The competition watchdog CCI has proposed setting up of state-level commissions to safeguard interests of small businesses and spread its reach to different parts of the country.
The proposal forms part of the recommendations submitted to the Corporate Affairs Ministry on the National Competition Policy (NCP) by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The move, it argued, would help the watchdog in promptly checking anti-competitive practices in states. The NCP is likely to be notified by the Planning Commission shortly. "We have mooted setting up of smaller commissions at the state-level for addressing competition issues. That way people will be more aware of the existence of Competition Commission and will therefore approach it. The idea is that we want to be more approachable to the common folks," a CCI official told PTI.
The CCI is empowered by an act of Parliament to look into issues pertaining to abuse of dominant market positions and anti-competitive agreements. It is also soon expected to get the power of vetting high-voltage mergers and acquisitions that can have an adverse effect on competition in the relevant geographical markets.
Although the CCI was notified in 2002, it became fully functional only last year with the appointment of a chairman and eight members. While the Competition Act seeks to enforce a law for ensuring a healthy competition regime, the National Competition Policy is looking to provide a framework under which the CCI can act and promote competition in all sectors of the economy.
The Planning Commission had in 2007 set up a working group to finalise the provision of the NCP after examining its various facets, but a final policy is yet to materialise. The working group has already identified that there is more coordination required between the Centre and the states over some policies, statutes and regulations, which in turn restrict competition.