Regulating the regulators
The Planning Commission has sought the views of stakeholders and the general public on the Draft Regulatory Reform Bill 2013 by putting it on its website. The Bill essentially aims at creating a legislation which will monitor the working of sectoral regulators, to gauge their accountability while maintaining their independence. Further, the Bill suggests that regulatory commissions and appellate tribunals will have an institutional framework.
According to the Planning Commission, the new law is needed to maintain convergence in the way different regulators function and ensure that consistency is maintained in issues such as determination of tariffs, enforcement of performance standards, and promoting investment, especially in the infrastructure sector including electricity, telecom, Internet, airports, oil, gas, and ports. The aim of the Bill, when enacted, will be to ensure that consumers’ interest is consistently protected and that the principles of competition are abided by.
The note, introducing the Bill, specifies that the draft Bill is designed to supplement existing sector-specific legislations. However, the draft Bill states that it will have overriding effects in cases of inconsistencies with other existing enactments. Exceptions of these overriding effects have, however, been made for the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and the Competition Act, 2002.
Source: Business Line