CCP probes government’s concessionary deals - Pakistan Today

CCP probes government’s concessionary deals

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) is looking in to the concessionary agreements made by the government with specific parties to bridge the infrastructure gap.
This was stated by Chairperson CCP Rahat Kaunain Hassan while presiding over the 11th quarterly meeting of Competition Consultative Group (CCG), a body set up by the Commission to solicit feedback on competition related issues and policies from the public and private sectors.
Rahat said the Commission was probing such concessions to ensure that competition laws had not been compromised.
The CCP chairperson also entertained the remarks of a representative of Unilever Pakistan claiming that smuggling and dumping of tea in the local market through Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) was hurting competition.
In response, the CCP chief asked the Unilever official for details regarding his claim saying that the CCP would examine any competition issues in ATT. “If required, CCP would issue a policy note to the government,” she said.
She also said that the Commission’s role was not to scare businesses but to discipline them and create a fair playing field for everyone
She gave an overview of the CCP’s performance in 2010-2011 and discussed the challenges faced by the Commission. Although CCP remained dysfunctional for as long as 57 days, from 17 August 2010 to 12 October 2010, due to lapsing of the Competition Ordinance, yet its pace of enforcement and advocacy of law did not slow down.
She informed the CCG that the Commission has issued 13 orders, 49 show-cause notices, conducted six search and inspections, issued 75 merger NOCs and granted 49 exemptions since July 27, 2011.
As part of Competition Research and Advocacy, the Commission completed 5 sector studies and hosted around 24 different advocacy events to create awareness of the law.
Talking about some of the current challenges Rahat mentioned the pending payment of 3 percent fee charges by 5 regulatory institutions to the CCP fund and the appeals against the Commission’s orders awaiting decision in different courts.
Managing Director PPRA, Hafeezur Rehman, who was especially invited to attend the meeting, assured the Commission of his full support and building a strategic partnership with the CCP for promotion of competition in public procurements. CCP members, Mueen Batlay and Shahzad Ansar, gave
detailed presentations, on “How Competitive is the aviation sector in Pakistan” and “Role of the Office of Fair Trading”, respectively.
The meeting was attended among others by CCP Member Abdul Ghaffar, Member Mergers, Acquisitions, and International Affairs Dr. Joseph Wilson, Member Advocacy and IT Vadiyya Khalil, Member Competition Policy and Research Mueen Batlay,
Member Office of Fair Trading and Budgetary Affairs Dr. Shahzad Ansar, and Director General Legal and Corporate Affairs Ikram Ul Haq Qureshi. Other participants included Managing Director Lahore Stock Exchange, Aftab Ahmed Chaudhary, senior officials of SECP, State Bank of Pakistan, Civil Aviation Authority, CEOs of ICI Pakistan, Nestle, JS Private Equity, senior representatives of Unilever Pakistan, UBL Fund Managers and Pakistan Business Council.

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