The competition commission of India has dismissed charges that Haryana's public works department imposed unfair conditions for bidders in its tenders for construction of roads and bridges in the state.
A complaint filed with the CCI alleged that Haryana's public works (B&R) department had imposed unfair conditions on the bidders for "Construction of Approaches to 2 Lane ROB at Level X-ing No 78-AB in Km 139 on Delhi Ambala Railway line crossing Nilokheri-Karsa-Dhand road in Karnal District".
Noting that the activities by the department did not fall under the competition norms, the fair trade regulator in an order released today said that "no, prima facie, case is made out against the opposite parties for making a reference to the director general for conducting investigation into the matter".
The competition commission of India (CCI) noted that "activities being performed by the opposite party no. 1 cannot be covered in the definition of enterprise because it is not directly engaged in any economic and commercial activities," CCI said in the order.
"The role of the opposite party no. 1 (Department) is limited to provide infrastructural facilities to the people without any commercial consideration," it added.
Dissenting with the majority order, CCI member Augustine Peter said that the department is a "dominant player in the geographical market" as it is responsible for construction of highways, roads and some railway over-bridges, among others, in the state.
Peter also noted that "a close look at the allegations show that the conditions prescribed are prima facie unfair and there is a prima face case made out" against the department.