The fair trade regulator, Competition Commission of India (CCI), said it has disposed off more than 600 of 750 anti-trust cases handled by the Commission by now i.e. about 80 per cent of the total cases.
“Of the information filed, now 80 per cent is not subject to any investigation as only 20 per cent cases go through the investigation stage,” D.K. Sikri, chairman of CCI said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
“Unlike in the past when we undertook the investigation, in more than 50 per cent of the cases or informations filed with us we are now applying rigours of enquiry very-very strongly,” he said.
He said that in about past six months CCI had organised 40 events for promoting awareness in one way or the other amongst the people about the Competition Law, for all stakeholders and people to understand the scope of the law and the remedies it offers.
The Competition Law is also helpful to the government when it comes to making public procurements especially. “Cases of collusive bidding as well as cartelisation have come to the Commission from various departments of the government, state governments and public sector enterprises, they have been investigated,” added the CCI Chief
“While evaluating the bids they have been closely looking at the fact whether the bidders are independent and they are not under the same management, mind you this was not the case earlier and this was not appreciated in the past,” said Sikri.
“Similarly, they are complaining if the prices quoted by the bidders are identical, this behaviour earlier was given not much consideration because the public enterprises would hold negotiation treating them all as L1 but now the same behaviour is being questioned and the government departments are genuinely looking for an L1 bidder who offers really a truly competitive price,” he added.
He said that this change has the potential to bring about considerable savings in the public procurement by the government as it constitutes 30 per cent of India’s GDP (gross domestic product).
“If the government agencies become alert as they have become now and enforce competition thoroughly in the bidding process, even two per cent savings in the public procurement, including financial procurement can wipe out the entire fiscal deficit of the budget,” further said Sikri.
He said that competition compliance must go beyond being made a formality, it should be formalised and imbibed as an article of faith by all the businesses in the country.
“We have recently embarked upon and are preparing a competition compliance manual which is comparable to international standards and are taking the help of legal fraternity in preparing this,” he said.
“We are hopeful that this will help in better understanding and promoting the culture of compliance in the country amongst businesses,” added the CCI chairman.
He also said that the Commission is not in favour of imposing penalties as they have to be rational and proportional. “We do not favour it and we do not want this to be imposed, we will advocate and favour more and more compliance which is in the best interest of Indian economy.”