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Newsmen stress politicians' role in PRSP implementation

          The policymakers preparing the country's poverty reduction plan have been urged to rewrite the PRSP document in a manner so that the political leadership, which runs the country, gets involved in its implementation process.
Senior journalists from the local media came up with the suggestion at the NEC conference room Monday, as the Planning Commission launched its second round dialogue with the stakeholders in the process of finalising the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, who chaired the meeting, observed that the country's political unrest is gradually gaining momentum.
"I have doubt whether the people having the responsibility of implementing the plan will take part in the implementation process," eminent journalist Ataus Samad told the meeting, pointing to the political culture of the country.
The draft document of the three-year rolling plan, titled "Unlocking the Potential - National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction", has already been published, and the authorities are now mobilising opinion from the stakeholders to finalise the document.
Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman has undertaken the initiative to hold talks in this connection with the political leaders at a convenient time while the Planning Commission has been assigned to share views with the civil society and other stakeholders.
The draft was also finalised through consultations with people from all sections of the society that included six meetings in the divisional headquarters and one national level consultation.
"I've doubt whether the politicians have little interest to participate in the process," New Age Editor Enayetullah Khan said, adding that the issue of local government has been emphasised in the document, but expressed doubt again whether it would be possible politically.
Daily Manovjamin Editor Motiur Rahman Chowdhury, Bangla Bazar Patrika Editor Mohammad Zakaria Khan and ATN Bangla chief adviser Saiful Bari also took part in the discussion, pointing out limitations of the document.
They identified lack of direct approach to address problems, implementation of any plan, immediate and effective decentralisation measures, the measures to reduce the wide gap between the poor and the rich, and alternative means to generate employment for people who have been retrenched from the SOEs.
They also stressed the need for restricting rural to urban migration and downsizing the government to ensure good governance and urged to set a target of job creation in the document to make the plan meaningful.


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