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The Political Economy of the 2016 Tobacco and Proposed Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Increases in Colombia(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-09) Garcia, Maria Isabel ; Villar Uribe, Manuela ; Iunes, RobertoIn 2008, Colombia joined the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which includes measures related to price and taxes designed to reduce supply and demand. By 2015, the overall prevalence of smokers in the country had decreased slightly but still reached 17 percent. The impact of tobacco on the mortality and quality of life of Colombians was estimated as a direct loss of more than 600,000 years of life and more than 26,000 deaths each year. The price of cigarettes in Colombia in 2015 was so low (approximately 2 US dollars per pack of 20 cigarettes), that it was higher than just one other country in Latin America and in the Caribbean. At the time, Colombia was contending with shrinking oil revenue (owing to a sharp drop in oil prices) and constantly rising public expenditure. In the health sector cost pressures stemmed, among other factors, from a change in the government's responsibility for health coverage in the subsidized system that covers the cost of health services for the country's lowest population segments. It was in this context that the government in early 2015 created a committee of experts responsible for proposing changes in the country's tax structure. This document describes the course of events that led to the phased adjustment of the tobacco tax approved by Congress in December 2016, with a view to aligning the price of cigarettes in Colombia with the Latin American average. Despite the failed attempt to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, the discussion was framed and will most likely be renewed in the future.
Colombia - Programmatic Strategic Engagement on Public Sector Management and Governance : Concept Note(Washington, DC, 2011-03-14) World BankThis concept note presents the strategic engagement of the World Bank in the areas of public sector management and governance in Colombia. It describes the short and medium term approach through which the Bank will provide support to the country on those areas of reform, as well as their links and synergies with other sectors activities. It also provides a summary of the Bank's public sector management and governance recent activities and their links with the program proposed by this strategy. This concept note lays out the strategy and program of financial support, knowledge and convening services to continue supporting the Government's public sector reform agenda in a demand-driven and flexible manner. The program aims to contribute to improve sustained and inclusive growth and competitiveness through strengthened government's management and improved service delivery. Its objectives are aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP) pillars and cross-cutting themes of good governance and regional development and integration, as well the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) outcomes. The remainder of this note is structured as follows: (i) section two summarizes the trend public sector reforms have been following in Colombia; (ii) section three provides an overview of the trajectory the reform key National Government Management Institutions (NGMI) has followed in Colombia, summarizing the current status of Government's efforts in this area and outlining the pending policy reform agenda; (iii) section four presents a review of past Bank engagement in NGMI' s reforms and a description of the strategy to respond to the Government's priorities and pending reform agenda, including key expected outputs; (iv) section five provides an overview of the trajectory decentralization reform has followed in Colombia, summarizing the current status of Government's efforts in this area and outlining the pending policy reform agenda; (v) section six presents a review of past Bank engagement in decentralization reforms and a description of the strategy to respond to the Government's priorities and pending reform agenda, including key expected outputs; and, (vi) section seven contains a resource section, describing the timeline of proposed activities, budget, team composition, and processes for quality review, monitoring and evaluation.