Independent regulation is relatively a recent phenomenon, particularly in developing countries. The basic premise of independent regulation is that: specialized agencies those are independent of influence from stakeholders can make rational decisions and achieve stated policy objectives such as growth, investment, effective service delivery at an efficient price. Independent regulation is supposed to create enabling and consistent regulatory environment to facilitate healthy competition.
Though regulatory agencies are being set up world over in various infrastructure and financial services, the effectiveness of this recent form of governance is also being debated extensively particularly in the context of developing economies
Independent regulation essentially follows a consultative approach of decision-making. Regulatory decisions are supposedly an outcome that strikes out a balance amongst conflicting priorities/interests that various stakeholders might have. Therefore, quality of representations from stakeholders and capacity of regulators and their staff becomes crucial determinant of regulatory effectiveness. In most developing countries the level of knowledge and understanding of philosophy of independent regulation is perceived as low.
Further, some of the problems being faced in developing economies are unique to the context. Therefore, being guided with the experiences in developed economies might not be helpful. Rather, learning from varied experiences of developing economies would be a better approach to address such peculiar challenges with necessary adaptations. Doing that would require substantial research efforts.
Capacity of regulators, their staff and that of other stakeholders, i.e. service providers, consumer representatives is also vital to achieve the goals with which independent regulatory agencies have been set up. Apart from imparting training to practitioners creation of a pool of resource persons on economic regulation and related subjects would be imperative to broaden the base.
Realising the stated need, CIRC will soon launch comprehensive capacity building solutions on regulatory matters and related aspects. A multi-stakeholder approach will be adopted with a thrust on learning from experiences in developing countries. To begin with, CIRC is focusing on infrastructure services e.g. electricity, telecom, water & sanitation, transport etc.
The product range would also include short-term training for professionals, education (certificate/diploma/degree) for career aspirants, training on Regulatory Impact Assessment, and Regulatory Compliance Education for businesses.