CCI suggests setting up state-level commissions

The competition watchdog CCI has proposed setting up of state-level commissions to safeguard interests of small businesses and spread its reach to different parts of the country.

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010, 17:28 PM IST

New Delhi: The competition watchdog CCI has
proposed setting up of state-level commissions to safeguard
interests of small businesses and spread its reach to
different parts of the country.

The proposal forms part of the recommendations submitted
to the Corporate Affairs Ministry on the National Competition
Policy (NCP) by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

The move, it argued, would help the watchdog in promptly
checking anti-competitive practices in states. The NCP is
likely to be notified by the Planning Commission shortly.

"We have mooted setting up of smaller commissions at the
state-level for addressing competition issues. That way
people will be more aware of the existence of Competition
Commission and will therefore approach it. The idea is that we
want to be more approachable to the common folks," a CCI
official said.

The CCI is empowered by an act of Parliament to look into
issues pertaining to abuse of dominant market positions and
anti-competitive agreements. It is also soon expected to get
the power of vetting high-voltage mergers and acquisitions
that can have an adverse effect on competition in the relevant
geographical markets.

Although the CCI was notified in 2002, it became fully
functional only last year with the appointment of a chairman
and eight members.

While the Competition Act seeks to enforce a law for
ensuring a healthy competition regime, the National
Competition Policy is looking to provide a framework under
which the CCI can act and promote competition in all sectors
of the economy.

The Planning Commission had in 2007 set up a working
group to finalise the provision of the NCP after examining its
various facets, but a final policy is yet to materialise.

The working group has already identified that there is
more coordination required between the Centre and the states
over some policies, statutes and regulations, which in turn
restrict competition.

PTI