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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Competition rules should not hurt growth: Chidambaram

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 21, 2013
First Published: 23:25 IST(21/5/2013) | Last Updated: 23:26 IST(21/5/2013)

Finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday said that competition rules in the country should not become “another bureaucracy, stifling growth”.

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“Competition regulation must not become another bureaucracy, stifling growth... The Competition Commission of India (CCI) must be a lean organisation, picking the issues it can weigh on carefully and making a difference when it does,” Chidambaram said while speaking at the annual day lecture of the CCI here.

“Regulating the sectoral regulator in these matters, while difficult and fraught with legal difficulties, is an essential role the Competition Commission may have to play,” the minister said emphasising that sometimes predatory behaviour is so hard to distinguish from pro-consumer behaviour.

“For example, when an airline cuts fares, it is because it wants to give the consumer a better deal or because it wants to drive a competitor out? Should the regulator prohibit price cutting, thus encouraging a cartel, or should it allow it in the interest of the consumer, possibly encouraging a future monopoly?,” the minister said.

“The Competition Commission must develop a body of work that allows it to address these issues. Research and deep investigation drawing on the Indian reality and the experiences of other countries, must become integral aspects of the CCI,” he said.

Chidambaram also said that the competition ensures markets are not only beneficial but they are also fair. “The best producers win, not based on their connections or influence but because they build a better cycle, a better motorcycle or a better car,” the finance minister added.


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