Citizens  | Government | Non-Citizen | Business 
  Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius
Home  
Biography  
PM and his Cabinet  
PM in Parliament  
PM's Office  
PM's Speeches  
Courtesy Calls  
PM's Activities  
Contact Us  
Archives  
Search  
 

PRIME MINISTER REPLIES TO PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS
OF 29 MAY 2007


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/ 485

The Honourable Third Member for Quartier Militaire and Moka (Dr Ramloll)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to the Police Welfare Association, he will, for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police, information as to (a) its financial situation as at todate (b) the amount spent during the year 2005-2006 and (c) the sum (i) allocated for minor, intermediate and major categories of surgical treatment respectively and (ii) earmarked for high-tech medical investigations, including Ecography, CT Scan and MRI Scan?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

The Police Welfare Association (PWA) which was set up in 1986 is a benevolent association, registered with the Registrar of Associations. Membership thereto is voluntary and open to all serving members of the Force as well as retired Officers.

There is an elected committee which manages the Fund of the Police Welfare Association and in accordance with Section 23 of the Registration of the Association Act, the audited account is filed at the Registrar of Association Office

According the audited and published accounts of the association dated 15th March 2007, the accumulated funds for the year 2005 were Rs 391,876,982 and this has increased to 457,596,885 in the year 2006.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

As regards part (b) of the question I am informed that the amount spent during the year 2005 and 2006 are Rs 19,360,138 and Rs 21,934,806, respectively.

In reply to part (c) of the question, I am also informed by the Commissioner of Police that a sum of Rs 2,327, 742. was allocated for surgical expenses in 2005 and Rs 2,420, 283 for 2006.

Furthermore, I am informed that the Police Welfare Association does not provide for Hi-tech medical investigation. However, it subsidizes surgical interventions to the tune of Rs 2,000 for minor operation, Rs 4,000 for intermediate intervention, Rs 8,000 for major operation and a maximum of Rs 50,000 for overseas treatment.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am given to understand that the Managing Committee of the Police Welfare Association is currently carrying out an indepth study to examine the possibility of upgrading the functioning of the association to the same standard as the Mauritius Civil Service Mutual Aid Association Ltd so as to enhance the level and scope of services it can provide to its members.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/486

The Honourable Third Member for Quartier Militaire and Moka (Dr Ramloll)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to the specialized units of the Police Force, he will, for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police (a) details of the payment of the risk allowances in each case and (b) information as to if the “death on duty” compensation has been revised?

R
EPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that a risk allowance of Rs 840, as recommended by the Pay Research Bureau is paid to 9 Air pilots posted at the Helicopter Unit and the National Coast Guard as well as to officers of the Anti Drug and Smuggling Unit and the “Groupe D’intervention de la Police Mauricienne”.

As regards part (b) of the question, the PRB Report of 2003 provides that, in cases of officers who sustain fatal injuries, a compensation of six years’ salary at the rate of the deceased officer’s last salary drawn before the accident, subject to a maximum Rs 1.1 million be paid to the heirs over and above any gratuity payable under the Pension Regulations. Such compensation also applies in cases of a fatal occupational disease under conditions specified in Section 37 of the Worksmen’s Compensation Act and which is listed in the Second Schedule of the Act.

A revision of the compensation payable for “death on duty” will be considered by the next PRB report.

Mr. Speaker, Sir,

Besides, as I have indicated in reply to PQ B/485, the Police Welfare Association is examining the possibility of enhancing the level and scope of its activities. The payment of any additional compensation over and above what the present scheme provides, will be considered.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/487
The Honourable Second Member for Savanne and Black River (Mrs Hanoomanjee)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to the National Coast Guard, he will for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police, information as to if it is provided with adequate human resources and equipment for life saving at sea?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am informed that the present strength of the National Coast Guard Personnel is 729 as detailed hereunder:-

• 9 Indian Defence Officers on deputation;
• 1 Superintendent of Police;
• 3 Assistant Superintendents of Police;
• 2 Deputy Assistant Superintendents of Police;
• 4 Chief Inspectors of Police;
• 19 Inspectors;
• 4 Cadet Officers;
• 70 Police Sergents;
• 7 Caporals;
• 40 Deputy Caporals;
• 532 Police Constables;
• 2 Woman Police Constables; and
• 36 Trainee Police Constables.

