Who mistrusts the cabinet is not the real enemy of the village

تم نشره في Sat 15 February / Feb 2014. 08:17 PM - آخر تعديل في Sat 15 February / Feb 2014. 08:18 PM

By Jumana Ghunaimat

It is clear that work on the government’s economic agenda is being done “per piece”, regardless of the sector; it is obviously lacking a clear vision that sets its course and defines its objectives, enough to lead us to believe that chaos is the rule, and every person is working for their own sector, not for the country as a whole.

This apparent lack of vision is not new, and the demands for a national reform program are still pertinent, even though the government is, in spite of the constant calls for it, ignoring it — which leads to lack of team spirit and you find disagreement dominating the decision-making process.

The situation remains as such where the lack of team work is established — except for some individual cases from some of the ministers — forces us to recall procedures like the, now in the background, cabinet reshuffle to include some of the economic ministers, in a manner that helps formulate a team that can rethink work methodologies that it is based on a clear plan.

What is available for the government today is only the Economic Reform Program and the work plan put together by the planning ministry in the early stages of the government’s life, and it was supposed to develop into a work program guided by a common vision for the cabinet as a whole.

More than one year has passed since this government was put together, and it seems like the plan is not one of its priorities, which is affect the work process and its results, rendering it a slave for ambiguous guesses about the economic situation at best.

Pragmatically, what is happening is a reflection of the dispersion in the efforts and lack of team work, framed by a lack of public goals and objectives, which is leaving us with modest results.

The monetary policy, the backbone of the economy, is isolated. It is still a prisoner of an accountant mentality, not a politician who is taking decisions based on a creative approach that could change the current conditions. The effect is obvious when the debt issue is being handled, and the reliance on local banks to finance the general budget persists.

What is uncanny is that the government admits to the dangers of extra-borrowing and its many consequences, but the borrowing rate is still high, with no plausible explanations for the increasing dependence on it — even after the revenues have soared and liquidity is available in the finance ministry’s accounts since the Kingdom received loans since last year that have not been used.

The achieved and forecast growth rates during the current year are still below expectations, and are not enough to mitigate the skeletal issues like deficit, debt, poverty and unemployment, burdened by increasing inflation and population that hiked because of the Syrian refugees.

The people want a national economic reform plan that ends this foggy situation and transforms the country’s outlook. While the private sector is now looking for the new stage, trying to bounce off the economic situation, the government is still trading within the concept of a financial crisis to implement its tough decisions, floundering as it goes.

The government needs to confess that it is delaying the political reform thanks to impeding forces. However, the least it could do to compensate the Jordanian society is to implement real economic reform the spurs from national objectives. The government needs to be aware of the difficulties burdening the people, especially regarding sustainability and the connections between poverty and unemployment, through real networking between the officials and their activities, so as that every minister or official is not only working in his “village”.

The situation in 2014 is a lot better than last year, and the pressures on the economy have lessened. Even if they did not, the current situation enables the government to put in place a reform program that deals with the real disturbances in the economy and the labor market to allow us to perform in a way that affects people’s lives, not the reforms present in the government’s rhetoric that cannot be seen in the country’s debt, deficient, and other figures.

Everything the government has done during the past months did not restore the people’s belief in the government’s work. People’s mistrust about the government’s work is still present, but why should they not when their situation is only worsening.

@jumanaghunaimat

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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