Cartels must be broken up for prices to fall: CCP – Journal

KARACHI: Pakistan Competition Commission (CCP) Chairman Rahat Kaunain Hassan said on Friday that cartels must be dismantled by strictly enforcing competition law to bring prices down by 25-30%.

In a plea session held at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), she said the commission imposed penalties of around Rs 70 billion for different competition law violations in various sectors since its creation in 2007.

She, however, lamented that the recovery remained paltry as most companies had challenged the CCP’s orders in higher courts. “The true effectiveness of the CCP’s orders will be felt once the judicial review process is completed, especially in cartel cases that call for prioritizing the damage it causes to the economy,” she added.

However, she noted that without strong enforcement, a culture of competition cannot prevail. As an institution, the CPC is responsible for its mandate, but in pending cases, the review process should take its course, she stressed.

Ms Hassan said that contrary to popular impression, the CCP is not a price regulator, but only intervenes when the prices of goods and services are affected by anti-competitive practices such as abuse of dominance. and cartelization.

CCP’s main task is to ensure that markets operate in accordance with competition rules and regulations. The CCP is not against business, the competition law is more pro-business and pro-growth.

KCCI members brought several competition-related issues and questions to the attention of the PAC. The chairman proposed that the CCP could change its regulations to exempt KCCI from charging fees for filing formal complaints in an effort to address the problem of resolving competition concerns.

She said the informant reward system and leniency provisions are available and the business community can benefit from them and help the CCP identify anti-competitive issues.

Earlier, KCCI Chairman Muhammad Idrees hailed the CCP’s decision to launch two research projects in the small and medium-sized enterprises and e-commerce sectors offering solid recommendations that would surely create a level playing field and highlight new challenges. potential competition concerns in the e-commerce/online market.

Posted in Dawn, June 18, 2022

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