ISLAMABAD - The Competition Law prohibits trade associations from indulging into anti-competitive activities such as price fixing etc that distort competition in the market, harm consumers’ interests and inflict losses to the national economy, therefore, associations should play their role in promoting competition in the economy.

This was stated by senior officials of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) while addressing seminars at the Gujrat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) and Pakistan Electric Fan Manufacturers Association (PEFMA) in Gujrat on Monday as part of the “National Road Show on Competition Law.”

The seminar in GCCI was addressed by Shahzad Ansar, Member Office of Fair Trade (OFT), Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi, Member Legal, Cartels & Trade Abuses, CCP, Mian Muhammad Ijaz, president GCCI, Ch. Waheed ud Din, senior vice president, GCCI, Noman Laiq and Asfandyar Khattak, Directors CCP, members of the chamber and business community in large number. With the seminar in Gujrat Chamber, the “Competition Caravan” started its two-week advocacy drive in Punjab.

Mian Muhammad Ijaz, President GCCI, thanked CCP for holding the seminar. He said the briefing about the Competition Law was extremely useful for their members as the law itself protected businesses from anti-competitive behaviour. He extended full support to CCP in implementing the Competition Law. He said that those businesses violating the Competition Law must be penalized.

Shahzad Ansar stated the purpose of Competition Caravan saying that CCP intended to create a compliant business environment by taking all the stakeholders on board. He urged the business community assist CCP in educating the stakeholders and also in identifying competition issues.

Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi briefed the participants about the competition regime in Pakistan and explained the substantive provisions of the Competition Act, 2010. He urged the business community to contribute towards creating a better competitive environment by adopting the Voluntary Competition Compliance Code of CCP. “The Competition Compliance Code will help the businesses avoid indulging into anti-competitive activities and better comply with the provisions of the law,” he said. He suggested the formation of a consultative group of the presidents of chambers of commerce to consult with CCP on competition related issues.

Shahzad Ansar, Member CCP, in his presentation on the Office of Fair Trade (OFT), said that the Competition Act protects the consumer from deceptive marketing practices, adding that the Competition Act forbids false and deceptive claims having no reasonable basis and the fraudulent use of the trademarks of other undertakings.

The seminar in PEFMA was attended in large number by its members besides its Chairman Imad Rafiq. During the questions and answers sessions, the participants raised important issues concerning competition and their questions were answered by the Commission’s members. The President and members of GTCCI appreciated the role of Competition Commission in its efforts in creating a level playing field in all commercial and economic activities in the country.