Former finance secretary Ashok Chawla on Thursda sworn in as new chairman of the competition watchdog, CCI, filling up the key post that was lying vacant for over four months.
Chawla was sworn in by corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily in the presence of members of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and MCA officials.
When asked about his mandate after taking charge, Chawla said, "It is difficult for me to prioritise any matter right now as I am yet to take a stock of the Commission."
Last week, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Chawla as head of the anti-trust body -- Competition Commission of India (CCI).
Other contenders for the post were Anurag Goel, a member in the Commission, and Vijay Sharma, former secretary in the environment and forests ministry.
The appointment assumes significance as after June 1, all high-value merger and acquisition (M&A) deals have come under the CCI purview.
A Gujarat-cadre IAS bureaucrat of 1973 batch, Chawla retired as Finance Secretary on January 31. He was heading a committee on allocation, pricing and utilisation of natural resources till recently.
The commission was established in 2003 to replace the erstwhile Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. Dhanendra Kumar was appointed its first chairman in February 2009 and his term ended on June 5 this year.
The commission draws its power from the Competition Act, 2002, to keep check on unfair practices including M&As that abuse dominant position by market players.