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PublicationBetter Regulation for Higher Growth : Bulgaria's Business Regulation - Achievements and Recommendations(World Bank, 2010-11-01) World BankRemoving regulatory obstacles that create barriers to business is a major objective for economic policymakers. There is broad understanding among policymakers and development practitioners that microeconomic reforms aimed at strengthening property rights, unleashing competition, and reducing the cost of doing business are critical to creating a sound investment climate and promoting economic growth (World Bank 2004; World Bank 2005; Lewis 2004). It is also commonly agreed that these changes need to be credible and sustained for private firms to respond by increasing investment and production (World Bank 2005). This report summarizes the findings of three topical studies of the World Bank: Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Business (volume two) studies the overall burden of regulation for companies in comparison to other new European Union (EU) peers and specifically assesses Information Technology (IT) and manufacturing companies and the role of key stakeholders. The ex-post impact assessment of the act on limiting administrative regulation and administrative control on economic activity (Volume three) makes an assessment of how the act has been enforced, identifies and estimates the impacts of the act, and provides recommendations for amendments. Reforming the regime of state fees (volume four) examines how reforms to the structure of state fees could decrease the regulatory burden for firms. PublicationBulgaria - Administrative and regulatory barriers to business(World Bank, 2010-11-01) World BankThe present report on the Administrative and Regulatory Barriers to Business is part of an ongoing World Bank analytical and advisory support to the Government of Bulgaria in the area of regulatory reform. Since 2006, the World Bank has provided analytical and advisory support to the government in this area. In 2007, the Bank reviewed administrative procedures in the tourism, food, and road transportation sectors, calling for reduction and simplification of certain burdensome administrative regimes and emphasizing superfluous regulation at the municipality level. This report aims to identify ways in which Bulgaria can further remove obstacles to business regulation, recognizing that achieving pre-crisis growth levels, raising labor productivity and improving the business environment will require continued reforms to eliminate administrative and regulatory barriers to business. The report serves three purposes, such as: 1) providing the economic backdrop and comparators of Bulgaria's regulatory environment; 2) reporting on survey results including assessments by and perceptions of senior managers of Bulgarian enterprises; and 3) identifying strategic reform recommendations, including regulatory changes, institutional upgrading and capacity building, and legislative amendments. PublicationBulgaria - Reforming the regime of states fees(World Bank, 2009-06-01) World BankThe Government of Bulgaria requested the World Bank to analyze the legal, institutional and administrative framework for setting state fees and provide recommendations based on good international practice. How big is the problem compared to the many other issues the government wants to reform in order to improve the business climate in Bulgaria? So far there are no comprehensive studies of the level of administrative fees in the European Union (EU) area. Such studies would be of great value to assess the magnitude of the problem. There are, however, several arguments in support of reforming the regime of state fees in Bulgaria now. Firstly, business associations in Bulgaria agree also confirmed by a recent unpublished government report - that state fees at the central level became an uncontrolled area in which authorities apply their own judgment and interests without considering the impact on businesses often to the disadvantage of the private sector. Secondly, if the Government of Bulgaria (GoB) does not curb the current regime system, then the trend of increasing state fees will continue or might even gain speed. Again, this will have a negative impact on the cost of doing business. Thirdly, a number of identified state fees are so high that they seriously harm competition by functioning as a barrier to firm entry. Fourthly, the EU requires Member States to implement a specific regime for administrative fees in the services sector by the end of 2009 and Bulgaria does not comply with that yet. A recent World Bank report for Bulgaria Investment Climate Assessment (2008) called for overall reduction of the administrative cost for businesses because Bulgaria is not competitive in this area compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. The report recommended that a strategic policy document is prepared to embrace the administration practice and provide an instrument for classification of the tariffs for the central administration service fees targeting universal reduction of the administrative cost. It also proposed that a special methodology for the classification of the tariffs for the central administrative service fees is developed. The present report is intended to support reform of the regime of state fees. PublicationBrazil - Minas Gerais - World Bank Partnership : Building on a Strong Foundation and Leading to Next Steps(2007-06-06) World BankThis document, Minas Gerais World Bank partnership: building on a strong foundation and leading to next steps, points the direction for next steps and emphasizes the elements and principles of a possible