Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) has taken up the
initiative to assess the quality and impact of consumer
participation in electricity sector regulation process since
promulgation of Electricity Act 2003 through evaluation of the
regulatory decision making process in the states of Delhi, Haryana,
Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
One of the fundamental tenets of the Electricity Act was
establishment of an elaborate regulatory framework in India,
with different levels of regulators at the State and National
Levels. These regulators are supposed to be neutral arbiters
between producers, consumers and the state entrusted to
determine the most economically efficient tariffs and create
operating rules, to meet the above stated goals of regulation.
It has also been noted that regulatory shortcomings centre on
lack of commercial orientation of state government-owned
utilities and inadequate consumer participation in the
regulatory process. Unlike other shortcomings, there is huge
dearth of research in consumer participation aspect and its
benefits in India specific case. Henceforth, the reason for this
lack of participation needs to be examined with reference to the
constitution of consumer participation through the act, the
process of participation and nature of outcomes.
Thus, the objective of the assignment is to evaluate the
impact of consumer participation vis-à-vis the regulatory
decision making process and propose relevant recommendations in
case of shortcomings to encourage more participation.