Items in this collection
India - Maharashtra : Reorienting Government to Facilitate Growth and Reduce Poverty, Volume 2. Statistical Appendix, Other Annexes, and Workshop Programs
2002-10-31, World Bank
Maharashtra's leadership position in India is under threat. The State is facing several bottlenecks to development: the private sector is no longer embracing Maharashtra and the public sector banks are increasingly reluctant to assist Maharashtra in its off-budget endeavors. Thus, the status quo is not an option. Regaining its leadership position is well within Maharashtra's reach. Among its many strengths are: the large pool of literate and skilled labor force, a well-developed financial system, a talented bureaucracy, and willingness to break with the ways of the past. If the State can successfully implement its reform agenda, it can quickly rebound and be back on the path of growth and prosperity. The lessons of the past decade suggest two guiding principles: First, the Government needs to articulate the message that its reforms are not to hurt, but to help the farmers. If reforms are to succeed, they have to be pro-farmer and pro-poor. Maharashtra's fiscal stress, be it due to power and irrigation subsidies or due to the losses in cotton and sugar interventions, has a close connection with the rural sector. However, as analyzed in Chapter 4, the current rural interventions are imposing a huge and unsustainable fiscal cost on the state, and more importantly, the bulk of the benefits are accruing to the rural rich. the challenge for the government, therefore, is to provide more efficient, equitable, and sustainable assistance to the rural poor. Second, the government's reform program needs to be designed and implemented with a medium- to long-term perspective. Piecemeal, short-term reforms can only bring short-term gains. The Government of Maharashtra faces a simple choice: to try to succeed in a difficult reform endeavor, or, since the policies of the past no longer work, to give up without trying and condemn itself to developmental and fiscal failure. Through its 2002-03 Budget Speech, the Government has indicated that it has chosen the former path. The quicker it moves along it, the greater the chances of success.
India's Transport Sector : The Challenges Ahead, Volume 2. Background papers
2002-05-10, World Bank
India'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.
Sri Lanka : Recapturing Missed Opportunities
2000-06-16, World Bank
Despite 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.