Sri Lanka is to host the 14th Executive Committee meeting of the South Asia Forum of Infrastructure Regulation (SAFIR) in Weligama, from November 24 to 26, 2017.
The SAFIR, established in May 1999 with the support of the World Bank, is an association of infrastructure regulators from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh and aims to provide a platform for experience sharing, initiate beneficial exchange of knowledge and expertise, conduct training programmes to serve regulatory agencies and other stakeholders and spur research on regulatory issues.
The SAFIR assists in the building of regulatory capacity in the electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, water, transport and other sectors as decided by the Steering Committee.
Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Chairman Saliya Mathew has been elected as the chairperson for the SAFIR for the year 2017/18.
Mathew was also Governor of the Sabaragamuwa Province, Chairman of the Employees’ Trust Fund Board and Co-Chairman of the Salaries and Cadre Commission. The commission has been an active member of the SAFIR from its early stage.
This year, the committee agenda includes formation of a working group to work on mediation for regulatory compliance to facilitate knowledge sharing, addressing cross cutting energy/electricity regulatory issues and capacity building in South Asia. The eight South Asian nations (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) collectively account for over one-fourth of the world’s population and the region is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an average annual growth rate of 6.8 percent as measured by the gross domestic product per capita, the World Bank data says.