Other ESW Reports

276 items available

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This includes miscellaneous ESW types and pre-2003 ESW type reports that are subsequently completed and released.

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  • Publication
    Indonesia : Selected Fiscal Issues in a New Era
    (Washington, DC, 2003-02-14) World Bank
    Despite the substantial progress in managing its fiscal challenges post-1997 financial crisis, Indonesia's risks to the budget have not disappeared, though the Government continues to be committed to fiscal consolidation. While debt sustainability is improving, the budget remains vulnerable to shocks, and, large non-discretionary spending (interest payments, transfers to the regions, personnel spending) still constrain the use of fiscal policy for macroeconomic stabilization, and social risk protection, and, as the fiscal situation improves, and decentralization proceeds, a rethinking of resource allocation becomes necessary. This report assesses Indonesia's progress in dealing with challenges that have altered the fiscal system since the crisis, and reviews options for fiscal consolidation, as well as sectoral issues in the new decentralized environment, including public expenditure management reforms. Suggestions include an increased revenue mobilization to make the budget more risk proof, and an improved tax administration, rather than streamlining the tax structure alone, while the Government's decision to eliminate the fuel subsidy remains critical for fiscal consolidation (which has little social implications). Moreover, the large interest payments burden incurred during the crisis, is crowding out development spending, and similarly, increased transfers to local governments are limiting discretionary spending (which could be accompanied by a decrease in central development spending in areas of regional responsibilities). A refinement of the budget management system is necessary, where the Finance Law would be instrumental in establishing accountability between the Executive, and Parliament.
  • Publication
    India - Maharashtra : Reorienting Government to Facilitate Growth and Reduce Poverty, Volume 2. Statistical Appendix, Other Annexes, and Workshop Programs
    (Washington, DC, 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.
  • Publication
    Armenia : Growth Challenges and Government Policies, Volume 1. Main Conclusions and Recommendations
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11-30) World Bank
    This report reviews growth trends in Armenia for the period 1994-2000, outlines major weaknesses of existing development patterns, and suggests a package of policy recommendations designed to accelerate enterprise restructuring, attract investment, and encourage the creation of new businesses in the medium term (three to five years). Such steps are needed to systain (and preferably to increase) the current growth rates, to stop emigration among the young and skilled, and to reduce poverty. The government needs to focus much more clearly on generating the environment for private sector led growth by removing bottlenecks in policies, infrastructure, and institutions that prevent new private businesses from flourishing. International aid donors can help by supporting the removal of administrative barriers for investments, the rehabilitation of infrastructure, and the creation of "restructuring agencies" that will enable firms in key sectors to overcome or avoid common constraints to business growth in Armenia. Successful restructuring by such firms should have a demonstration effect on the country's economy and help consolidate public support for moving forward the program of reform begun a decade ago.
  • Publication
    Indonesia : The Imperative for Reform
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11) World Bank
    In the one hundred days since assuming office, the new administration of Megawati Soekarnoputri has made little progress on structural and governance reforms. The events of September 11 and the slowdown in the global economy worsened the investment climate in Indonesia, adding to the government's already formidable array of challenges. Indonesia's recovery has lagged behind its neighbors and over half its population vulnerable to poverty, more than any other crisis country. Moreover, its fragile banking and corporate sectors, and the precarious state of its government finances, make the country highly vulnerable to risks--with immediate implications for fiscal sustainability. Donors need to be realistic about what is feasible, given strong vested interests, severe institutional weaknesses, the uncertainties arising from decentralization, and a turbulent transition to democracy. Progress is most needed in the key areas of structural reforms, good governance, and empowering and investing in the poor. Together with fiscal sustainability, they are consistent with the premise that stability, growth, and effective government are the key ingredients for long-lasting and sustainable poverty reduction.
  • Publication
    Brazil - Broadening the Base for Growth : A Report on the State of Bahia
    (Washington, DC, 2001-10-26) World Bank
    Over the last thirty years, Bahia has transformed itself from a somnolent rural economy to the leading manufacturing state of the Northeast. In the process, the state government has developed a reputation as a modernizing, fiscally responsible administration. But problems remain. Growth rates, even since the last recession, have been modest. Poverty remains widespread. The aim of this report is to define ways which the state can take to provide the basis for sustained, broad-based economic growth. Overall, the report is optimistic about Bahia's prospects. The economy is increasingly diversified. New entrants to the labor force, while still under-skilled, are better educated than their forebears. The state's strong fiscal condition gives it room to address gaps in social services. But a less capital-biased growth strategy, combined with 1) federal-level reforms in fiscal policy, labor legislation, and pension regulation; and 2) state-level reforms in the management of social services, would enhance the state's growth prospects and hasten the reduction of poverty.
  • Publication
    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Breaking with the Past : The Path to Stability and Growth
    (Washington, DC, 2001-07-15) World Bank
