Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - Financial planners at key agencies in
government, have begun discussions leading to the formation of a National
Development Plan for the country. The plan will essentially seek to chart the
course of development - both economic and social - of St. Lucia, over a
projected timeframe. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic
Affairs Trevor Braithwaite, says the plan will evolve into a medium term
strategy and subsequently into a public sector investment programme.
“It’s essential for various reasons that the government be in a position to plan
its activities. If we do not plan properly, it is likely that we are going to
miss out on opportunities and perhaps not take cognisance of the threats that
exist and see how we can develop a process of moving forward, based on some
blueprint over time,” said Braithwaite.
The five-year National Development Plan being worked on in conjunction with the
National Economic Council (NEC), is anticipated to streamline the processes
leading to capital and social programmes for the country. Braithwaite says, the
blueprint will in the end need Cabinet’s approval before implementation. “We
anticipate that the process of engagement of the agencies will take another two
months and hopefully we will be through by October. We will then present the
plan to the Cabinet of Ministers for their approval and that will lead to some
engagement with Cabinet members, because we would like to get their input as
The exercise which took place at the Bay Gardens Hotel on Tuesday July 15, 2003,
formed part of attempts at keeping abreast with changes in the national and
international state of affairs.