For a policy advisory council
The making of good policies, timely policies or readjustment or correction, amendments or extension of policies, are very important in the economic context of a country. The policy related exercises are crucial to set the country on a right track in all respects. But there should be also mechanisms to determine the effectiveness of such policies or their outcome, recognition of inadequacies and correcting them or resetting them in line with the needs.
Bangladesh is not without policy makers in the realm of its economy. In the present situation, the finance and planning ministries are there to make and operationalise policies. Bangladesh Bank also has a significant role in formulating monetary policies.
But the bureaucrats have always tended to dominate these policy making institutions although under political or elected governments politicians in power have also intervened or participated in the policy-making process. However, it should be realized that specialist manpower with adequate knowledge and know-how need to play the greater part in the policy making process to successfully respond to the vital challenges facing the country in different areas.
It could prove to be counter productive if the policy uncertainties or the undesirable side effects of some policies now being pursued, are allowed to mindlessly continue . Therefore, the government should consider forming a policy advisory council and staff it with ones having specialist knowledge in different areas or disciplines to make policy recommendation to different ministries or to scrutinize and give their expert opinion on policies formed by the ministries.
Government would surely be commended for deciding to form it. What is important is to set it up at the fastest with truly able persons and then to promptly accept their good counsel and implement the same as quickly. In sum, the council should enrich the policy environment and might help to weaken the sway of bureaucratic controls and vested interest groups in it, to set the country on the right track to overcome present difficulties and make faster progress.
It should be understood at the highest levels of the government that the proposed advisory council would not be intended to undermine the role of the traditional policy making machinery. It would be only expected to discharge a purely advisory or supportive role as its name should imply to add quality to or streamline the policy making process.
The situation that the country is going through should amply justify the need for an advisory council. For example, government has been taking significant steps in recent months for ensuring that the country’s economy does not falter in any way. This has been specially relevant when important internal and external quarters have been expressing speculatively that the Bangladesh economy could slump like the Sri Lanka one if not safeguarded from pitfalls by the expert guidance of a body like the proposed advisory council.