Note:  Dr S N Singh, Consultant, Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi
Note:  Dr Era Upadhyay, Assistant Professor, AITM, Lucknow
Note:  Prof. U Sankar, Honorary Professor, Madras School of Economics, Chennai
Abstract: Trade liberalization of environmental services under the pursuant of the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), has been widely advocated as a means of increasing the participation of the private sector for ensuring sustainable development in developing countries. Recognizing that effective regulation is needed towards ensuring that the potential gains from private sector involvement are fully realized, this paper considers the autonomy of national regulatory system on environmental services and submission on domestic regulation in GATS. The empirical evidence of liberalization and involvement of the private sector in the provision of solid waste management (SWM) services (CPC 9402) in India is reviewed. In addition, the paper also looks into a number of reasons why harmonizing the regulations of environmental services has been problematic in the country; these have been identified and include poor governance and regulatory weaknesses. The study concludes that India may need to adopt a suitable policy with limited regulatory resources and also follow a cautious approach to environmental services like liberalization and regulatory framework in perspective of the national policy objectives under the ongoing negotiations for developing discipline on domestic regulation (Article VI:4) in the Working Party on Domestic Regulation of GATS.