Les décisions du conseil des ministres du vendredi 18 juin
CABINET DECISIONS – FRIDAY 18 JUNE 2021
The Cabinet met today under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. The highlights of the deliberations are as follows:
1. Cabinet has agreed to the introduction of the Supplementary Appropriation (2020-2021) (No. 2) Bill into the National Assembly. The object of the Bill is to provide for the supplementary appropriation, by votes of expenditure, both recurrent and capital, in respect of services of Government for the financial year 2020-2021, in excess of the expenditure appropriated by the Appropriation (2020-2021) Act 2020 and the Supplementary Appropriation (2020-2021) Act 2021.
2. Cabinet has taken note that the Landlord and Tenant (Extension of Moratorium for Fair Rent Tribunal) Regulations 2021 would be promulgated. Currently, the Landlord and Tenant Act provides that any application made before 01 January 2021 by a landlord or tenant to be dealt with, and determined, by the Fair Rent Tribunal not later than 30 June 2021 or, in exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, not later than such later date as may be prescribed. The new Regulations would provide for an extension of the moratorium date of 30 June 2021 to 31 December 2021 to allow for pending cases to be determined, as the recent confinement and prevailing sanitary conditions have seriously impacted on the Tribunal’s scheduled proceedings.
3. Cabinet has agreed to the revocation of the Local Government (Dumping and Waste Carriers) Regulations 2003 and the promulgation of the Local Government (Dumping and Waste Carriers) Regulations 2021. The main provisions of the Local Government (Dumping and Waste Carriers) Regulations 2021 are as follows:
(a) the definition of “Minister” as being the Minister to whom the responsibility for the subject of solid waste management is assigned, and “Ministry” as being the Ministry responsible for the subject of solid waste management;
(b) the definition of “waste management facility” encompassing waste disposal sites such as Transfer Stations, Landfill and Material Recovery Facilities, as provided in the Local Government Act 2011;
(c) the requirement for a waste carrier licence applies only to persons carrying wastes of a weight exceeding 500 kilogrammes in a vehicle. This new provision would facilitate the transportation of waste materials to Civic Amenity Centres by households;
(d) the revocation of the licence in case of an offence pertaining to illegal dumping or where the holder has been convicted for two offences within a period of 12 months under these Regulations;
(e) the payment of tougher penalties in respect of illegal dumping and other offences; and
(f) the inclusion of a new condition to the effect that wastes should not be kept in waste carriers overnight in inhabited areas to avoid environmental nuisances to the neighbourhood.
The Waste Carrier Licence Fees which date back to 2003 would also be increased.
4. Cabinet has taken note that the Independent Safety Audit of the light rail system from Rose Hill to Quatre Bornes has been completed by the Safety Audit Team comprising the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise. No safety related issues were highlighted and trials runs and tests were successfully conducted along the Rose Hill to Quatre Bornes alignment. The National Land Transport Authority has agreed to extend the Licence of Metro Express Ltd, under the same terms and conditions, up to Quatre Bornes in respect of passenger services. The launch of the operation of the passenger service from Quatre Bornes to Rose Hill would be effected by the Prime Minister on Sunday 20 June 2021. A restricted ceremony would be organised in view of the prevailing sanitary restrictions.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the fixing of the light rail fares from Port Louis to Quatre Bornes and for amendments to be made to the Light Rail Fares and Light Rail Tickets Regulations 2019 in order to prescribe the fares.
6. Cabinet has taken note that the Mauritius Post Ltd is reviewing its postal tariffs. The tariff structure was last reviewed in 2017 and became effective in January 2018. Since then, operating costs at the Mauritius Post Ltd have significantly increased. The new tariff structure has been approved by the Postal Authority in accordance with section 20 of the Postal Services Act and would be effective as from 01 July 2021.
7. Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) and L’Université de Tours, France. The collaborative activities between the MIE and L’Université de Tours, would focus on:
(a) joint research and capacity building activities;
(b) exchange of documents and publications;
(c) exchange programmes between researchers and/or Master’s level and/or Doctoral students;
(d) undertaking of research projects in mutually agreed fields; and
(e) enhanced strategic development of the two institutions.
8. Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) and Université Côte d’Azur in France which is positioned among the ten best French research-intensive universities. The collaborative activities between the MIE and Université Côte d’Azur would focus mainly on:
(a) exchange of academic staff for research, teaching and the development of special courses in their respective fields of specialisation;
(b) student exchange and study abroad programmes;
(c) establishment of joint research programmes; and
(d) collaboration for joint higher Degree programmes.
9. Cabinet has agreed to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Groupement d’Intérêt Public Cyclotron Réunion Océan Indien (GIP CYROI) of Réunion Island for the procurement of radiotracers for the Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) Scanner of the Nuclear Medicine Department of the New Cancer Centre. The PET/CT scanner is an imaging machine to detect diseases such as cancer in the body at a very early stage when treatment would be very effective.
10. Cabinet has taken note of the list of Public Holidays for the Year 2022 as follows:
New Year – Saturday 01 January
New Year – Sunday 02 January
Thaipoosam Cavadee – Tuesday 18 January
Chinese Spring Festival – Tuesday 01 February
Abolition of Slavery – Tuesday 01 February
Maha Shivaratree – Tuesday 01 March
Independence and Republic Day – Saturday 12 March
Ugaadi – Saturday 02 April
Labour Day – Sunday 01 May
Eid-Ul-Fitr** – Tuesday 03 May
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Monday 15 August
Ganesh Chaturthi – Thursday 01 September
Divali – Monday 24 October
Arrival of Indentured Labourers – Wednesday 02 November
Christmas – Sunday 25 December
**The exact date of this festival is subject to confirmation as its celebration depends on the visibility of the moon.
11. Cabinet has taken note of the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in the case Betamax Ltd v State Trading Corporation. On 14 June 2021, the JCPC decided to set aside the order of the Supreme Court of Mauritius and to allow the application of Betamax Ltd to enforce the Award given by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.
12. Cabinet has taken note that the Sugar Insurance Fund Board had decided to declare Crop 2020 as an Event Year. The Sugar Insurance Fund Act provides that the Sugar Insurance Fund Board can declare any crop year to be an Event Year where the total sugar accrued for a prescribed area is not more than the prescribed percentage of the total insurable sugar for the prescribed area on account of the occurrence of all or any of the following events:
(b) drought; or
(c) excessive rainfall
13. Cabinet has taken note that a Special Desk has been set up at the Economic Development Board in collaboration with the Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd and the Guichet Unique of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, to provide support to economic operators not operating due to sanitary restrictions. The Special Desk would provide support to enterprises engaged in the following sectors:
(a) Fitness Centre (Gymnasium/ Sports Complex);
(b) Food Court, Bar and Restaurant;
(c) Cinema, Casinos and Night Club;
(d) Salle De Reception and Multi-Purpose Hall;
(e) Market Fair;
(f) Beach Hawker; and
(g) any other sector of activity as may be recommended by Economic Development Board.
Operators in these sectors would be eligible for financial support from the Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd under the following schemes:
(a) Rs100,000 Interest-free Loan to address cashflow issues; and/or
(b) COVID-19 Special Support Scheme for loan of up to Rs1 million at an interest rate of 0.5 percent and one year moratorium.
14. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Heritage would host the first Inter-Ministerial Meeting of the Indentured Labour Route Project, on 16 July 2021, on a virtual platform, in the context of the 15th Anniversary of the inscription of the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The aim of the project is to bring together countries having experienced the migration of indenture and other forms of contract labour in the 19th and mid-20th centuries. It strives to contribute to nation building efforts and to a greater understanding among peoples and societies across the indentured diaspora as well as within the countries themselves.
Ministers responsible for Arts and Culture from 11 countries would participate in the meeting. The Agenda of the meeting would comprise a presentation on the purpose of the Indentured Labour Route Project, its expected achievements and the Action Plan for the period 2021-2024 as well as discussions on the project to enable Ministers to share experiences and best practices on how they propose to implement the project in their respective countries.
