Actions Speak Louder than Plans…

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 10 May / May 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

No one argues the point of the government’s 5-year plan is to revitalise the economy; pull us out its suffocating hole, alleviate its pressures, and lessen the negative impact.

It is no secret that the economic situation and its social implication, above all, is Jordan’s biggest and most imminent threat, both long- and short-term.

It requires a national reformation platform; an agenda to address much of the imbalances which have hindered the government’s previous and current efforts.

In the meantime, the plan aims to generally improve quality of life, and drive developmental projects across the Kingdom’s governorates.

Needless to say, the fair redistribution of developmental revenues can only be attained by the fair allocation of projects to all of the Kingdom’s governorates and provinces.

Among the objectives of the 5-year plan are to expand the middle class, empower Jordanian youth in their developmental capacities, as well as increase female participation and contribution to the economy.

That aside, the figures of the plan focus on sustaining fiscal and monetary stability, controlling the public deficit and debt within safer boundaries.

Simultaneously, the plan addresses the business and investment environment; how to increase competitiveness and capitalise on investment opportunities.

Apparently, the government, via their plan, have realised the importance of the private sector in regards to attaining development.

The government is focusing now on engaging the private sector as the prime catalyst for comprehensive and sustainable development, to attain growth and provide jobs.

Everything mentioned sounds good, but there is nothing new here; this isn’t the first time the government lays out plans and strategies. Those we’ve had since the seventies.

Some of the new ones even date back to the 1970s.

In other words, planning was never a problem. The major challenge has always been implementation.

Why? Why has it always been difficult, at best, for us to execute our best laid plans?

There is currently, given the circumstance, an unprecedented need for us to learn from past experience: Why do our plans seldom see the light?

One of those reasons is mainly the absence of teamwork and a collaborative effort. Very few ministers really know the integral nature of their work; most think they are secondary to the general scheme.

Expectedly, we will also run into the very same problem this time, too.

Competitiveness between ministers is the main dynamic of government, and it has been the main reason why we fail to get anything done, for the most part.

In the absence of full scale collaboration and cooperation, attaining the goals in Mulqi’s plan becomes impossible.

The 5-year plan entails grand scale financial, monetary and fiscal policy reforms, enhancements to the business and investment environment, on the side of judicial reforms, notwithstanding.

Without the integrative effort of the government as a whole, success is nowhere on the horizon.

Mentionable is the fact that this also requires cooperation between two of the branches of power: Executive and legislative.

In detail, the 5-year plan pretty much resembles the national reformation programme we have long been waiting for.

For years, we have depended on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fix our problems and drive up development, which hasn’t worked, apparently.

That said, the successful implementation of the plan has become a national responsibility, for we can afford no delay or inadequacy.

The implications of further delay are reflective on poverty and the unemployment rate, which is subsequently driving extremism and violence.

The plan entails no easy tasks.

Every single step would require the full authority of the law, its institutions, and an all-encompassing team effort to break up the rigid bureaucracy which has always hindered progress, repelled investors, and delayed solutions.

Attaining even half of the goals listed in the plan would suffice the nourishment of hope.

Achieving all of it, however, would prove the government is serious about fixing things; a remedy, finally, instead of the usual hyperbole.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.