Economist and university lecturer Colin Bullock is urging all Jamaicans to join a national effort to review the economy this year.
Bullock noted that while the country will face severe challenges in 2013, the Government must improve and the broad non-governmental sector must perform.
"The public purse can no longer live on debt, and despite remittances and juggling, our common wealth can only grow on the basis of the sum of our individual attitudes to work," charged Bullock in a Sunday Gleaner exclusive.
He warned that scarce public resources have to be carefully managed and allocated for maximum effect this year to facilitate economic activity.
Bullock, who is a special adviser to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips, is also advocating that expenditure on education, health and national security has to be prioritised this year.
According to Bullock, Jamaica is challenged to foster economic growth in a context of deep fiscal adjustment.
"Jamaica cannot simply assume that structural reforms will automatically foster market-driven economic growth," said Bullock.
"Jamaica's economic problems in declining productivity, weak growth, unemployment, poverty and socio-economic inequity are not new. The capacity of public policy to resolve these problems has been severely compromised by our burden of public debt," added Bullock.
He argued that any agreement with the International Monetary Fund will entail fundamental changes in the way Jamaica manages its public finances, both taxation and expenditure, but most of the changes should be considered necessary, with or without a deal.
The former financial secretary further charged that to facilitate reform, implementation capacity, productivity and accountability have to be enhanced in the public sector.
"While the Government must have a vision of how the economy will evolve, this vision has to be forged in concert with and driven by a dynamic, creative and entrepreneurial private sector.
"Public-sector reform must be informed by an imperative to release the latent energy of that private sector in all its facets, including small business," declared Bullock.