ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economy : Regulatory Proliferation

Regulatory Proliferation Independent regulation has become part of the language of economic reform in the 1990s. This is so especially for the infrastructure and other sectors in which government is the owner. Sectors which already have such regulators are telecommunications and electricity. Others under consideration are for petroleum, gas and coal, railways, roads, fertilisers, and information and broadcasting.

Independent regulation has become part of the language of economic reform in the 1990s. This is so especially for the infrastructure and other sectors in which government is the owner. Sectors which already have such regulators are telecommunications and electricity. Others under consideration are for petroleum, gas and coal, railways, roads, fertilisers, and information and broadcasting.

These regulatory commissions are different from commissions appointed in the past like the Tariff Commission, Forward Markets Commission, Disinvestment Commission, etc. These were advisory in nature. Even SEBI which was created in 1991 is still not independent, since it reports to the finance ministry which is its court of appeal. There are other statutory bodies like the Company Law Board, BIFR, Debt Recovery Tribunal and Income Tax Appellate Tribunal which are quasi-judicial in nature and have the authority to enforce their decisions. Even among the areas of infrastructure that have been mentioned, one like telecommunications affects only a small proportion of the population, while others have an impact on almost everybody. The sensitivity of their work is therefore variable, depending on the populations they impact upon. Regulatory bodies for electricity and roads require state level commissions as well since the subjects are concurrent in nature and powers exist both with the centre and states.

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