KINGSTON — A Policy Logistics Unit has been established at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), to monitor, problem-solve and harmonise the government’s plans to implement and adopt elements of the growth inducement strategy across Ministries and agencies.
Director General of the PIOJ, Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson made the announcement at the Institute’s quarterly press briefing on May 20.
“We have re-assigned, at the Planning Institute of Jamaica, our staff to recreate a Policy Logistics Unit that will be headed by Mr. Everton McFarlane, who will report directly to the Director General,” he informed.
He said Mr. McFarlane served as under study to Donald Harris, who was lead consultant to the Growth Secretariat throughout the development of the growth inducement strategy.
In the meantime, Dr. Hutchinson informed that the PIOJ is very optimistic that the growth momentum in the domestic economy will solidify, and barring any major shocks, the economy will experience increased dynamism and growth for the remainder of 2011.
He further projected a one to two per cent growth in the Jamaican economy for the current April to June quarter, while forecasting a similar one to two per cent improvement in the economy for both the 2011 calendar year and the 2011 to 2012 fiscal year.
The Director General said that the PIOJ’s optimism is hinged on the planned implementation of public expenditure prioritisation and supply-side initiatives that were spelled out in the growth inducement strategy, which was presented at the National Symposium on March 15, 2011.
He informed that the growth inducement strategy and the incorporation of its key recommendations in the 2011/2012 National Budget by the Cabinet represented a structured approach to realigning the government’s social and economic priorities.
The objective, he said, is to focus on the removal of key structural constraints, and the business activities, “thus creating a more facilitatory environment for business and entrepreneurship development."
He said this will in turn impact on economic competitiveness and facilitate greater social inclusiveness and economic empowerment, in accordance with the national goals spelled out in Vision 2030, through broad-based intervention at the community levels islandwide.
“Among the key reform steps in the recent Budget exercise is the adoption of an announced timetable for public sector reform; an announced timetable for broad-based tax reform, a timetable to reform the probate and estate administration, which will enhance asset mobilisation and business collaterisation and capitalisation," Dr. Hutchinson said.
He pointed out that focus will also be placed on projects addressing the resilience of the built and natural environment, such as roads and bridges, which will give the country increased protection against natural disasters; the Community Renewal Programme (CRP) and other measures, such as greater financing of small businesses that is aimed at engendering broad-based and inclusive growth across the country.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter