The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has called on businesses to step forward and help expose companies engaging in anti-competitive and unfair practices.
Addressing a seminar to commemorate the World Consumer Rights Day in Islamabad on Friday, CCP chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan asserted, “The commission’s compliance-oriented approach has started producing positive results and businesses are now approaching CCP for correcting their business behaviour.”
“CCP has taken actions in almost every sector of the economy, without fear and favour, and will continue to do so in future,” said Hassan. She stressed the need for promoting competition in local markets saying, “Competitive markets benefit consumers by enabling them to obtain best value and also benefit economic performance generally by improving efficiency.”
The chairperson of the competition watchdog explained that at present there are four pillars of competition law in the country, of which two are preemptive and two are curative. “In the preemptive measures, such as prohibiting agreements, which are aimed at collusion, exclusivity, price fixing, capping of production, discrimination, exclusion and division of territories, agreements can only be exempted if they improve production or distribution, promote technical progress allowing customers a fair share of the resulting benefit and benefits clearly outweigh adverse effects of lessening competition.”
Hassan said that the role of the competition agency was to ensure that “big fish did not swallow small fish.”
She commended efforts of the Consumer Association of Pakistan (CAP) for promoting rights of consumers in the country. CAP President Kaukab Iqbal stressed the need for enhancing consumer awareness of their rights and obligations of manufacturers towards them.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2011.
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