LAHORE The Competition Commission Pakistan (CCP) has imposed a penalty of Rs 23 million on the Pakistan Jute Mills Association (PJMA) and its 10 member mills on the charges of cartelised behaviour and malpractices. It was disclosed by the CCP Chairperson Ms Rahat Kuanain Hassan, while addressing the members of the Lahore Economic Journalists Association here on Thursday. CCP Chairpersons said that the Commissions policy of correcting business behaviour through dialogue had started producing results as several businesses had shown their willingness to curtail anti-competitive practices. We, as a competition agency, do not want to scare businesses but want them to come in discipline, she said. Ms Hassan termed the latest CCP decision on wrong market practices of jute mills as a landmark in the history of the commission. She revealed that it was the first instance when some businessmen admitted their fault, so the commission imposed a penalty of Rs 23 million of which the PJMA was slapped with a penalty of Rs 5 million and big players Rs 2 million each while two small jute mills were imposed a fine of Rs 1 million each. She said that the PJMA had admitted the wrong doing and given a pledge to reform themselves in line with competition laws. Responding to a question, she said cartelisation was a criminal offence everywhere in the world and the commission had to impose some penalty. Referring to the jute mills case, she pointed out that the commission had imposed a token penalty on jute millers when compared with penalties imposed on other cartels exposed by the CCP. Speaking about the deceptive marketing, Ms Hassan said though the incidents of deceptive and misleading marketing campaigns could be trailed under the competition laws, but on most of the occasions the Commission did not imposed any fine as the party confronted agreed to remove the irritants identified by CCP with regards to deceptive marketing. Regarding the fate of many high profile cases in which businesses have been highly penalized, Competition Commission Pakistan (CCP) Chairperson said that these penalised parties had exercised their right to appeal, which was a common practice worldwide. She said the Commission always tried to pursue all cases diligently, but the litigants were using every facility available in the law to drag the cases that could take several years. However, the final decisions of these cases would left impact on the competition and fair trade practices in the country. Whether the CCP orders are upheld or rejected a judicial precedent would be set for future guidance of CCP, she added.