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Title: Influence of Politics on Independent Regulation of Electricity Sector
Authors: Chhatbar, Chinmay
Keywords: School of Habitat Studies
Sachin Warghade
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: The research is aimed at understanding the problem of influence of politics on the independent regulation of electricity sector in India. The study peruses through secondary literature sources on independence of regulations and its relation with political systems. Further, it identifies, through secondary sources, various instances of political influence on regulatory outcomes in electricity sector in other countries. Through a mapping exercise performed in three states of India, the study seeks to understand the attributes of identified instances of political influences occurred in recent times and evaluate their probable effects on independence of regulations which led to inefficiencies in the sector. The mapping exercise is done based on the data collected using primary sources such as interviews and focus group discussions with political actors, state commission members, utility officials, consumer representatives, journalists and industry experts as well as secondary sources such as literature on specific cases, articles, journals, newspapers, judicial cases, the documents provided by various stakeholders and others. Based on the evaluation, a case of sudden rise in the unmetered agricultural connections in the state of Maharashtra in the period between 2010 and 2014 is identified for in depth study using Qualitative Process Tracing method to find out how the political influence on regulatory outcome takes place in a particular instance. Through process tracing wide arrays of hypothesis’ are build up and evaluated based on the diagnostic evidences collected from the primary and secondary sources. The research contributes to the literature on governance through independent regulations by explaining the mechanism of causal forces manifesting through series of contextual events, interests of various actors and effects of their activities, which enable the influence of politics on the regulatory outcomes in the presence of Independent Regulatory authority.
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