Publication: Water in Bucharest : A Utility’s Efficiency Gains under a Concession
In March 2000 Bucharest entered into a concession contract for its water utility with the aim of turning around the utility's faltering performance. Under the private operator the utility has raised service quality above Romanian standards and toward Western European levels. By 2008 efficiency gains had produced cost savings totaling US$349 million. The concessionaire has financed US$259 million in investment, without public subsidy, while keeping tariffs well below the Romanian average. Not all water concessions have been as successful. What accounts for the gains under this one? The concession of Bucharest's water utility has brought its citizens higher-quality water services, at a lower cost, than they could have had under continued municipal provision. The credit for this goes to the leadership of the municipality and the municipal utility in the late 1990s, which saw that private finance and management were needed to reverse the cycle of poor performance.
“World Bank. 2011. Water in Bucharest : A Utility’s Efficiency Gains under a Concession. View Point; No. 326. © Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/f9d7794b-a00b-50e0-a4b6-f6b5546d13ac License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
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PublicationPrimary Care for the Poor: The Potential of Micro-Health Markets to Improve Care( 2015-01)Much of the primary curative care provided to the poor by the private sector occurs not at large hospitals but at small, single-person clinics. While such micro-health providers increase access, questions persist about quality. Some have argued that the micro-health sector needs to be better regulated. This note cites recent studies in arguing that the micro-health sector needs to be better understood. A more evidence based approach may enable the World Bank Group to better target investments and interventions and help these providers fulfill an important role serving the poor. The following recommendations are made at the conclusion of this paper: (1) Effort, rather than hardware or training, may count the most. (2) Scaling up interventions to improve quality requires understanding and addressing market failures. (3) Changing the way impacts are measured will lead to smarter investments.
PublicationSmall Business Tax Regimes(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02)Simplified tax regimes for micro and small enterprises in developing countries are intended to facilitate voluntary tax compliance. However, survey evidence suggests that small business taxation based on simplified bookkeeping or turnover is sometimes perceived as too complex for microenterprises in countries with high illiteracy levels. Very simple fixed tax regimes not requiring any books or records tend to be overly popular but prone to abuse. System reforms will require more precise tailoring of the simplified regimes to their target beneficiaries, coupled with strong compliance management to detect and deter abuse. The overall objective of simplified taxation for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries is generally to facilitate voluntary tax compliance and remove obstacles in moving toward business formalization and growth.
PublicationCompetition and Poverty(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04)A literature review shows competition policy reforms can deliver benefits for the poorest households and improve income distribution. A lack of competition in food markets hurts the poorest households the most. Competition in input markets and between buyers helps farmers and small businesses. And more competitive markets bolster job growth over the longer term. More research is needed, however, to better understand the impact of competition reforms and antitrust enforcement on poverty and shared prosperity.