Encouraged by the general response on its Rs. 6,300-crore penalty in the cement cartel case, competition watchdog CCI on Tuesday said leniency will be shown to those companies and individuals coming out with information on cartels and anti-competitive agreements.
"It is right time that we reach out to people and encourage them to come out with information on more cartels," Competition Commission of India (CCI) chairman Ashok Chawla said.
Pointing out the Competition Act provides for “leniency programme” for those who help CCI tackle the “pernicious practise of cartelisation”, Chawla said: “nobody has used it so far”.
Just last month, CCI slapped a hefty Rs. 6,307-crore penalty on 11 cement companies for price cartelisation. The fine was fixed at 50% of the companies’ profit during 2009-10 and 2010-11.
While the order drew flak from cement companies, which plan to appeal before the Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT), the CCI step has largely been welcomed.
In an advertisement in major newspapers on Tuesday, the CCI announced a leniency programme “for enterprises/individuals who disclose their role in a cartel and co-operate with subsequent investigations”.
CCI assured the identity as well as information obtained would be kept confidential.