GOV'T CHALLENGED TO RECONSIDER POSITION ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Government would need to take a second look at its reservations in the nature and character of the proposed National Development Plan, in order to satisfy the aspirations of Ghanaians.
According to the Executive Secretary of the defunct Constitution Review
Commission (CRC), Dr. Raymond Atuguba, consultations so far indicate that the
citizenry prefers the adoption of the CRC’s Report. The Commission has recommended that the
Constitution should be amended to include an entrenched provision for the
development of a national development plan for Ghana.
However, the Government’s White Paper on the CRC Report does not agree with the provision. It also does not support the proposition that the Plan so developed should be binding on all successive governments and enforceable at the instance of any person or institution.
Government is of the opinion the propositions will have the effect of a command model of development planning and tie the hands of successive governments to the ideological interests and policies of a particular political party.
Government believes that “the scope of the National Development Plan should be a matter of legislation and circumstances prevailing and not a function of constitutional prescription”.
But Dr. Atuguba has indicated that consultations so far on the CRC Report and Government White Paper do not favour government’s position.
“Through interactions in the northern zone and the middle sector [of the country] it’s clear that the area of national development planning is of concern and that Ghanaians think that the position of the CRC should be adopted over what is in the government’s White Paper… the people of Ghana are crying for development, they are not crying for political talk; cheap political talk and so it is important that those provisions on National Development Planning be reconsidered,” he entreated.
Dr. Atuguba spoke to Luv News in Kumasi at a two-day engagement on the content of the CRC report and government’s White Paper. Participants included media personnel, traditional leaders and officials of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) drawn from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern regions.
The over 150 participants commented on diverse issues in the CRC’s recommendations and the government’s white paper. Prominent among these are concerns on the failure of the Commission to decide on the legality or otherwise of the right to sexual orientation for homosexuals.
Some participants also contested the reason for the abolition of the death penalty, which the CRC commissioners noted needed to be upheld because of serious mistakes in the administration of justice.
Children’s rights issues also featured in which the CRC Chair Prof. Albert Fiadjoe observed the need for government to accept the inclusion of basic principles of children’s rights such as right to survival and development.
Other subjects included provisions on traditional authority and chiefs’ involvement in politics, the management land and natural resources and local government.
From: Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana
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