Competition advocacy is key to take reforms forward: Moily

Financial Express, August 22, 2012

Stating that competition advocacy is the key in taking the reform agenda forward, power and corporate affairs minister M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the government was hopeful of getting the national competition policy cleared by the Union Cabinet soon.

“If competition succeeds, everyone is a winner,’’ Moily said addressing a meeting on the national competition policy and economic growth in India, organised by CUTS International, an economic policy think-tank working on competition and regulatory issues.

Participating in the seminar, Dhanendra Kumar, principal adviser of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs and former chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), said it was necessary to proactively promote competition in the Indian economy. “While competition in markets will be monitored by the CCI, anti-competitive outcomes of government policies, rules and regulations need to be reviewed through implementation of the competition policy,” Kumar said.

Corporate affairs minister Moily has been assuring the industry captains not to be pessimistic about the current business environment as things would begin to look up soon. In his recent trip to Kolkata, Moily had said that the business enviornment would be “back on track” in next two-three months. The corporate affairs ministry is in the process of appointing an independent agency to work out with an index on India’s annual business enviornment. “Some perception studies currently under circulation paint a gloomy picture. However, we should look at the brighter side,” Moily had said last month citing a recent World Bank report which predicted India’s economic growth at 6.9% in 2012-13, 7.2% in 2013-14 and 7.4% in 2014-15.

On his part, Pradeep Mehta, secretary-general of CUTS International, talked about studies which were conducted for 13 sectors as part of the work done under the committee on framing the national competition policy and related matters. “The project would deepen these studies to propose specific regulatory changes to be implemented in identified sectors in order to enhance competition resulting in dynamic gains to producers and consumers,” Mehta said.

Arun Maira, member of the Planning Commission of India further emphasised on political-economic challenges in implementing a policy. He said that redesigning of institutions is needed to address these challenges and generating growth which is what the Planning Commission is attempting at the moment.

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