Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pakistan.Road Sector Development Program

Access to markets and social services in rural areas of Sindh was poor because substantial portions of the provincial and rural road networks were in bad condition. Interventions were needed in line with the strategies of the Government of Pakistan and ADB to improve key sections of the provincial highway network, improve and rehabilitate rural access roads (RAR) in areas with pervasive poverty, strengthen institutional capacity in the provincial works and services department (WSD),4 and initiate policy reforms toward managing roads more effectively.

The anticipated social and poverty impacts, particularly from RARs, included increased income and employment opportunities, improved access to social services, and strengthened food security. The main impact of the PSDP was expected to be (i) local economic growth that would generate employment, (ii) lower transaction costs, and (iii) improved economic efficiency. Although poverty indicators for the country and for four provinces including Sindh are given in the report and recommendation of the President (RRP), no performance indicator or target was offered. Para. 125 of the RRP estimates that 20%–35% of national benefits from improved provincial highways would accrue to the poor.

The PSDP was to enhance access to markets and social services in rural areas by (i) improving and rehabilitating the RAR network; (ii) preserving key road assets by rationalizing road maintenance, including creating a provincial road maintenance fund; (iii) improving important provincial highways to facilitate trade and create income and employment opportunities; (iv) improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Sindh WSD in planning, managing, and maintaining the provincial road network; (v) supporting reforms in the road sector; and (vi) promoting private sector participation in road development and maintenance.
The policy and institutional reform component initiated a process of change in the province intended to transform the WSD into an efficient institution that, in partnership with district governments and the private sector, could provide a safe, cost-effective, and well-maintained network of provincial and rural roads. Some of the targets in the RRP were (i) lower vehicle operating costs, (ii) lower transport costs for farm inputs and outputs, (iii) alternative financing mechanisms that would reduce the burden on public sector resources, and (iv) fewer road accidents.
Asian Development Bank.Reference Number:PCV:PAK 2011-42.Project Number:32058-02.Loan Numbers:1892-PAK,1893-PAK (SF)