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PublicationIndia - Maharashtra : Reorienting Government to Facilitate Growth and Reduce Poverty, Volume 2. Statistical Appendix, Other Annexes, and Workshop Programs(Washington, DC, 2002-10-31) World BankMaharashtra'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. 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.