CCP issues show-cause notices to Diamond Paints, dealers

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued show cause notices to Diamond Paints Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. and its dealers for entering a cartel agreement in violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2010. The CCP took notice of the allegations that Diamond Paints and its dealers in Multan had agreed on fixing the rates of its products by an "agreement for retail and wholesale rate fixing." As part of its enquiry, the CCP also conducted a search and inspection of the premises of Diamond Paints in Lahore and Multan and impounded relevant documents and records. The enquiry found that the company appeared to have entered into an agreement with dealers imposing an obligation of "Minimum Resale Price Maintenance (RPM)" on them for the sale of its products. This agreement introduced a restrictive trading condition that appeared to facilitate a downstream cartel with the object or effect of restricting competition in the Relevant Market.

On the recommendation of the enquiry report, the CCP has issued Show Cause Notices to Diamond Paints and its ten dealers for prima facie violating Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2010.

The CCP is mandated under the Competition Act to ensure free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity, to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour including prohibited agreements under Section 4.

FFP team calls on minister

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): A three-member delegation of the Food Fortification Programme, Pakistan (FFP) headed by Diane Northway called on Minister of State for Finance, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan here Thursday. She was accompanied by Dr Tauseef Akhtar Janjua, technical director and Laila Rubab Jaskani, National Advocacy and Communications Manager. Northway briefed Afzal on the objectives of the programme. She said that the FFP initiative of UK government focuses on improvement of nutrition and it aims at improving the production, access and consumption of wheat flour fortified with iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and zinc, and edible oil and ghee fortified with vitamins A and D. Women of child bearing age and children would especially benefit from the programme. Northway said that provincial and district level food departments, health departments, Pakistan Flour Mills Association and Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association have an important role to play in achieving the objectives of the Programme.

She said that the government's help in the improvement of the Food Fortification Regulatory system through effective policy making was also vital.

The minister said improvement of nutrition for the people was also among priority areas for the government.

He appreciated the initiative and expressed support for the FFP.

CPEC to open new avenues of regional prosperity, connectivity

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): A delegation of RCCI, led by its president Zahid Latif Khan, called on Commander Southern Command, Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa here on Thursday. Talking to the delegation, Asim Saleem Bajwa said CPEC will open new avenues of regional prosperity, connectivity and sustainable peace in the region. CPEC will bring economic prosperity to the region and the entire world, he added. He said the betterment of law and order in Balochistan is the foremost priority of the government and in this respect the Pakistan Army is assisting police and other law enforcement agencies for training and capacity building. CPEC has now become a reality and it will serve as a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics, he further added. While lauding RCCI’s efforts in promoting business activities in the region, Asim Saleem Bajwa said that the business community especially private sector should come forward and play its due role in economic prosperity of the country.

He assured his full support and cooperation of his office for the upcoming RCCI 10th All Pakistan Chamber Presidents Conference in Gawadar next month.

On this occasion, RCCI chief apprised him on the current activities and future programmes of the chamber. Giving details on the upcoming Gawadar Conference, he said RCCI has been organizing this event for the last 9 years on regular basis. “This time we picked Gawadar as event venue so that business community can see the development on the ground and get awareness and future aspects of CPEC,” he said.

The major aim of this conference was to develop a common platform for all chambers and trade associations to raise economic issues at national level, providing suggestions/recommendations to the government related to trade policy, business environment and all issues affecting businesses directly or indirectly, he added.

Corporate sector can maximise benefits of CSR funds: SDPI director

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Corporate sector in Pakistan has potential to maximise the benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds by allocating some of it for promoting social harmony and peace among communities as contribution to national narrative on peace building. Sustainable Development Policy Institute CSR Director Shafqat Munir stated this while addressing a press conference here at a local hotel on Thursday. He said that the SDPI in a review and analysis report said private sector in the country has a role to play for development of society learning from the examples of the world renowned corporate foundations which are spending billions of dollars on the welfare of marginalized communities. Shafqat said that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is globally recognized as a commitment of businesses to contribute to peace building and socio-economic development of human society.

“CSR is exhibited in terms of providing funds to undertake initiatives to improve quality of life of people- right from their relevant communities to a larger society. In Pakistan, CSR and corporate philanthropy are generally used interchangeably but some big companies, especially in the oil and gas sector, are practicing CSR to reduce social, economic and environmental impacts somehow caused by their business activities. Graduating from this, the companies need to use CSR funding for peace building which is need of the hour in the country,” he said.