ISLAMABAD: The members of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, Wednesday, expressed dismay over the performance of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and opposed establishment of regional offices of commission in other cities of the country.
The Committee recommended the CCP to play its role and bring down the POL prices by Rs 20 per litre from Dec 1, 2014. The Committee met in the Parliament House with Senator Nasreen Jalil in the chair. The committee was of the view that the international POL prices have come down by 28% and the government has to reduce it by Rs20 per litre.
CCP is an independent quasi-regulatory, quasi-judicial body that helps ensure healthy competition between companies for the benefit of the economy, it prohibits abuse of a dominant position in the market, certain types of anti-competitive agreements, and deceptive market practices and reviews mergers of undertakings that could result in a significant lessening of competition.
The committee held detailed discussion on the state of affairs with special focus of the CCP here at a meeting and showed dissatisfaction over the CCP’s performance. Senator Ilyas Bilour, Haji Adeel and Fateh Muhammad Muhammad Hasni were very much critical about result oriented actions taken by CCP against monopoly, cartelization as well as protection of rights of the consumers against the practices adopted by the multination companies.
Acting Chairman CCP Joseph Wilson apprised the committee that commission had fined Rs 15 billion to different companies for violating the rules and regulations besides overcharging and cartelization, however, due to lacunas in judicial system only 1.5% fine had been recovered from these companies because of all the violators managed to obtain stay order from the court against commission’s judgment. Thus the house sought recommendations for further legislation to empower the commission to make it an effective regulator.
He told the committee that commission had forwarded eighteen policy notes to the government on important issues including exemptions to certain undertakings in the construction sector, discriminatory levy of GIDC on selective fertilizer plants, to HEC’s on equivalence standard, non-issuance of Flare-Gas license by OGRA, on imposition of ‘Capacity Tax’ on the beverage industry, amnesty scheme for smuggled/seized vehicles, rationalization of duty structure on pet resin, to SECP in developing new framework, Karachi Stock Exchange on Listing Regulations under Government of Pakistan to Amend Bilateral Air Services Agreement Of 1972, SECP on IAS 39, policy note on demutualization and integration of stock exchanges in Pakistan, regarding fixing of percentages of discount rates for debt securities by SECP and Civil Aviation Authority on entry fee at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
It is pertinent to mention here that CCP was established on October, 2, 2007 under the Competition Ordinance, 2007, which was re-promulgated in November 2009 and combined with its advocacy efforts. The Commission seeks to promote voluntary compliance and develop a ‘competition culture’ in the economy.
Customs Today published a report on Nov 17 that local petrol prices should be decreased by Rs14 till end-November to give some relief to masses and these prices should further be slashed by Rs 14 by end of December 2014 taking the petrol price at Rs 68 per litre, matching the prices with declining trend in world oil prices.