poor recovery under AWBs such as absence of regulatory bi-laws, lack of institutional, financial and
technical support from government and Irrigation Department to properly guide and equip FOs in order
to manage hundred years old irrigation system effectively.
Figure 23: Abiana Assessment and Recovery under AWBs in Pakistan (Punjab and Sindh collectively)
Table 8: Abiana Assessment and Recovery under AWBs in Pakistan (Punjab and Sindh provinces)
Year Assessment Recovery Recovery as Percentage of
Assessed Amount (%)
2004-05 296 177 60
2005-06 314 162 51
2006-07 275 150 54
2007-08 274 126 46
2008-09 325 135 42
Average 297 150 51
6.5.4 Financial Sustainability
Figure 24 shows that canal irrigation system in Pakistan recovers an average of 24% of its annual O&M
costs during the period 2003-04 to 2009-10. Table 8 reveals that annual recovery during the mentioned
period remained almost the same while O&M cost increased by 80%. To fill this widening gap between
the escalating O&M cost and stagnated revenue, provincial governments provided a total of Rs.38 billion
subsidy during 2003-04 to 2009-10 (Rs.5 billion annually). Another worrisome aspect emerging from the
analysis is that the revenue (from Abiana recovery) as percentage of O&M cost declined by 44% during
2003-04 to 2009-10. In summary, canal irrigation system in Pakistan is highly financially unsustainable
which has a significant negative impact on quality of irrigation service.
Figure 24: Financial Sustainability of Irrigation System in Pakistan
Table 9: Abiana Recovery and O&M Cost of Irrigation System in Pakistan (Rs. Million)
Year Recovery O&M Cost Recovery as % of O&M Cost
2003-04 1686 4936 34
2004-05 1562 5462 29
2005-06 1520 6230 24
2006-07 1706 7373 23
2007-08 1700 7681 22
2008-09 1622 8804 18
2009-10 1686 9041 19
Total 11482 49526
Average 1640 7075 24
Following are the main points emerging from preceding discussion in Section 5.5.
The average water charges per acre for cotton, sugarcane, rice, maize and wheat remained
Rs.126-214, Rs.185-428, Rs.125-210, Rs.69-136 and Rs.75-131, respectively, during 2000-01 to
Water charges of rice and cotton are almost same while rice consumes 60% more water than
cotton, showing water charges being levied independent of water use by crops.
Overall assessment amount declined by 10% while recovery improved by 8% during the period
from 2002-03 to 2007-08.
The average annual Abiana collection is 60% of the assessed amount, inflicting Rs. 1.2 billion
annual losses at national level (for all provinces).
Financial performance of four AWBs (three in Sindh and one in Punjab) was also dismal, showing
a declining trend, as they could recover on average only half of the assessed amount.
Canal irrigation system in Pakistan is financially unsustainable as it recovers merely 24% of its
annual O&M costs. In absolute terms, government provided Rs.38 billion as subsidy during
seven years period (or Rs.5.4 billion annually) to fill the gap between increasing O&M cost and
stagnant Abiana recovery.
Canal irrigation system in Pakistan
is financially unsustainable as it
recovers merely 24% of its annual