The government’s proposal to align the plan period with an elected government’s term is a good decision.
Given the vacuum the election period causes in the transition of plan periods and the halt in activities that ensues, the need to align our plans with the government’s tenure has become a necessity. The people empowered the government to implement the new Plan and its promises and so, how it goes about shaping governance matters as much.
The government has lost six months of the 12th Plan period and in a way still functioning in the vacuum created by the election cycle and the dhana. The election cycle lull was unavoidable but it may also be as unfavourable to hold activities and take policy decisions because of dhana. For one, the countdown to the government’s 25 pledges in 120 days began when it took office three weeks ago. In working on a new plan period, the government may itself be losing the time that is crucial to set the planned activities into motion.
While talks of beginning the 12th Plan from January is doing the rounds and discussions on aligning the Plan with the government’s tenure underway, what matters more to the people is the execution of the Plan and measures put in place to address issues confronting the people. Unemployment, water shortage, sexual abuse of children, roads, health and cardamom are some of the issues that need urgent attention.
With health professionals now at the helm of governance, there is hope that the JDWNRH’s concerns would be addressed so that service delivery and the moral of health workers are improved. The national referral hospital has been mired in politics and controversies that helped politicians more than the institution. Public confidence in its services had waned even though the hospital is making efforts to do more. During elections, political parties, even with health professionals remained silent on the neonatal deaths or any other public health issue reported in the country. The deaths of neonates jolted the country, but did not move our politicians.
The party, which was the most active when it was outside the parliament, was silent then. It is now the government and still discreet. Hinging all plans and activities on the endorsement of the 12th Plan means the government has another month for discussions and orientations. But then not all issues will be tabled in the parliament even if it needs deliberations and in our case, a lot more tend to happen outside the parliament.
Aligning the 12th Plan with the tenure of the government may be the first step to chart out the next five years of its tenure. But the process must not halt other areas of governance that demands the attention of the government of the day. In the first press conference the prime minister called soon after taking office, the people were told that the government has already started working. After three weeks in office, it is time the people are told what the government has so far worked on.