The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has imposed aggregate penalties of almost Rs. 45 billion during the last two years.
According to the CCP, it has undertaken a record number of enforcement actions in the last two years, including the conclusion of 37 inquiries, the initiation of 38 new inquiries, and the issuance of 15 orders against 134 undertakings.
A team from the Commission visited the Korangi Association of Trade &amp; Industry (KATI) for an advocacy session as part of its advocacy initiative to create awareness regarding the law and to reach out to the business community for purposes of understanding their relevant concerns.
A presentation on the Competition Act was given by the Commission, explaining the role and powers of the CCP and providing guidance on how to file a complaint with the Commission regarding the four enforcement pillars along with the policy review and advocacy mandate under the Competition Act.
CCP Chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan addressed the session which was attended by KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman, Senior Vice President Nighat Awan, Vice President Muslim S. Mohamedi, and other member participants.
While addressing the session, the chairperson emphasized the need for businesses to understand that competition is pro-business and undertakings carrying out economic activities must recognize the importance of competition and fair play. Businesses need to reach out to the CCP when they experience anti-competitive behavior and are confronted with policy distortions for the CCP to take remedial measures.
The chairperson further said that the CCP believes in enforcement without fear and favor, which it has demonstrated in its decisions across different sectors of the economy. Despite several constraints and challenges since its inception in 2007, CCP has enforced the law in letter and spirit. However, the impact of CCP’s decisions will be visible to consumers once the cartel cases are judicially reviewed on merit.
The participants were further informed that the major sectors where these enforcement actions were taken include cement, pulses, tractors, sugar, poultry, power, and milk. Moreover, during some of the inquiries, CCP has also conducted over 20 searches and inspections in the oil, sugar, cement, poultry feed, poultry, vanaspati, tractor, transport, and power sectors.
On this occasion, the KATI President provided an overview of the role and activities of the association. He said that KATI represents over 5,000 industrial, commercial, and service concerns operating in the Korangi Industrial Area (KIA), providing employment to roughly 1.5 million workers.
During the questions and answers session, the KATI members highlighted several competition issues and asked for the CCP’s help in resolving them. They complained about the alleged collusive practices in the shipping line industry and the exorbitant prices of goods and services impacting exports from Pakistan. They also expressed their concern regarding the exorbitant price of ghee and cooking oil despite a reduction in the international price of palm oil. They were told that an inquiry in this regard was already underway.
Source: Pro Pakistan