Competition Commission of Pakistan Chairman Dr Joseph Wilson has said that chambers of commerce can play vital role in the effective implementation of competition law, which is essential for ensuring a competitive economy.

He was addressing an advocacy session at the Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The session was also attended by Khawaja Muhammad Usman, the president of MCCI, Dr Shehzad Ansar, CCP Member Advocacy, and executive committee and general body members of MCCI in large number.

Dr Wilson said that effective enforcement of the competition law is a must for ensuring consumer welfare as well as creating an enabling environment for business and industrial growth. He added that it encourages enterprise and efficiency while discouraging anti-competitive practices.

He briefed the participants of the meeting on key provisions of the Competition Act, 2010 and said the rules and regulations are in line with the modern competition laws. While elaborating the substantive provision of the Law, he said that the law provides for protection from economic ills such as cartelisation, abuse of dominance, and deceptive marketing that are equally bad for consumer as well as business and industry.

By citing various cases, he informed the participants that CCP had taken notice of anti-competitive activities in almost all economic sectors and is vigilant in curbing activities that are harmful to the interests of businesses and consumers.

He revealed that the first region of CCP was being established in Karachi while Competition & Consultation Groups of 15 to 20 members are being constituted at chamber level to entertain the consumer complaints. He further disclosed that CCP had issued show-cause notices to Cellular Mobile Telecom Operators for alleged violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. The CCP took notice of the imposition of additional charges by the CMTOs at the time of reload of balance for prepaid connections. He said that CCP had issued Competition (Reward Payment to Informant) Regulations, 2014, in which CCP bound itself to keep the confidentiality of the whistleblowers, to the extent that is consistent with its obligations under the Competition Act, 2010.

The chairman further said that CCP may grant reward ranging from Rs200,000 to Rs2,000,000 to informants furnishing the information of the prohibited activity and fulfilling all other requirements under these regulations.

Dr Shehzad Ansar addressing the session briefed the participants on the role of Office of Fair Trade, established by CCP to curb deceptive marketing practices.

Khawaja Muhammad Usman, President MCCI, lauded the role of CCP in promoting competition in the economy. He assured MCCI’s support in implementation of the Competition Law.