Chawla wants to make CCI `nimble-footed`

Of the 250 cases that the CCI received since it became functional in 2009, the commission has disposed of about 100 cases.

New Delhi: Concerned over the general perception that competition watchdog CCI is slow in dealing with cases, its new chief Ashok Chawla said there is a need to
focus on making the body "more nimble-footed".

"Without passing any judgement if that is actually correct or not -- that should be too early and there is always a certain process and dynamics -- I think there is a good case for focusing on ensuring that the CCI delivers its mandate in these areas in a more quick and timely manner," he added.
Of the 250 cases that the CCI received since it became functional in 2009, the commission has disposed of about 100 cases. Among these cases, significant judgements include the imposition of a Rs 630 crore penalty on realtor DLF and a Rs 55 crore fine on National Stock exchange. Both cases related to abuse of dominant market position.

The Competition Act, 2002, empowers the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to look into cases relating to anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant positions by market players.

The new chairman further said that his focus would also be on advocacy and internal capacity building.

"In the last two years or so, the focus has been on ensuring that the systems are in place and getting down to actual work, but in the process of moving ahead and moving ahead fast. In all this, advocacy is very important," he said.

Another focus area, he added, was "internal capacity building. The HR side. To do it better, faster, with advocacy".

When asked if the he agreed that the commission was soft on dealing with companies and levying penalties, Chawla said that it is not an easy decision to levy a penalty and requires a lot of deliberation.

"Determining what is the geographic market, product market, etc, and then imposing a penalty is not so simple and straightforward as to be able to black and white decision instantly. It is a complicated matrix and that has to be kept
in mind," he said.

Besides anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position, from June 1 this year, the CCI has the mandate to clear high-voltage mergers and acquisitions that have implications on competition.

PTI

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