OECD Regulatory Policy Working Papers

This series gathers together OECD working papers on the tools, governance and institutions of better regulation and their impact on policy outcomes. It includes both technical and analytical material, prepared by staff and experts in the field. Together, the papers provide valuable context and background for OECD publications on regulatory policy and governance.


Regulatory policy in India

Moving towards regulatory governance

This paper provides an analysis of India’s existing regulatory regime and its evolution over the last 25 years, and the efforts to improve the regulatory framework as India has transitioned towards a market economy. The paper argues that while India has implemented many sector specific regulatory reforms, the absence of a government wide initiative to improve regulatory quality, or implement a whole of government regulatory policy, has prevented India from creating a consistent and coherent regulatory environment and has undermined trust and integrity in the regulatory system. As a result, outcomes of regulatory governance have so far been quite mixed. In many cases they have fallen far short of expectations. The paper therefore identifies some of the constraints that have challenged India’s regulatory governance, the dominant presence of state owned enterprises, the multi-level government structures and regulatory independence of agencies and institutions. Meanwhile, effective regulatory governance has distinctly evolved in the securities market and it highlights the reasons behind the success of the securities market regulator. The positive example of the Securities Exchange Board of India is outlined to showcase the potential for implementing good regulatory practice through regulatory oversight, better governance of regulators, stakeholder engagement and regulatory impact assessments. The paper also looks at issues related to Regulatory Impact Assessments in the Indian context.


Keywords: governance, India, economic regulators, regulatory impact assessment, network sectors, regulation
JEL: D00: Microeconomics / General / Microeconomics: General; L5: Industrial Organization / Regulation and Industrial Policy; N75: Economic History / Transport, Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services / Economic History: Transport, Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services: Asia including Middle East; N45: Economic History / Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation / Economic History: Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation: Asia including Middle East; A1: General Economics and Teaching / General Economics
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