Kwesi Botchwey allays fear of parties

Prof. Botchwey

Prof. Botchwey

The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Professor Kwesi Botchwey, has called on political parties not fret over plans to make the proposed 40-year development plan legally binding on all governments.

He explained in an interview that while the plan would lay out what should be achieved, successive governments would decide how to do it.

Giving an example, he said if the plan prescribed that the country needs to have 100,000 megawatt of electricity by 2040, a political party could decide that within its 4-year mandate it would adopt a mix of solar, thermal or hydro sources.

Every political party would have space, he said, to implement their manifesto, “but they will all be committed to building that capacity so that by 2057 we will have that power capacity”.

Another example, he explained was that if it is agreed that every town of 10,000 residents should have a central sewage system, it would be the task of government to plan how it wants this done.

In effect, the plan would have flexibility enough for politicians to implement their agenda, he stressed.

“If the plan isn’t binding, it will be a waste of everybody’s time” Prof. Botchwey, the country’s longest-serving Finance Minister stated.

Since the National Development Planning Commission announced plans to collate views and inputs of Ghanaians to draft a 40-year development plan, some politicians have expressed fears that the blueprint could be taking over the job of a party with a mandate and a manifesto to implement.

Some politicians claimed a government reserves the right to implement its plans and cannot be tied down to a plan it did not draw up.

The NDPC Chairman said this goes to stress the importance and popularity of a binding development plan.

Expressing confidence that the plan would have enduring continuity, he said, many young people have called him to express their excitement about the plan.

The consultative process for a 40-year development plan was launched last week and the NDPC would kickstart its consultations in the Ashanti Region.

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