The Business Page of today’s Telegraph would work well as an Reading List on an Introductory Course on Regulation Law in India. To start with, notice TRAI’s ability to articulate a policy of promoting rural telephony and transfer large funds to effect that – activities previously shrouded in the dark corridors of the Union Department of Telecom. Not so proficient is the Petroleum Ministry in arbitrating between the interests of GAIL and Reliance in the Natural Gas pipeline business where GAIL complains about deparmental favouritism! The lack of clarity in the scope and jurisdiction of the regulatory institutions – the RBI as a central bank administering the Banking Regulation Act and the Indian Chartered Accountants Institute the self regulatory body for auditors – keeps Ramesh Gelli and cohorts at what was the GTB chuckling with delight. And finally, the Power Ministry is hell bent on clipping the power regulators wings and returning policy making and tariffs to the bureaucratic barons and politicians who man this big department.
All this should leave noone in doubt that Regulation Law is at the heart of the reformulation of Indian Public law and provides the principles for redesigning the Indian state. It’s about time that all of us gave this a serious look in and produce useful knowledge that aids (or hinders!) this enterprise.