    The study focuses on the renewed transition to democracy, and a market economy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), within the context of extremely difficult economic, and social conditions: poor macroeconomic outcomes, with sharp drops in output, and trade, and, very high inflation; severe enterprise, financial, and infrastructure deterioration; and, worsened social indicators, showing increased poverty levels. Although the Federal authorities implemented reforms in foreign trade policy, initiated customs administration reforms, and developed a plan for bank restructuring, these early successes were still on the path of difficult reforms, and institutional strengthening. The Federal, and Republican Governments, will require the adoption of transition reforms, and investment priorities to meet three inter-dependent challenges: restoring macroeconomic stability, and external balance; stimulating growth, and creating the basis for a sustainable supply response; and, improving the social well-being of the most vulnerable, and building human capacity. The successful implementation of the reform program, institutional strengthening, and investments, will further require donor support, external debt reduction, financial support, and technical assistance, to restore economic growth, through fiscal adjustment, and a comprehensive debt restructuring. The study provides financing estimates for the period 2001-05 for structural adjustment, fast disbursing balance of payments, and budgetary support.
  • Publication
    Thailand : Country Development Partnership for Competitiveness
    (Washington, DC, 2001-06-13) World Bank
    Competitiveness has emerged as a key issue confronting policymakers in Thailand. The Government's reform program will be extended by explicitly incorporating into the competitiveness framework measures that address the remaining constraints on competitiveness. The three critical areas that could constrain Thailand's medium term competitiveness include: 1) The need to strengthen the knowledge base--addressing the skills gap, and improving quality and coverage of education; mainstreaming information technology; and enhancing science and technological capability. 2) The need to modernize the infrastructure regulatory framework to improve the efficiency and delivery of public services. A modern and efficient physical infrastructure will help to reduce the cost associated with infrastructure bottlenecks faced by Thai firms. 3) The need to further improve the business environment and enhance competition--corporate governance, trade and investment regimes, competition policy--so that scarce labor and capital can be utilized in the most productive sectors. In addition, an appropriate macroeconomic environment, by signaling the right relative prices (domestic interest rates and exchange rates), will enable Thai firms to respond to emerging market trends.
  • Publication
    Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia : Economic and Social Reforms for Peace and Reconciliation
    (Washington, DC, 2001-02-01) World Bank
    The report discusses the principal economic, and social reform policy tasks, Kosovo is facing, following the decade-long losses due to civic exclusion of a major part of its ethnic population, the absence of investments, and the neglect of physical, and human capital, a period which culminated in the 1999 conflict. It intends to inform on the framework of the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo, i.e., the consolidation of peace, by fostering social reconciliation, towards achieving sustainable economic growth in the province. The key challenges to the political economy address: 1) the formulation of a sustainable budget, increasingly financed through local taxation, hence, with reduced reliance on external donor support. Fiscal institutions need to be developed to ensure efficient public spending; 2) the establishment of trade liberalization, and a customs regime, to increase the potential for growth, and exports, allowing as well to benefit from the arrangements fostered by the Stability Pact, and the European Union; 3) the use of hard currency for internal transactions, and savings, and, the development of a strategy for banking sector development; and, 4) the creation of a reformed framework to encourage growth, by stimulating private enterprise development. Moreover, three aspects of social policy call for: an education policy at par with competitor countries; health policy that strengthens health care delivery, and addresses the effects of recent social traumas; and, social protection regarding a highly vulnerable population.
  • Publication
    Malaysia : Social and Structural Review Update
    (Washington, DC, 2001-01-17) World Bank
    A Structural Policy Review (SPR) for Malaysia, prepared in late 1998 and early 1999, was shared with the government of Malaysia in February 1999 and subsequently appeared in gray cover in June 1999 (report no. 18647). The report covered developments in the following six areas: 1) maintaining sound macroeconomic policies and resuming growth; 2) managing the social impact of the crisis; 3) financial sector restructuring; 4) corporate restructuring; 5) strengthening corporate governance and competitiveness; and 6) strengthening public sector management and performance. The SPR examined these short and medium term structural issues as they came to light during the first 14 months of the crisis. At the time the report was written the government had formulated responses to the crisis across a wide variety of policy instruments. Since then, however, events have evolved. The objective of this report is to review the progress made over the last year on structural issues in each of the six areas covered in the original SPR and place these in the context of what is happening a) in other countries in the region managing the same crisis and b) in the discussions of the new international financial architecture. This perspective is used to assess the quality of the current recovery and structural basis for sustained medium term growth and poverty reduction.
  • Publication
    Indonesia - Accelerating Recovery in Uncertain Times : Brief for the Consultative Group in Indonesia
    (Washington, DC, 2000-10-13) World Bank
    The study reviews Indonesia's recovery so far, which in spite of only modest growth, is taking hold, and its base has expanded beyond consumption. With inflation under control, real wages are rising again, and poverty declined from a peak of over twenty three percent. The rapid export growth, and high oil prices were factors to offset capital outflows, thus, Indonesia's cushion of international reserves increased, lowering the deficit, and limiting financing needs, which resulted in bank, and corporate emergence. But financial markets were doubtful of the real economic developments, aggravated by political turmoil, and the developments in East Timor, which created market uncertainty. However, the study reflects optimism on the country's agenda, encouraged by the Government's program to accelerate recovery, with broad domestic and international support. The study examines policy options for fiscal sustainability, and the role of donors, and, assesses poverty within a constructive strategy for the future, exploring as well governance improvement through legal and judiciary reforms, suggesting the rule of law is still far from being assured. The study recommends changes within the political process, and to its legal system and civil service, as well as changes from the role of the military, to the way Government handles its finances.