DailyPost 2532

The government was the creator of policies, rules, SOPs, penal provisions based on the law of the land for good and orderly governance of the country. The administrative machinery was created in a manner to first govern, then regulate and the most important of it all, enforce. Regulating is a core governance function. There is a huge sarkari apparatus to attend to it. As to when and why, the government thought, there needs to be a regulator in complex areas, is known fully known. From SEBI to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, now we have them all over.

Whether it has been an outcome of the Harshad Mehta fiasco or such other tectonic moments or because the governments were not able to handle the complexity of the evolving areas, technology or the business ecosystem or very specialized / critical tasks, the reality of the day is that the regulators here to stay. The thought behind the creation of this specialized creation can only be two: first that they would be able to get better brains and expertise for that specific task, might be with visionary leadership, to establish processes for regulating efficiently. Secondly, the organization can work with a single-minded focus of its stated and mandated task. No dilution whatsoever.

This brings us to the next point, that all what was needed to create and upskill an organization was done; for regulators in a variety of areas. The impression also was that it would be outside the clutches of the government and would work in the best interest of the consumer, customer, shareholder and the citizen. The people could be rest assured that these regulators would take the businesses to task and facilitate in aligning their business interests for the good of the people. The businesses and services providers should be made a feel that there is a competent big brother watching them.

Have we got all these out of regulators? Are their protocols in place, where all the stakeholders are on the same page? Do they really have the expertise and acumen to run the empires which they are supposed to? Or have they also turned out to be another cosy sarkari corner, with minimalist intervention, some decisions, half-baked enforcement and knee jerk reactions. Are the regulated feeling the heat of the regulator being proactive. Can we see the results in the public domain? If they have been taken over by the same work culture as that of the government, then this grand edifice promising change would just remain an edifice worth gleeful watching and for paying mouthful lip service. Worse still, they can still remain being controlled like a government department. The regulator the becomes the regulated.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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