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The sense of hollowness must be overcome
There is an acute need to redesign the MTP texts from scratch. They do not duly reflect the bundle of research and studies carried out by the Ministry of Development.
Some years ago cigarette packages used to bear some clause like “smoking harms your health as per this article of that year’s execution plan.” If felt like the execution plan deemed smoking harmful whereas actually it was not. Indeed, execution plans in a way invited such inference.
These plans were prepared in the context of the annual programs of five year development plans. Experts of the State Planning Organization (SPO) would prepare sections of annual program for their respective departments and then recommend a series of policy measures so as for the execution of foreseen program objectives. Some of these measures were based on the reports of ad-hoc commissions formed in the context of the preparation process of five-year programs. They were serious in what they did. Yet, from time to time you would also come up with some ones added just for the sake of formality. They would sound, on an exaggerated account, like “All precautions will be taken to lower inflation” or “productivity will be improved and unemployment will be lowered.”
I checked the webpage of the Ministry of Development to see if such execution plans were still prepared. I haven’t seen any sign. Perhaps I have missed it. But that’s not important. Although those usually seemed to be epodes of hollow ungrounded statements at first glance, some of the recommended measures were supported by and built upon important research and experiences. Yet, the way these statements are presented would raise the perception that they were hollow.
Last week the Medium Term Program (MTP) for 2014-2016 was released. Unless reforms aimed to alter the current institutional structure are launched, most of the important estimations of the program are not likely to realize. Chief among these are the estimations on growth, unemployment rate, domestic savings rate, productivity level, inflation rate, and current account deficit.
A number of ad-hoc commissions were formed in recent years and these carried out a series of research and released reports. The MTP states the will for the launching of a series of reforms that are necessary for the realization of its estimations. And it lists these items. But just because of that, they sound like the old execution plans. The coherence of the MTP and the success in the realization of estimations depend on the extent to which the listed steps will be grounded and put into practice. Of course provided that global circumstances do not interfere, but this is not my emphasis today.
There is an acute need to redesign the MTP texts from scratch. They do not duly reflect the bundle of research and studies carried out by the Ministry of Development. In particular, recommended reforms have to be put on the bones. It is not easy, but it should be done.
This commentary was published in Radikal daily on 17.10.2013