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Dev plans falter in absence of public support – official

KUWAIT CITY, March 5, (KUNA): It is not unusual for state-sponsored development plans to run into a brick wall because a wide swath of the society reject them, said a Kuwaiti official on Saturday. Secretary General of the Higher Council for Planning and Development Khaled Mahdi made that statement following a workshop hosted by the Higher Council in conjunction with the Central Census Bureau and the World Bank.

A big challenge for governments everywhere, he said, has been coopting the society into accepting development policies that maybe construed as counterproductive or biased for certain sectors of the society or simply lacking validity.

Mahdi said the Higher Council, in its efforts to concoct palatable and implementable growth and development plans amenable to the public, has decided to establish a “center for public policy” through which it could test the pulse of the society regarding certain development plans and ideas.

Also in remarks after the workshop, director of the World Bank’s office in Kuwait Fras Ra’ad said the Bank supported the Kuwaiti government’s steps aimed at ameliorating the performance of the public sector and incentivizing the private sector and focusing on improving human resources through training and professional instruction.

He sounded sanguine on government reform policies, including those regarding employment and job security for the private sector. Noting that usually implementation of reforms in the labor market is not easy, he nevertheless emphasized the validity of formulating development plans that resonate well with the market place.

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