The Sixth Central Pay Commission has done well to single out one type of regulators for special pay packets.
The commission says that heads of the telecom, power, insurance, securities and competition regulators should be paid as much as Rs3 lakh a month. Other members should be paid Rs2.5 lakh. These regulators have either been set up or empowered after the reforms of 1991—and are critical for the success of the market economy.
Regulators need specialist knowledge, not just of the theoretical variety but also the practical one. They should ideally have been in the rough and tumble of the industries they will oversee.
Career bureaucrats have usually taken the top jobs at regulatory bodies. Some have been good at the job. Others have not. But it’s now time to open the market for regulatory appointments.
That is what the Sixth Pay Commission, too, says. Pay should be increased “to attract professionals from the private sector.” Let the search begin.