Federal govt finally appoints two members of CCP

ISLAMABAD –  The federal government has finally appointed two members of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), enabling the Commission to take suo motu actions against cartels.

The government has appointed Dr Shahzad Ansar and Dr Muhammad Saleem as CCP members through a competitive hiring process after passing almost one year when the former members retired. The positions of three members of the CCP remained vacant since January this year, rendering the Commission unable to take suo motu actions against cartels with only 2 members.

Under Section 14 of the Competition Act, 2010, the Commission must consist of not less than five and not more than seven members. Vadiyya Khalil, Chairperson, and Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi, Member, were the only two members serving at CCP. The number of members now rose to four after federal government appointed two members. Post of a member is still vacant in the Commission.

Section 37(1) of the Competition Act, 2010 allows the Commission to take suo motu actions. With only two members, the Commission was unable to exercise this power due to lack of quorum during last one year. However, under Section 37 (2) of the Competition Act, 2010, the Commission can conduct enquiries on formal complaints received from undertakings, issue show-cause notices, hold hearings and pass orders.

The position of one member was advertised on 18th December, 2016 while advertisement for two other members was advertised on 26th February, 2017. However, the process was delayed due to political turmoil created by the Panama papers.

The federal government yesterday notified the appointment of two members. Shahzad Ansar has a PhD in Business Administration with a specialization in Microfinance and a Master’s degree in Engineering Geology. He is a Certified SME Manager in the Doctorate category and holds International Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management. He also has certifications in Intellectual Property Laws, Marketing, and Personal Finance from Nipomo, California (USA).

Dr Ansar has over 30 years’ experience in management, business development and project finance. He was a resource person with Virtual University of Pakistan, a visiting faculty member at the University of Central Punjab and Civil Services Academy, and Dean of Management Sciences at the University of South Asia, Lahore. He also served as member CCP overseeing the Office of Fair Trading and Advocacy Department from 2011-2017.

Dr Muhammad Saleem has MSc in Economics from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and Second Master’s degree in Economics and PhD in Economics from Kansas State University, USA. He has over 33 years of experience with regulators, ministries and international organizations. He has served as Director General Finance and Commercial Affairs in the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and also worked with the Ministries of Planning & Development, and Commerce. He played an instrumental role in establishing the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Sultanate of Oman as Economic/Regulatory Advisor for the Government of Oman.

Dr Saleem has significantly contributed in formulating the Telecom Policy for the Government of Pakistan, preparing the Vision 2025 document, and devising the Digital Financial Strategy. He has published several reports and research papers including a Report on Institutional Design of Regulatory Bodies: Diagnostic and Reform Directions, (Convener of Working Group, Ministry of Finance) and written a book on “Fair Trade Practices in Telecommunications Sector”.

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