Presently, the assets of the NCG include 24 NCG posts, an Air Squadron of 3 aircrafts, 5 ships and 58 crafts.

In addition, the National Coast Guard is equipped with an adequate number of lifejackets, lifebuoys, resuscitation kits, rescue buoys and life rafts. On its part, the Maritime Air Squadron is provided with air droppable lifesavers, aircrew vests, underseat life preservers, aircraft safety harnesses and search and rescue beacons.

However, in view of certain recent natural phenomena like we experimented some two weeks ago, I have already given instructions to reinforce the National Coast Guard both in terms of human resources and additional equipment for them; and increase in the number of NCG posts especially in Rodrigues,so that they can face these new challenges.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/488
The Honourable Second Member for Savanne and Black River (Mrs Hanoomanjee)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to the National Coast Guard Officers who have lost their life in a rescue operation following the recent sea swells, he will state if Government proposes to grant, on humanitarian grounds, any special support to their families?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

In accordance with section 16 of the Pensions Act, appropriate pensions and/or gratuity will be paid to the legal representatives of the public officers once the relevant formalities will be completed. Gratuity and other benefits that have accrued to PC Speville and PC Philippe amount to Rs 197,564.75 and Rs 154,021.36 respectively.

Furthermore, in accordance with paragraph 15.16.10 (iv) of the PRB Report 2003, a compensation of six years’ salary at the rate of the deceased officer’s last salary drawn before the accident, subject to a maximum of Rs1.1 m be paid to the heirs over and above any gratuity under the Pension Regulations. I am informed that the Commissioner of Police has in fact initiated action for payment thereof.

I am also informed by the Rodrigues Regional Assembly that the Commission for Social Security has on 15 May 2007 provided a financial assistance of Rs 5,000 under the “Family in Distress Scheme” to each of the families of the two Police Constables of the National Coast Guard who have lost their life in the rescue operation.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

The risk element is more prevalent in jobs where officers are called upon to save lives in difficult situations. There have been cases where ad hoc ex gratia payments have been made to the heirs of officers who died whilst accomplishing their mission.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to these ‘Soldats de la mer’ who have sacrificed their lives during an act of bravery. This cannot be evaluated in monetary terms. To further assist the distressed families, extra compensation will be given to them under the Prime Minister’s Relief and Support Fund, as is the practice in such cases, once all the formalities are done.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/489
The Honourable First Member for Beau Bassin and Petite Rivière (Mr Bhagwan)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to Police vehicles, he will, for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police, information as to (a) the total number thereof and (b) the number thereof which are (i) out of order and (ii) awaiting repairs?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that the Police Department has at present a total fleet of 1,357 vehicles, including 195 vehicles for the SMF.

As regards part (b) of the question, I am informed that there are currently 101 vehicles which are out of order. Of these 101 vehicles, 62 have already been examined by a Board of Survey and arrangements have been made to dispose them by auction sales while the remaining 39 vehicles will be examined by the next Board shortly and will be ultimately disposed of.

I am further informed that a total of 150 vehicles require repairs at the Police Mechanical Workshop, SMF Mechanical Workshop and at the local agents. Out of these 150 vehicles, 43 vehicles are currently undergoing repairs, 80 vehicles are awaiting spare parts and 27 vehicles are awaiting major repairs at the Workshops and the local agents.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I must point out that the present arrangements for repairs and maintenance of Police vehicles are being reviewed in the context of the closure of the Police Mechanical Workshop scheduled by the end of June this year. In fact, repairs and maintenance of Police vehicles will be contracted out except as I have said in the past, for the SMF Workshop for specialized vehicles and for emergencies. The aim is to ensure that repairs and maintenance of Police vehicles are carried out in a most cost-effective and expeditious manner.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

Despite the prevailing tight budgetary constraints, we have spared no efforts to provide the Police Department with additional vehicles to ensure its operational efficiency. In fact, during the current Financial Year, the Police Department has acquired 61 vehicles. 36 additional vehicles are expected to be delivered by the end of this month which will be allocated to the different divisions of the Police Force.