15. Cabinet has taken note that the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in collaboration with the High Commission of India, would hold a ceremony on 21 June 2021 to mark the International Day of Yoga, observed on 21 June. A yoga demonstration would be made on this occasion. The Ministry of Health and Wellness would also make use of media platforms to sensitise the general public on the benefits of yoga practice. Other activities would include radio and live TV interventions by health professionals. The theme chosen for this year is “Yoga for well being”.
16. Cabinet has taken note that following an outbreak of African Horse Sickness in the Republic of South Africa, the Livestock and Veterinary Division of the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in Mauritius would take the following additional measures in order to further mitigate the risk of introduction of the disease:
(a) prior to export to Mauritius, all horses be isolated for 14 days in a vector protected establishment approved by the exporting country’s veterinary authority;
(b) import to be allowed only during the low vector sick period from July to September; and
(c) upon arrival in Mauritius, horses to be kept in isolation in vector protected quarantine/isolation facility approved by the Livestock and Veterinary Division for a period of at least 14 days.
17. Cabinet has taken note of the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic prevailing across the world. Some 178.1 million cases have been reported globally, of which 162.6 million persons have been successfully treated. With regard to Mauritius, as from March 2020 to 18 June 2021, 1,784 cases (including imported cases) of COVID-19 had been registered. There were 380 active cases of COVID-19 in Mauritius, out of which 374 were local cases and six imported cases. Contact tracing exercises and random testing are being carried out in accordance with the established protocol. The public should observe strict sanitary precautions, including the wearing of masks.
Cabinet has taken note that La Valette, Bambous would remain a Red Zone up to 28 June 2021.
Cabinet has also taken note of progress in the implementation of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.
18. Cabinet has taken note of the activities being organised by the Ministry of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms to mark the UN Public Service Day 2021, celebrated on 23 June. The theme chosen for this year is “Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs”. The following virtual events would be organised:
(a) the Public Officers Welfare Council would organise a Virtual Public Speaking Competition on the theme of the day with the participation of 27 public officers from different grades;
(b) a Webinar would be organised by the Civil Service College, Mauritius on the adoption of innovative technologies in the public sector; and
(c) the Minister of Public Service, Administrative and Institutional Reforms would deliver a televised message to all public officers.
19. Cabinet has taken note that at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 09 June 2021, Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates were elected to serve as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2022-2023.
20. Cabinet has taken note that following the resignation of Mr Iran Dowlut, Marine Engineer, as member of the Court of Investigation to investigate into the casualty of tug “Sir Gaetan” on 31 August 2020, Captain Jacques Goilot, Master Mariner, has been appointed to replace him.
21. Cabinet has taken note of the outcome of the participation of the Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change in a virtual meeting of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) of the African Union. Some 80 participants from African countries were also present. The CAHOSCC mandate is to spearhead Africa’s common position on climate change and to ensure that Africa speaks with one voice in global climate change negotiations, particularly in view of the 26th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, scheduled for November 2021.
During the presentation of the status of climate negotiations and key outcomes of key climate change meetings, the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators reported that although Africa contributed only four percent of total greenhouse gas emissions globally, financial support to the tune of USD3 trillion was required to implement major commitments on climate change, including the Nationally Determined Contributions. Updates of the different climate Commissions led by African countries were also presented.
22. Cabinet has taken note that the Minister of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation had a virtual meeting with the South African Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies. The theme of the meeting was the Exploration and Promotion of ICT Investment Cooperation in the Mauritian and South African economies. Discussions also focused on the following areas:
(a) cooperation and partnership to accelerate investment between Mauritius and South Africa;
(b) investment by Mauritius on submarine cables to South Africa;
(c) collaboration on manufacturing between the countries and localisation towards advancing regional ICT development, considering the African Continental Free Trade Area; and
(d) the submarine cable that is currently being implemented by Mauritius Telecom Ltd.