The design characteristics of South Asian Regulatory affairs institutions have been established not only in an otherwise static environment but also a hostile one.
The hostility comes paradoxically from the bureaucracy that has to give up its traditional regulatory affairs functions. The hostility may also be attributed to the public sector undertakings that have always had their costs covered and interests protected and were not accountable either for their performance efficiency or service quality. There is also the threat of hostility from the consumer who is probably observing higher tariffs with near intangible benefits.
At the same time, the regulatory challenges that Regulatory affairs agencies have to deal with are provided by the huge shortages of supply, fiscal deficits and completely irrational tariffs. In such a scenario, it is all the more imperative to design the regulatory affairs institution such that it is able to withstand the tremendous pressures that will face it in the early years.
One of the major drawbacks of the existing designs of the regulatory institutions in the South Asian region is the selection process and the terms and conditions of employment of the chairperson, members and staff. Quite a few of the newly established regulatory affairs commissions are not fully staffed and in the case of those regulatory commissions where vacancies have come about, the concerned Governments have not been able to fill in these vacancies.