NPA should be given more powers say economists

Nile Post News

Nile Post News

, Opinions

National Planning Authority-NPA, the principal planning government agency, should be given sanctioning power to implement development plans that it has been crafting, Makerere University Business School (MUBS) economist, Ramathan Ggoobi has said.

The authority, hosted by the ministry of Finance, is mandated to develop comprehensive and integrated development plans for Uganda, elaborated in terms of the perspective vision as well as long and medium-term plans.But Goobi suggests that the authority be run as a unit under the presidency and not an autonomous entity attached to the Ministry of Finance.

He says the ministry of finance and the authority has been bickering over who should have a final say on planning.

If put under presidency, Ggoobi says the authority can garner more power and relevance because ministries and government agencies can realize that defying it tantamount to defying the president.

Dr Sarah Ssewanyana, the executive director of the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) said the government should ensure that all planning responsibilities are centralised under the planning authority and all ministries are answerable to the authority.

She said that when National Planning Authority was created, the government didn’t give it all the planning powers and that despite its existence, the Ministry of Finance still wields a larger portion of the planning power.

The two economists spoke during a discussion of a draft paper titled “National Planning in Uganda: Retrospect and Prospects” by Makerere University Economic Policy Research Centre at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala.

The paper which is meant to guide the drafting of the third National Development Plan (2020-2025) gives a historical perspective of Uganda’s development plans since independence. Uganda first introduced five-year development plans after independence that was later abandoned by the Idi Amin in 1970s.

From 1980 to 1997, Uganda’s development was anchored by Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) initiated by World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).


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