Barker sees 100-day plan application critical

National

The Government’s 100-day plan for economic recovery is sound but its consistent application will be critical to demonstrate that all state institutions are actually implementing it, the director of Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, says.
Barker, who is in favour of the plan, says it aimed to address many of the outstanding issues and problems as a result of external factors, including poor commodity prices and the recent effects of El Nino.
He told said that other contributing factors to the issues included poor budgeting and adherence to sound budgets, plus problematic and inconsistent public policies and problematic foreign
exchange management over the recent years.
“The 100-day plan is a good start and aims to highlight and address many of the outstanding issues and problems, including the long continuing budget deficit and heavy borrowing which cannot be simply rectified overnight,” Barker said.
“The aim should be to set the path in the right direction, both for improved fiscal management and sound cooperation on monetary management (including over the serious foreign exchange backlog), and also to start to restore private-sector confidence, which has taken a battering over recent years.
“It’s all about establishing the credibility of the plan and the team running it with the private sector and all other partners, so that there’s an enhanced capacity and readiness to pay outstanding taxes, bring investments and funds onshore, and maybe
forego remittances overseas a bit longer.
“We’ve been going through a downward business spiral in recent years, which partly relates to economic realities but also perceptions, notably lack of confidence in the economy and the public institutions steering it.”

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