Cabinet Retreat Examines Long Term Development Plan for Jamaica

The two-day Cabinet Retreat ended yesterday (March 16) at Jamaica House, with the Planning Institute of Jamaica giving an update on the work being done on the preparation of the Long Term Development Plan to take Jamaica to developed country status within 20 years.
The work includes modeling of different sectors and the creation of an overall planning framework for the country that integrates the economy, environment and society. The presentation examined the critical elements required for Jamaicans to achieve world class standards in quality of life in education; health care; nutritional status; basic amenities such as water and housing; access to environmental goods and services; civility and social order.
The Paper outlined a set of guiding principles; a historical context identifying weaknesses of past plans; a new approach to national development planning and a timeframe for January 2007- March 2008. The process involves developing a detailed plan involving wide national consultations embracing community organizations, the private sector, trade unions, state agencies and the church community.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies, is to chair a Cabinet subgroup to provide ongoing policy guidance and report to the Development Council, which is chaired by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.
Meanwhile, a presentation on the topic: ‘Facilitating Development Policy Consideration’ was delivered by Professor Anthony Clayton of the Institute of Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies and Jacqueline DaCosta of the Cabinet Office, while the National Environment and Planning Agency put forward measures to streamline and expedite the approval process.
Cabinet, at its meeting on March 26, will make final decisions on the measures to be taken to enhance the approval process.
The Minister of Finance and Planning responded to the submissions presented over the two days of the retreat and will, prior to the submission of the Estimates of Expenditure, seek final Cabinet approval.
The Prime Minister again highlighted the priority areas of Human Development, Social and Economic Growth, Amelioration of Poverty and a Safe Environment, as the emphases of the forthcoming budget.

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