WELCOME TO THE ‘FUNCOMP FORUM’ E-DISCUSSION GROUP
The forum serves as a platform to exchange and communicate news and views, focussing on Competition & Economic Regulation in India.
Articles and news on relevant and contemporary issues are periodically posted to serve the dual purpose of:
- Updating members with current information; and
- Facilitating discussion on interesting topics.
Since its inception, over 4000 postings have been made.
Several issues have been discussed at length among the members of the Group. Some of these are:
- Bureaucracy slows down reforms approved by PM
- Sustainability of Business vs. Sanctity of Contract
- Is Cambridge Analytica Scandal a Warning for Bigger Debacle?
- Ease of Doing Business in an uneasy India hides, not reveals
- Govt Plans To Recharge Power Regulators With A New Team
- Benefits Of Competition To Consumers Have Not Been Realised
- Competition Vs Regulation — The Best Way Forward
- Monopoly For CNG Operators
- Competition Policy Can Lead To Pro-Poor Development
- Banking Mergers And Workers
- Beefing Up Regulators
- Telecom Ministry Out To Neuter TRAI
- Do We Require More Sectoral Regulators?
- Govt Mulls MRTP Clause Against Monsanto
- Fitter Referees For A Competitive Economy
- Petro Subsidies: Flawed Basis
- Competition Policy Maximises Consumer Welfare As Well As Business Welfare
- Time For A Policy On Competition
The e-discussion group has over 7000 members, and continues to grow. Members include representatives from government, regulators, civil society organisations, academia, media, experts and practitioners.
If you wish to join the FunComp e-discussion group, please send an email to: email@example.com
Competition policy is an integral part of economic policy. The main objective of competition policy and law is to preserve and promote competition as a means to ensure efficient allocation of resources in an economy, resulting in the best possible choice of quality, the lowest prices and adequate supplies to consumers. To put it differently, ensuring competition is just a means to achieve the above-stated objectives.
There are complex inter-relationships between competition and other public policies. This factor has a direct bearing on the extent to which competition policy objectives can be pursued without being constrained by or conflicting with other public policy objectives. Thus, even in the absence of a competition law or a stated competition policy, many of the related concerns can be addressed, at least partially, if there are other policies, which are favourable to competition.
Different government policies such as trade policy, industrial policy, regulatory reforms, etc. may encourage or adversely affect competition and hence consumer welfare, particularly, in the context of the present globalising environment. In addition sector-specific policies on health, electricity, telecommunications, financial services etc., also affect competition in the economy. Thus, although a competition law may be quite narrow in its scope, competition policy is much more broad and comprehensive in its scope and tries to bring harmony in all the Government policies that may encourage or adversely affect competition and consumer welfare.
India does not have a competition policy but only a competition law, first in the form of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, 1969 and now the recently enacted Competition Act, 2002. Concerns have been expressed that a lack of awareness about competition policy, and the nature and extent of prevalence of different types of anti-competitive practices in India will pose a major challenge.
Unfortunately, there has not been much research on competition issues in India. In the past, efforts have been made by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and CUTS, Jaipur. While the IIMA study did not go beyond policy level, a study by CUTS done under the 7-Up Project  revealed a crying need to do deeper research in some sectors, which display typically anti-competitive behaviour: cement; trucking; services such as cable TV etc.
WHAT WILL THE PROJECT DO?
Against this backdrop, CUTS has undertaken a project to develop a Functional Competition Policy (the FunComp Project) as an attempt to fill the gap and help the Government of India to come up with a Competition Policy that would be ‘implementable’ as against one that is ‘ideal’. The report will be in the form of a discussion paper, which would highlight the issues that will lay out a road map for further research.
How is the project being implemented?
In order to implement the project, CUTS has engaged various experts. The project is been guided by a Steering Committee which comprises of eminent persons such as S. Sundar of TERI (Chairman of the steering committee), Shankar Acharya of ICRIER, Suman Bery of NCAER, and Shrawan Nigam and Pronab Sen of the Planning Commission. The Steering Committee meets at frequent intervals to review the progress and decide future action.
What are the contents of the report?
The report would cover the competition policy scenario in India at a macro level as well as at sectoral level. The report would be structured in the following manner.
How will the results be disseminated?
The project report will be published as an edited volume and is expected to be released in January 2005 at New Delhi at a national level conference. The findings from the project will be used to generate awareness on competition issues in the country. Road shows (a series of meetings) are planned in select cities in January/February 2005 for wider dissemination and outreach.
Towards a Functional Competition Policy for India
A Functional Competition Policy for India comes at a time when the country is poised to implement a new Competition Law, whilst there is a lack of understanding of the nature, and extent of prevalence, of different types of anticompetitive practices. The study helps in getting a better understanding of the competition and economic regulation scenario in India.
Contrary to popular perception, the study does not treat Competition Policy as just adoption and implementation of a competition law, but looks at it as a broader policy framework where competition is encouraged as a market process to generate competitive outcomes. Accordingly, the report comprises 22 chapters, giving comprehensive treatment to competition policy in India, covering both systemic as well as sectoral issues.
The study tracks the evolution of Competition Policy and Law in India; discusses the interface of Competition Policy with Government Policies (at the Federal as well as State level), and Consumer Welfare; and identifies competition and economic regulation issues in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
The present volume is the result of the effort put in by top experts in the country. The study will be useful to all those who are interested in economic policies, in general, and competition policy, in particular.
The report itself is published as two separate volumes. An earlier published volume forms the Overview, which carries all papers in a precis form, so that a busy reader can go through them easily and get a flavour of what the issues are. The second one is the present volume — a more detailed report, carrying all chapters in greater depth, and is meant for the policy community, particularly those involved in research. The report (in either format) will serve as a curtain raiser and as a road map for future work in still greater depth.
This book can be purchased at:
Hard Back Book: Pages: 294
2006 Edition: ISBN – 81-7188-493-8
Price: Rs. 995.00: USD $ 79.95
Towards a Functional Competition Policy for India: An Overview
The project report, edited by Pradeep S Mehta, comprises of 22 chapters, which highlight various systematic and sectoral issues. The report is being published as two separate volumes. One is an overview, which presents all the papers in a précis form, so that a busy reader can go through them easily and get a flavour of what the issues are. The second is a more detailed report, with all papers offered in a greater depth. The study helps in getting a better understanding of the competition scenario in India and will be useful to those who are interested in economic policies, in general, and competition policy, in particular.
This book can be purchased at:
Pp 248, Rs. 495/US$32.95, ISBN: 817188449-0
New Delhi, 20th March 2004
Hyderabad, 5th Oct, 2004
Jaipur, 30-31 October, 2004
New Delhi, 31st January-1st February 2005
February – March, 2005