Harmonizing Electricity Laws in South Asia

Publication | October 2017

This country analysis of the energy sector in South Asia enables understanding of the state of the legal and regulatory framework for energy trade and areas of reform.

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South Asia, home to nearly one-sixth of the global population, is one of the poorest regions in the world. Access to electricity in the region is low and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries face acute electricity shortages, adversely impacting their socioeconomic development. Yet the region is endowed with hydropower potential, coal reserves, natural gas reserves, large renewable energy resources, and petroleum reserves. These can be harnessed to become key drivers of the region’s growth—and energy trade has the potential to capitalize on this asset.

This report culminates the work of ADB and SAARCLAW on regional energy trade. It identifies the legal, regulatory, technical, and commercial requirements for energy trade; and what each country needs to do to make the framework agreement a reality. The recommendations provide an easy reference for policy makers and energy stakeholders in the region. It is hoped that this report’s recommendations, derived from the work of national consultants and regional and international experts, will contribute to the fulfillment of the framework agreement.


  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and ADB’s Support for the South
  • Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Law
  • Energy Scenario and Institutional Framework
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Framework Agreement for Energy
  • Cooperation (Electricity)
  • Review of Electricity Laws, Regulations, and Policies
  • Requirements for Cross-Border Electricity Trade
  • Harmonizing Electricity Laws and Regulations of South Asian Association
  • for Regional Cooperation Member States
  • Conclusions and Recommendations

Additional Details

  • Energy
  • Energy sector governance and reform
  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • 68
  • 8.5 x 11
  • TCS179071-2
  • 978-92-9257-967-8 (Print)
  • 978-92-9257-968-5 (e-ISBN)

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