms Diana Layfield of the Standard Chartered Bank with whom he discussed on how Mauritius could position itself to be a financial centre for Africa.
Cabinet has also taken note that the African Investor had conferred the award of best investment promotion agency to the Board of Investment.

11. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the recent mission of the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology to Nairobi, Kenya at the head of a delegation of public and private higher education institutions. The delegation participated in an International Education Fair to showcase the Mauritian higher education sector, and encourage more students from Kenya to come to Mauritius for further studies.
In the margins of his mission, the Minister of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology met, amongst others, the Hon Mutula Kilonzo, Minister of Education of Kenya with whom he discussed cooperation in the field of education.

12. Cabinet has taken note that, in the context of the implementation of the Africa Adaptation Programme on climate change, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development would, inter alia, hold a Climate Change Knowledge Fair from 29 to 31 October 2012. The objective of the Fair is to share findings, experiences and best practices of the various activities implemented under the Programme. A sensitization campaign would also be mounted to raise awareness on the impacts of climate change in different sectors of the economy and on the adaptation measures that need to be taken at different levels. In this context, a set of posters would be displayed in the Citizens Advice Bureaux, the Community Centres and the Women Centres and pamphlets and a flyer would be distributed.

13. Cabinet has taken note of the reconstitution of the Dangerous Chemicals Control Board with Dr I. Boodhoo, Head of the Occupational Health Unit of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, as Chairperson.