consumer rights Archives — LIRNEasia

I had been invited to moderate a panel discussion on consumer rights in electricity, in the context of a recently issued charter of consumer rights and obligations. This was set to be a ho-hum affair, until the country experienced its third nationwide blackout within the last six months. This resulted in the shutdown of the 900 MW coal-powered plant, which means that the system will be in distress for 4-5 days until they get it fired up again. Since 2002, Sri Lankans have got used to uninterrupted power which they pay a lot. There is a lot of anger.

Economic freedom and consumer rights

Posted on October 19, 2008  /  0 Comments

This was the title for a presentation I was asked to do for a seminar organized by the SAARC Chamber of Commerce, the FCCISL and the Naumann Foundation. The presentation examined the broadening of consumer rights in the Sri Lanka industry as a result of the increased economic freedom in the telecom industry enabled by the multi-faceted liberalization undertaken by multiple governments since the 1990s. It then went on to draw lessons for other infrastructure industries and countries. The principle of “competition wherever possible; regulation where necessary” was the anchor of this part of the presentation. It was emphasized that the possible and necessary varied depending on country and time and that there were no one-size-fits-all solutions.