January 26, 2007
Government embarks on Vision 2020

Work on the National Development Plan, which has been termed by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves as “Vision 2020”, has begun.

At the launch of discussions last Monday at the Methodist Church Hall, the Prime Minister said that the plan is integral to the process of building a “modern post colonial economy”.{{more}}

Noting that six attempts had been made at fashioning a development plan for the country since World War II, Dr Gonsalves said that all the previous efforts failed to come to fruition and were not embraced fully, not even by the leaders who sought to fashion them.

The plan, which would encompass input from both private and public sector personnel and examine all the various sectors of society is expected to serve as a road map for growth and development, giving all citizens the opportunity to present their ideas and add input to the building of the society.

The plan, which has been called a “veritable road map”, is expected to transcend political divisions and the life term of government and it is hoped that Vincentians from all walks of life would get on board.

Planning officials hope to have a draft of the plan ready by year’s end. This is so it can be again reviewed by citizens before it is fine-tuned and adopted. The plan will focus on health, education, the economy, sports; a wide range of sectors and issues and hopefully chart a course up to 2020.

One Ministry of Planning official told SEARCHLIGHT that they seriously hope to get every sector of Vincentian society on board because it is the only way political differences could be nullified.

“We want the old, young, rich, poor, school children, every one to give their opinions, make suggestions, so that it can be really embraced as ours,” the official said.

Prime Minister Gonsalves, during his address, also noted the importance of education and health care in the future of the economy being built.

“Education and health are thus not social luxuries or appendages as in a colonial economy which demanded an abundance of unskilled labour – but these: education and health are vital production requisites for the modern post colonial economy,” he said.