We have not been able to make CCI very effective, says Suresh Chandra

| Updated: Sep 10, 2016 00:11 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 9 (ANI): The government has not been able to make the Competition Commission of India (CCI) very effective, Union Law Secretary, Suresh Chandra said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today. "The original idea of having a Competition Commission of India (CCI) as a multi-member and an effective body to regulate and deal with all unfair trade practices and the cartels, mergers and acquisitions, to some extent perhaps we have not been able to make the CCI very effective," said Chandra while addressing an ASSOCHAM international conference on 'Competition Law: Opportunities and challenges in India.' "I do not know because the quasi-judicial functions though have been but again we have the appellate tribunal which is perhaps going against the principal of minimum government and maximum governance," he said. He said there is a need to see and understand what was the initial objective of bringing this law and as to whether we have been successful. "Initially, it was thought that the Competition Commission which is a mechanism to regulate the free level playing field, being a multi-member body will have a specialized person from the legal field, international trade, economics and those who understand how business functions," said Chandra. "This multi-member body was supposed to provide a level playing field and bring out fair play at the same time prohibiting or taking actions against anti-competitive agreements and also prohibiting/preventing any dominant player to prevent any new entrepreneur to enter into, and also the combinations, regulations i.e. mergers and acquisitions," he added. Apart from that it was also envisaged that the Competition Commission will also carry out the function of competition advocacy and at the same time will also give recommendations to the Central government either on their request or suo-moto to bring whatever necessary improvements in the field of competition law. "It was also not thought of that it will also have an appellate tribunal over and above this, while we had thought at that time if there is anything that will go to the court of law," he added. He said that in the last two decades Indian economy has undergone a huge transformation with gradual loosening controls over private sector participation and foreign investments as such it is necessary to have an effective Competition Law regime which accounts for the interest of various market players including the consumer and the government. "However, a stronger competition law regime is needed not only to protect interests of the smaller market players and consumers but also to attract investments in a particular sector," said Chandra. "An efficient and responsible regulator mechanism will definitely be required for prospective investors who may be planning to enter the marketplace," he said. With new atmosphere having been created with projects like Make in India, Startup India and also opening up FDI (foreign direct investment) in various sectors, the Union Law Secretary highlighted the various steps taken by Modi Government to provide a level playing field to both domestic and foreign players, which includes - Amendment in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, enactment of the commercial courts, commercial divisions, commercial appellate divisions in the high courts, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Acts and now the upcoming effort of GST (Goods and Services Tax). (ANI)