The Eminent Persons Advisory Group (EPAG) that held its second meeting in Delhi today suggested that time has come wherein the culture of total governance should now be replaced with culture of competition in the country. . Mr. N.L.Mitra, former Vice Chancellor, NLSIU and Member of EPAG said that Competition Commission should initiate dialogue with govt organizations and promote practices that foster competition. He said that in a multi regulatory system, sectoral regulators will manage the systems and would act as functional regulators. Competition Commission being a market regulator should therefore focus on promotion of culture. It was suggested to CCI that whenever a case of merger and acquisition is brought before it, the concerned companies should be asked to submit a competition due diligence report.
Mr. V.N.Kaul, former CAG & Member, EPAG, also stressed on the need of conducting a study into the competition practices of govt. policies. He also suggested CCI to have a look at the orders of Sectoral Regulators from the competition angle.
Dr. S.L.Rao, ex-Chairman, CERC & Member, EPAG, suggested that agriculture marketing was a major area where competition is minimum, farmers are not having direct access to the market to sell their goods and they are forced to go through intermediaries. Dr. Rao suggested CCI to examine in great detail the field of agriculture marketing to promote competition in the area. He also suggested that CCI should take steps to ensure greater media visibility about the Competition Act.
Chairman of Competition Commission of India, Mr. Ashok Chawla, apprised the EPAG about the activities undertaken during the past six months. Mr. Chawla told EPAG that in the Anti Trust Division, 50 cases including three suo motto cases have been received during the last six months. A total of 321 cases have been received by the CCI since its inception in May, 2009. Out of this, 230 cases have already been settled. The total penalty imposed in the decided cases amounts to more than Rs.8,000 crores. In respect of merger cases, approvals have been accorded within the self-imposed time deadline of 30 days.
The Eminent Persons Advisory Group was set up by CCI in May, 2012 to give broad inputs and advice on larger issues impacting markets and competition, good international practices, improved advocacy etc. to the Commission.