Thursday, July 17, 2008

(un)free enterprise

Recently, Sri Lanka's government decided to impose severe restrictions on the use of mobile phones citing 'Security reasons'. Anything fly in Sri Lanka these days, if you say 'national security'.

The regulation dictates that all Sri Lankans must carry a certificate confirming they own the phone connection. The new regulations will also stop people from sharing mobile phones, and restrict mobility of CDMA phones which most lower-income groups use in both businesses and at home, the law requires users to use them only at a specific address. Much more at Lirneasia.

But even with such idiotic regulations, entrepreneurship reigns. One Sri Lankan mobile operator, Tigo, has already adjusted to the regulations by issuing a plastic ownership cards. The company aims to package the card with other perks for the users.

It's great to see spirit of enterprise alive and well, despite the government. But that's no justification for stupid regulations.

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