JIS News

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies has said that in carrying out its studies, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) will be placing greater emphasis on the social factors affecting the nation.
He was speaking at a special ceremony to launch the beginning of the PIOJ’s 50th Anniversary at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday, (January 26).
Dr. Davies noted that the country’s stance on a wide range of issues including those involving the International Monetary Fund had, to some degree influenced an increased awareness of the importance of placing the social issues at the forefront of discussions in development.
Assuring that the areas of greatest emphasis for the PIOJ for the future would be those related to the social sector, the Finance Minister noted, “What of the future of education and training? What of the future of the health services with a population, which is ageing with longer life expectancy?”
He further said that also of particular importance to the Institute was the way forward in terms of regional disparities between the Survey of Living Condition (SLC) providers, which the government had to take into consideration in planning its response to the various national issues.
Dr. Davies said the PIOJ would examine matters such as the allocation of resources for infrastructure; focus areas; what should be done in emerging disparities in terms of income distribution and how this can be addressed in the face of varying skill levels. “These are some of the issues which I believe will form the bulk of the work of the PIOJ in the future, the Minister stated.
Dr. Davies said he was very confident that the Institute would continue to provide the quality of analysis that it had in the past. “I am very confident that the PIOJ will not only respond to request from the political directorate for policy work but will even initiate such policy work indicating the way forward,”he said.
The Minister urged the public and the media to take a keener look at some of the PIOJ’s publications. “The Survey of Living Conditions, I think, is a document which is not mined to the extent it should. The media tend to look and say poverty has gone up but beyond that there is a host of other critical factors even for the business communities if they were to analyze this. For example those who provide extra lesson is a great area for investments,” he stated.
For the remainder of the year the PIOJ will host a number of activities to celebrate its 50 years of service to the country under the theme ‘Planning Today.Securing Tomorrow’.
According to the Institute’s Corporate Affairs and Communications Director, Avril King, the PIOJ will be staging a number of activities throughout the year in recognition of the organization’s 50-year milestone.
Among the activities planned are a Church Service at Webster Memorial United Church, the launch of an island wide essay competition, and a Planning Conference and Media Open House. The activities will culminate with an anniversary Banquet in December.

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