Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has unveiled a national plan to take the Grenadian economy up to 2030.
Launched at the Trade Centre at Grand Anse last week Wednesday in the presence of private and public sector officials, the National Plan 2030 focuses on the extensive development of the island for the next 15 years.
The plan will build on other existing plans including the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy.
A National Steering Committee headed by Minister for Economic Development and Planning, Oliver Joseph along with a Technical Working group has been established to help drive the process.
The National Plan 2030 will seek to provide jobs for persons who wish to work; business opportunities for those who choose to invest; and social justice for all who believe in equality and human rights.
In addressing the launch, Minister Joseph is optimistic that the plan would help to achieve the goal of building the New Economy – a promise made by the ruling New National Party (NNP) to propel it to a clean 15-0 victory at the polls in 2013.
The senior government minister said: “National Plan 2030 will provide the long term framework within which pillars for an even structural transformation and sustainability development will be identified as access to achieve our goals”
“The national strategic plan 2030…will build on the current exist of plans, policies and programmes in particular… the national strategic plan 2007, the national strategic plan 2015/2017, the 2015 strategic plan in modernising the public sector, strategic plans of ministries, statutory bodies and state owned enterprises,” he added.
In reacting to the move, representatives of the Committee of Social Partners, Judy Williams stated that the presentation of the plan should not be based on attitude but that it must be demonstrated by action.
“This process to develop a national developing plan requires serious change in perspective. Take a proactive, integrated, well-grounded approach guided by principles equity, justice, sustainability, an approach, which guarantees active participation of all our people,” she said.
According to Williams, the social partners’ vision in the process is to serve the national interest and as such, “it should not be seen as a lie”.
Prime Minister Mitchell, who is also Chairman of the Committee of Social Partners said the National Plan 2030 will seek to increase on growth in the country that must be broad-based and all-inclusive.
This he said should touch the Urban and Rural communities.
He assured the stakeholders that as government embarks on the plan to 2030, it intends to stick to it for the development of Grenada.
“Our commitment is for a fully transparent and participatory process. Sisters and brothers, the Government is not interested in scoring any points by this initiative… credit cannot be taken by the Government alone, it is by all the Social Partners… this is not about Keith Mitchell and the NNP… this is about this little land that God has given us which we historically has not taken care of sufficiently and we have to do so now”, he said.
“…This plan is not about Structural Adjustment, instead it is about structural transformation and the prosperity of all our citizens. This plan will serve this nation long after some of us in Government has ended our period of service and moved on,” he added.
A leading private sector official has welcomed the initiative, stating that Grenada as a developing country should have a developing plan.
“If the Government is serious about it and I hope they are, this will be a very good thing and I look forward to be an active part. As we were told, it couldn’t be a short-term thing, it has to take time… the Constitutional Reform has to be an important part to it but we cannot move forward and seriously say we want to plan for the next 30 years and don’t put a proper governance system in place”, he remarked.
“What I see happening with the Constitutional Reform process, I’m worried about the sincerity about really doing this thing right. The key to the success of this plan is going out there to the communities, the grassroots level to determine what are our strengths, what are our assets, what do our people need, what do they see themselves becoming in 30 years?” he queried.
Labour Representatives in the Senate, Ray Roberts said this should be a participatory process by all Grenadians.
“I don’t think it is a political side as such, I think if we all play a role as activists…we would ensure that it is a Grenada plan … so for me I would just encourage all Grenadians to take an interest. It is broad-based, it doesn’t have any colour, we are the ones to give it shape and therefore the young people in particular they should take more than just an interest of maybe satisfying maybe self, they should seek to satisfy the greater good which is Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” Sen. Roberts said.