Furthermore, the Commissioner of Police has prepared a 5-Year Plan for the renewal of the Police fleet of vehicles which is at present subject of discussions with my Office and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/490

The Honourable Third Member for Montagne Blanche and Grand River South East (Mr Gunness)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether he will state if he has recently met the planters of Riche Terre and Terre Rouge Land Settlement and, if so, will he state the outcome thereof?

 

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I had a meeting with planters of the Riche Terre Land Settlement on Thursday 17 May 2007 at Clarisse House. I have explained to them the rationale of Government to make the land available to the Tianli Group for a major development project, in the context of the Tianli Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone involving investment to the tune of 500 million US dollars of foreign direct investment and the creation of 5000 direct jobs.

I have, during the meeting, informed the planters of Riche Terre that they would not be worse off and I have made the following proposals to compensate them:

(i) they would be paid an increase of 20% on the amount of compensation assessed by the Chief Government Valuer on the basis of actual acreage held by each planter. For example, a planter occupying 1 acre of land would receive Rs 120,000 as compensation (instead of
Rs 100,000 as originally proposed);

(ii) the 51 active planters would be relocated to more fertile land at Arsenal and Bois Marchand which are secure locations;

(ii) their debts in respect of irrigation and electricity dues amounting to Rs 1.5M would be written-off;

(iv) payment of their loan to the DBM would be rescheduled;

(v) Tianli Enterprise would provide a space on the zone itself to the planters for the sale of their vegetables; and

(vi) the Tianli project would offer employment opportunities to the inhabitants of the region.

I am informed by the Ministry of Agro-Industry & Fisheries that following my meeting with the planters, the following action has been taken:-

(i) The 51 active planters were convened on Wednesday, 23rd May, 2007 for the payment of their compensation and the relocation exercise at Bois Marchand and Arsenal
(1 arpent for each planter); and

(ii) the 69 planters who had abandoned their plots of land were convened on Thursday, 24th May, 2007 to receive their compensation.

I am advised that 66 lease holders have collected their cheques and 31 planters have been allocated land at Arsenal and Bois Marchand following a drawing of lots. The lease agreements have been signed on the same day, i.e. Wednesday 23 May 2007.

I am also informed that 16 planters have asked for a delay of 2 weeks to take a stand on the proposal made.

Mr Speaker, Sir,

As far the planters of Terre Rouge Land Settlement, I plan to meet them at a later date.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/491

The Honourable Second Member of Flacq and Bon Accueil (Dr Mungur)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to officers retiring from the public service, he will consider introducing the practice called “Exit Interview”?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am advised that an “Exit Interview” is considered as a Human Resource Management tool used to look at the effectiveness of employment practices in scarcity areas. This practice is meant to help the employer to find out the reasons why people leave the organization. However, it does not apply in cases of normal retirement on grounds of age.

The Pay Research Bureau has in its 2003 Report recommended that this practice can be initiated by way of an “Exit Interview” or “Exit Questionnaire” in the public service to monitor staff turn over and help to formulate corrective actions. This recommendation was specifically made to cater for scarcity areas where there were recruitment and retention problems.

I am further advised that the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms will consider introducing this practice for scarcity areas in line with administrative reforms underway, especially with regard to the introduction of HR practices in the public service.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/492

The Honourable Second Member for Port Louis South and Port Louis Central (Mr Issack)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to the project for the installation of surveillance cameras in Port Louis, he will state where matters stand, indicating the areas of the city which will be targeted?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

The question of installation of a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) street surveillance system in the central parts of Port Louis was mooted as far back as May 1999. In April 2000, the approval of my office was conveyed to the Commissioner of Police for the introduction of the CCTV system in Port Louis.

In January 2001, a request was made for technical assistance from British Executive Services Overseas (BESO) in respect of the project for the installation of a CCTV Surveillance System.

In June 2001, BESO appointed Mr Anthony Clark, a British citizen, to undertake the assignment. Mr Clark submitted his report in August 2001. He recommended a CCTV system with cameras located at 31 specific locations and Control Centre at Line Barracks.

The technical specifications of the proposed system were prepared with assistance of Mr Clark. In 2002, a tender exercise was launched. However, the tender exercise was eventually cancelled with the approval of the CTB as none of the tenderers met the technical specifications of the proposed system. The project was therefore not implemented, due to shift in priorities.

