Bangladesh News

Mar 20th
Home arrow News arrow Country News arrow PRSP consultations outside Dhaka unlikely this time
PRSP consultations outside Dhaka unlikely this time PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

The government is unlikely to hold any consultation meeting outside Dhaka to involve grass-roots people in the process of formulating the second version of the lender-driven poverty reduction strategy paper, expected to be finalised in July. A high official of the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission disclosed this at a seminar on 'Making Poverty the Story:

Time to involve media in poverty reduction' in Dhaka on Tuesday. The government has recently initiated the process of the second PRSP as the first version of the government's development handbook — 'Unlocking the Potentials: the National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction' — is scheduled to expire on June 20, 2008.

The first PRSP was planned for two years and was later extended for a year. 'It will be impossible for the caretaker government to hold consultations outside Dhaka under the current circumstances, due specially to time constraint,' Moahammad Golam Sarwar, joint chief of the division, told the seminar organised by Panos Institute Bangladesh at the BRAC-Inn Centre. Formulation of the first PRSP in 2005 followed a series of nominal consultations at the divisional headquarters, although such meetings were hardly effective in terms of accommodating development needs of the grass-roots people.

The official explained that the government had no lack of willingness to disseminate information to the media, but there was a common lack of efficiency in the government machinery, like that in other organisations, in focussing on issues properly. 'In developing society, no organ of the state is functioning efficiently as the media, too, is lagging in making adequate investigative reports,' the official said. John Barnes, head of globalisation programme of Panos London, underlined the need for linking poverty reduction issues with governance and rights to make interesting stories on poverty to stimulate debates on how to help the country come out of poverty trap.

He recommended that the government should come up with supportive media legislation and independent regulatory bodies to help the media flourish and contribute to the poverty reduction and overall economic development. Journalist Mostafa Kamal Majumdar suggested creation of an endowment fund for helping the media to focus on issues of public interests. Journalist Hasan Shahriar said to avoid controversies and compromises with ethics, the media should avoid 'hobnobbing' with the business houses.

Shahidul Islam, a development activist, alleged that the voices of the development organisations and recipients of micro-credit in southern part of the country had been missing in the media. 'Mohajans [those who lend money at high interest rates] started business taking advantage of moratorium given on micro-finance organisations after the Sidr,' he pointed out.

Comments Add New
Write comment
  We don't publish your mail. See privacy policy.
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.
< Prev   Next >