follow-up operation to the Development Policy Loan (DPL) that completed disbursement in April 2007, recognizing that it was premature to discuss the specifics of such an operation during this exercise. These elements and principles would provide the incentives and motivations for the choice of focus sectors under a possible Bank operation with Minas Gerais. Lead actively by the Governor and Deputy Governor, the Minas authorities have clearly identified enhancing the living conditions of citizens in the state as the overall priority. Nevertheless, the Minas Gerais targets are ambitious and by international standards there is ample room for additional progress. The report points out that fiscal policies and public sector reforms in Minas Gerais could be expected to yield continued stronger than national average economic growth and progress in creating jobs. The focus of this Partnership document is mainly on the Plano Mineiro de Desenvolvimento Integrado (PMDI) 2007-2023 long-term development strategy with an emphasis on broadening reforms. In short, the sectoral assessments are at the heart of the Partnership dialogue and could be used as the foundation for future development of the relationship, especially in areas of technical assistance or future Bank operations with Minas Gerais. PublicationIndia's Transport Sector : The Challenges Ahead, Volume 2. Background papers(Washington, DC, 2002-05-10) World BankIndia's transport system--especially surface transport--is seriously deficient, and its services are highly inefficient by international standards. The economic losses from congestion and poor roads are estimated at 120 to 300 billion rupees a year. This report takes a critical assessment of the key policy and institutional issues that continue to contribute to the poor performance of the transport sector in India. After an introduction, Chapter 2 provides an overview of rapid demand change and poor supply response, and the resulting adverse impacts on the Indian economy and society. Chapter 3 examines the causes of poor supply response by focusing on four major problems: unclear responsibilities, inadequate resource mobilization, poor asset management, and inadequate imposition of accountability. Chapter 4 reviews recent reforms and lessons learned. Chapter 5 proposes short to medium term actions for each of the main transport subsectors. Three factors make it particularly opportune time for India to expedite transport reform: 1) Initial reform momentum has been built up. 2) There is a growing consensus within India that transport should be managed as an economic sector. 3) There are many successful models for transport reform from around the world. The resistance to reform should be overcome considering the high cost of slow or inadequate action to the Indian economy and society. PublicationSri Lanka : Recapturing Missed Opportunities(Washington, DC, 2000-06-16) World BankDespite its healthy economic growth, due to good macroeconomic management, and progress in trade liberalization, Sri Lanka's development is perceived to be well below its potential. Certainly, the civil conflict has taken a heavy social, and economic toll on the country's performance, but also governance, and public institutions have weakened, though maintaining a dominance on the financial sector, and utilities, which further exacerbates productivity, having lost opportunities, in terms of growth, and employment. The study examines recent economic, and social performance, indicating the priority challenges the country needs to face, and vulnerabilities to overcome. Resolving the civil conflict should be paramount. In addition, the role of government needs to be not only revised, but reduced, through strong policy reforms, reduce the fiscal deficit, improve the structure of expenditures, and remove policy distortions in the labor market. The privatization process needs to be enhanced, through reduced numbers of public institutions, effective decentralization, and addressing governance weaknesses. The dimensions of poverty are addressed, exploring vulnerability, insecurity, and marginal poverty, suggesting governance issues in poverty programs, and issues for future poverty strategy. Above all, success lies in the full collaboration of all stakeholders. PublicationKyrgyz Republic : Fiscal Sustainability Study(Washington, DC, 2000-06) World BankThe study reviews the macroeconomic developments in the Kyrgyz Republic following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when adjustments were required since output fell by fifty percent between 1991-95, resulting in adverse fiscal consequences, which triggered losses in tax revenues, along with the implicit end of energy subsidies. Part I examines the fiscal, and debt sustainability, proposing a three-fold strategy : efforts for an urgent renewal, are needed to consolidate macroeconomic stability, fundamentally, a significant fiscal adjustment is required; debt relief should be considered, given the large burden, and the need to preserve social expenditures; and, decisive structural reforms are necessary to underpin fiscal adjustment, and increase the efficiency of resource uses. Part II examine these structural issues, particularly the tax system, and the role of the state in infrastructure, and utilities, focusing on accelerating the transformation of public infrastructure, and utility companies, and, improve taxation. The report analyzes this transformation, emphasizing a transparent, and targeted system in the provision of basic services to the poor, through reform policies, and the inclusion of the private sector, critical to reflect cost-effectiveness, and adapt to the requirements of a market economy.