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CHAMBER’S ACTIVITIES Sub-Saharan Africa Opera ons, MEMC, Sun Edison, and Mr C N Srinivasan, Partner of C R Narayana Rao LLP. The session was chaired by Mr V Subramaniam, former Secretary, MNRE, Government of India. The third Technical Session was on Emerging Trends in Nuclear Power, chaired by Mr K Balu, former Director, Nuclear Recycle Group, BARC. This session was addressed by Mr T J Ko eeswaran, Sta on Director, Madras Atomic Power Sta on, Kalpakkam, Mr P Puthiyavinayagam, Associate Director – Core Design Group, IGCAR and Prof. M Subramanian, Southern Zone Convenor of India Energy Forum. The vote of thanks was proposed by Mr Amarjit Singh, Secretary General of India Energy Forum.

21st December 2012

FFT on “Compe on Act – Levelling the Play Ground? The topic for the Chamber’s monthly FFT programme for December was “Competition Law– Levelling the Play Ground?”. The success of market economy depends on fair and healthy compe on and fair compe on is considered advantageous to the ul mate consumers as it brings down prices , enhances quality and choices etc. The Compe on Act, 2002 was passed by the Parliament in the year 2002, to which the President accorded assent in January, 2003. The Act is stated to aim to promote free and fair market prac ces and prevent abuse of dominance by any or more players . It was subsequently amended by the Compe on (Amendment) Act, 2007. A Compe on Commission was also established, vested with certain powers to monitor unfair prac ces between players and to encourage compe on. In recent mes there have been some specific cases where CCI has been coming out with their observa ons and judgements regarding the methods and practices followed by businesses while dealing with compe on. This has necessitated to have a be er understanding about the responsibili es and limits of businesses

and what fair competition means, how compe on policy works in other countries, the power and jurisdic on of CCI vis-a vis other regulatory bodies and judiciary, what are the ongoing issues with regard to the Compe on law, etc. It is with this background and to deliberate more deeply on the subject, this programme was organized at The Rain Tree Hotel, 636, Anna Salai, Nandanam, Chennai 600 035. The following were the speakers: -

Mr A V Ganesan, IAS., (Retd.), Former Commerce Secretary, Govt. of India

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Mr Samir R Gandhi, Partner, AZB Partners, New Delhi

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Mr R Prasad, Member, Compe Commission of India, New Delhi

on

We l c o m i n g t h e gat h e r i n g , M r T Shivaraman, President, said Compe on law is a revolving area and we need to learn a lot. India is a most compe ve place to do business. Compe on law and compe on regula on is not something for rich countries alone. It is much more important for growing country or a middle income country like India. The role of the Government in controlling and ensuring that compe on is allowed or encouraged is undeniable. It is equally necessary for the Government to control compe on to ensure that the process is transparent and the roadblocks laid by the compe on law or the regulators do not delay this process. In this connec on, we in India have the Compe on Commission through which we are able to get decisions fairly quickly. Addressing next, Mr R Prasad, Member, CCI said as far as markets are concerned, monopolies were there, there was cartellisa on. He said this is a civil offence in India and in the next l0 years, it is likely to become criminal offence. Giving the history of compe on law, he said this was first started in Canada in 1889, followed by USA in 1896 and in Europe in 1957. At present 120 countries are having this law. He said in India the law was framed in 1969 (MRTP Act). If one’s assets exceeded Rs.20 crores, it became a monopolist and required a licence. In 1996, at the WTO conference in Singapore, it was decided that most of the countries should have

compe on law. In India, this Act was enacted in 2002. Mr Prasad said freedom of trade should be protected. You have to give a choice to the customer. An -compe ve prac ces have to be stopped. He said when there is compe on from abroad, you are bound to innovate. The Compe on Act is against abuse of dominance and monopoly needs to be stopped. He said 97% of the cases referred to it are cleared immediately. In the last one year, not a single case has gone for detailed inves ga on. In normal cases, each case gets cleared within 30 days. Mr Prasad felt that the competition policy is more important than the fiscal policy, monetary policy, etc. In India, every State should have a Compe on Act; compe on has to cover all aspects of our life and the Compe on law has to grow. Cabotage law now under Compe Commission lens

on

Speaking on the sidelines of FFT, Mr Prasad said we need to change our policy on Cabotage Law. Cabotage laws are governed by Sec on 407 and 408 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958, which state that no ship other than an Indian ship or a ship chartered by a ci zen of India shall engage in the coastal trade of India except under a licence granted by the Director General of Shipping. Five to six decades ago India’s rail network was 55,000 km while China at that me had 20,000 km. Today India’s rail network has improved marginally to 60,000 kms while that of China’s network has more than tripled to 90,000 km. With 7500 kms of coastal line, coastal shipping accounts for hardly seven per cent of local cargo movement compared with 15 per cent in the US or 40 percent plus in the EU. Mr Samir Gandhi, Partner, AZB & Partners, made a presentation containing an overview of Competition Law in India. He said in the history of India, postliberalisa on, the compe on regulator has attracted the most attention by industry. He said the MRTP Act was

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InTouch MCCI NOV-DEC 2012  

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