In January 2005, the Police made a proposal for the introduction of the CCTV Surveillance Project in the Port Louis region to cover its important arteries, commercial areas and high-risk areas. The cost thereof was estimated at Rs 75 M in 2005. The project was expected to be extended to other regions in Mauritius in the light of the feedback obtained.

It is to be noted that the Government Programme 2005-2010 makes provision at paragraph 25 for CCTV Street Surveillance to be installed in Port Louis and other cities.

During my official visit to the Republic of China in November last, I discussed the CCTV project with the Chinese Premier who reaffirmed Chinese support for the provision of a CCTV network for Port Louis and other sensitive areas. He announced that China would offer to Mauritius an interest-free loan of about Rs 135M to finance projects which would be mutually agreed upon.

In the course of his recent visit to the Republic of China, the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development has confirmed with the Chinese side that the CCTV project is a priority for implementation during the next Financial Year. At the 7th Sino-Mauritian Joint Committee Meeting held on 22 and 23 May 2007 in Mauritius, the Chinese side has also agreed to consider its participation in the CCTV surveillance system.

It is proposed, in the first instance, to introduce the CCTV surveillance system to cover the important arteries, business, entertainment and commercial areas as well as the crime prone areas in the City of Port Louis and afterwards it will be extended to other regions of the country.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/493

The Honourable Second Member for Curepipe and Midlands (Mrs Martin)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to minors who have been arrested for offences during the period January 2007 todate, he will, for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police, information as to the number thereof, indicating the nature of the offences in each case?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that since January 2007 to 22 May 2007, there were 87 cases where 116 minors have been involved.

The information relating to the nature of the offences is being tabled.


PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION B/494

The Honourable First Member for Savanne and Black River (Mr Ganoo)

To ask Dr the Honourable Prime Minister, Minister of Defence & Home Affairs, Minister of Civil Service & Administrative Reforms and Minister of Rodrigues & Outer Islands:-

Whether, in regard to one Mr P. B.1, a resident of Bassin, Quatre Bornes, recently found dead in the Police cell at the Coromandel Police Station, he will, for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Commissioner of Police, information as to (a) the reason for his detention (b) the findings of the postmortem examination carried out and (c) if any injuries were detected on his body?

REPLY

Mr Speaker, Sir,

I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that on 14 May 2007 at about 14 00 hours, a Detective Police Constable and another Police Constable, while patrolling Edward VII Street, Rose Hill, saw one Mr L. B., I take it, there is a mistake, it is not P.B, as the Honourable Member has indicated, in possession of two plastic bags of coriander.

On being questioned, Mr L.B. could not give a plausible explanation as to how he came into possession of the two plastic bags. Consequently, he was arrested and brought to Rose Hill CID Office for enquiry and eventually detained at Coromandel Police Station pending his appearance before Court. The exhibit, valued at Rs 2000, was secured.

On 15 May 2007, the detainee appeared before Rose Hill Court, where a provisional charge of “Larceny Praedial” was lodged against him. Police did not object to his release on bail and the Court allowed him bail upon furnishing a surety of Rs 5000. However, as Mr L. B. was unable to furnish the required surety, he was remanded to Police cell up to 22 May 2007.

On 17 May 2007 at 14 30 hours, one Corporal Mr S., who was performing sentry duty over the cell, visited detainee L.B and found him asleep. At about 15 00 hours, whilst visiting the cell anew, he noticed that detainee had hanged himself by the neck with a piece of mattress cover that was attached to the top part of the cell’s door.

The Corporal with the help of other Police Officers, immediately opened the cell door and brought the body down and applied first aid to Mr L. B, but to no avail.

At about 15 30 hours the Assistant Commissioner of Police, the Detective Assistant Superintendent of Police and the Police Medical Officer called at the Police Station. After examining the detainee, the Police Medical Officer declared the detainee dead and instructed that the body be transferred to the Victoria Hospital mortuary for autopsy.

As regards parts (b) and (c) of the question, I am informed by the Commissioner of Police that, the findings of the post mortem examination revealed no injury and no fracture. In fact, the exercise established that death of the detainee was due to “Asphyxia following hanging” and that nothing opposed the death to a suicidal cause.

The enquiry is still underway and upon completion the relevant dossier will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.

Last Updated: 11 February 2013