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JIS News

A draft integrated plan for Vision 2030, is expected to be ready for Cabinet submission by the end of July, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Dr. Wesley Hughes has disclosed to JIS News.
He informed that the document would then be taken to Parliament for further consultation and refinement. Vision 2030 is a strategic, long term national development plan, which seeks to put the country in a position to achieve its full potential and achieve developed country status in 22 years.
Stressing that the document was dynamic and subject to adjustments annually Dr. Hughes said the process thereafter was very critical as it would not be a plan that would speak to everything that would occur up until 2030.
“It has to be consistent with the budget, the kind of new developments that we can’t even foresee,” he said noting that the society would be doing its own introspection.
“We don’t know what will happen to oil prices in 2013, to energy and food so we have to be adjusting the plan as we go along,” he told JIS News adding that the PIOJ would be “doing yearly plans, which coincide with the budget, medium term plans over three years, and a rolling exercise that is adjusted from time to time”.
Dr. Hughes pointed out that with these planned stages the public would have a clear view of the implemented plans and their progress.
Vision 2030 is a long-term strategic plan where objectives for the country are outlined. These will be achieved through implementing manageable targets over the medium and short term.
The PIOJ head also stated that he was particularly pleased with the level of public interest in the recently staged series of public meetings explaining Vision 2030.
The public consultations were held in Portmore (June 10) at the Portmore Missionary Church and in Spanish Town on June 19 at the Open Bible Church Hall, Twickenham Park.
Dr. Hughes told JIS News that the support at the meetings were indicative of consultations already held and is a good sign that people want to participate in the development of their future. “I think it was a great success in Portmore and here in Spanish Town. Of course there was a lot of talk but it is important that people express themselves and that planners take these expressions on board and incorporate them into the planning process,” he said.
Dr. Hughes pointed out that the island faces several challenges in relation to the implementation of Vision 2030 but said that these could be overcome and thus the importance of the public consultations. It is also important he said that people realise that the national plan is not a “magical date” but that there would be incremental benefits to the society along the way.
“Its not that we’ll be doing nothing between now and 2030. Between now and then we’ll be implementing schools, hospitals, roads, infrastructure, building human capital, reducing crime. That’s how development happens we have to work, plan, implement year by year, day by day as we go along,” he asserted.
The Director General said one significant observation made so far was that the views of the public through all the consultations so far remained uniform. “There is a uniformed view across the country that . we have not yet realised our full potential as a country and (two) we can do better and we must do better in terms of how we build our society, how we control crime, school and parent our children, infrastructure and incentives implemented, the role of government and the private sector, and though expressed differently these ideals were consistent throughout the consultations so far,” he explained.