Govt. should restart debate on reforming regulatory structure: Eran

3 November 2015 03:06 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The government should restart an old debate to decide on the reforms required for the current regulatory structure in the country, State Enterprise Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne said.

“There’s a genuine need to rationalize some of these to achieve end-user efficiencies, financial constraints and regulatory skills constraints. 

I’m not prescribing an answer here. I’m only calling into question a debate that was there 10-15 years ago,” he added.

Speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Association Annual Sessions, he disapproved of having multiple regulators such as the Public Utilities Commission, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, National Transport Commission, Securities Exchange Commission, Central Bank, etc.

“It’s time to relook what we’re doing. We need to question the structure. Do we need all these regulators or can some be sorted under some umbrella regulatory body? One advantage of an umbrella is an apex to co-ordinate activities and get economies of scope,” Wickramaratne said. Despite having a bloated public sector, the crucial bodies such as the Consumer Affairs Authority, Attorney General’s Department, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, etc., have continuously been understaffed.

However, if a large-scale amalgamation of regulatory bodies takes place, many public sector employees may be laid off and could be left unable to find jobs in the private sector due to the unproductive stigma attached to the public service at the moment. Wickramaratne in the past had said that a significant portion of the youth in this country still want to enter the public sector instead of the private sector due to its guaranteed pension and unproductive nature. 
(CW)
 
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