October 18, 2012

2012: Highlight # 13

The Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP) has been accused of resulting in "no acceleration, little irrigation, minuscule benefits". Shah and Singh suggest going back to the drawing board...

Accelerated Sectoral Development Programs

What can water sector learn from power sector?

Tushaar Shah and Mahendra Singh

Government of India’s (GoI) 15 year old Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Program (AIBP) has increasingly come under much-deserved criticism for all-round non-performance. To improve AIBP, critics have repeated the same tepid suggestions that had earlier fallen on deaf ears. We argue that AIBP needs to be taken back to the drawing board and redesigned based on Accelerated Power Development and Reform Program (APDRP) which encourages and supports states to undertake management reform, promote accountability, restructure incentives and, in general, improve all-round performance of power utilities. Giving this same medicine to public irrigation will accelerate irrigation benefits more than just funding more dams and canals that AIBP has done all along.

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