CCI Has Limited Role in Promoting Competition, Says Official, October 10, 2015

At a time when efforts are being made to ensure fair trade practices across sectors, a Member of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has said the regulator has a “very limited” role in promoting competition.

CCI has been clamping down on anti-competitive practices across sectors. On many occasions, the competition watchdog has penalised erring entities, apart from directing them to “cease and desist” from activities that violate fair trade norms.

The regulator has also bolstered efforts to spread awareness about competition norms.

“Competition law and Competition Commission have a very limited role in promoting competition… except that anybody can bring an information to the Commission,” CCI Member M S Sahoo said.

He was speaking at a conference, on ‘Making competition reforms work for people’, organised by advocacy group CUTS International here.

According to him, not just competition law but many other aspects also need to be taken into account while deciding on alleged anti-competitive issues.

“One needs to understand the whole competition philosophy, economic background before taking a view,” Mr Sahoo said.

Last month, CCI had issued guidelines for competition assessment of economic legislations and bills.

With the new guidelines, CCI is looking to facilitate an “objective and transparent assessment of select economic legislations enacted by Parliament or state legislatures and also the economic bills pending or coming up before them in near future from competition perspective”.

In case the assessment finds that there are issues related to competition in a particular legislation, then CCI would suggest necessary modifications to the relevant stakeholders.

As per the guidelines, which would be effective from January 1 next year, the assessment would look at aspects that could cause appreciable adverse effect on competition in the relevant market in India.

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