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Competition panel goes headhunting

business Updated: Mar 25, 2010 21:45 IST
Mahua Venkatesh

A talent crunch seems to have hit Competition Commission of India (CCI)—the quasi-judicial body mandated with the task of taking action against monopolistic practices —as the number of pending cases continue to pile up.

Its investigation wing is set to hire about 50 new officials to handle pending cases.

Over 15 major cases have been referred to the commission but shortage of staff has prevented an early disposal of these cases.

This is the first time that the government has embarked on a major recruitment drive for its investigation wing, though it has been hiring for other departments.

Several of the pending cases pertain to the financial sector.

For instance, the MCX Stock Exchange Limited (MCX-SX), the currency futures trading arm of Multicommodity Exchange, has charged the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of adopting predatory pricing techniques and abuse of dominant position that goes against market fair play.

MCX-SX had lodged a complaint with the CCI seeking intervention to prevent NSE from offering several services at sharply lower charges.

“The entire purpose of the CCI get diluted if cases are not taken up on an urgent and immediate basis,” a government official, who did not wish to be identified told Hindustan Times.

The CCI wants to expedite its approval process for mergers and acquisitions among corporations.