LAHORE - The Chairman Competition Commission of Pakistan Khalid Mirza has said that competition law and its effective implementation is a prerequisite for the economic turn-around. He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. LCCI Senior Vice President Ijaz A Mumtaz, former Presidents Iftikhar Ali Malik, Mohammad Ali Mian and former Vice President Sikandar M Khan also spoke on the occasion. Competition is at the core of the market system and without contestability, rivalry, and economic agents competing on a level playing field, productivity is bound to suffer and so is the consumer, Khalid Mirza said. He said that the law makes reasonable provision for action against abuse of dominance by a single business undertaking as also collusive behaviour or cartelisation. The Competition Ordinance, 2007, is a modern piece of legislation that seeks to promote competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity in order to enhance economic efficiency and to protect the consumer from anti-competitive behaviour. He said that the Commission has ample investigative authority, and after proper due process and adherence to accepted norms of natural justice, which are fully embedded in the law, it adjudicates and can penalize proven instances of abuse of dominance, cartelisation, deceptive marketing practices, and non-compliance with the Commissions orders. The Chairman said that all responsible governments around the globe rely on competition to deliver a more robust economy and to help drive economic growth. Competition and rivalry based upon quality and price allows for new competitors to enter into the market, increasing innovation, and creating jobs. More jobs mean more purchasing power in the hands of the masses, and as a result, the entire market size expands. It is a win/win situation. He said the Competition Ordinance provides for an efficacious and full right of appeal to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court is there to correct us if there is any mistake. This needs to be better appreciated for the smooth functioning of the Commission. He said the Commission had moved very decisively against cartelisation in various sectors, collusive tendering, abuse of dominance, unacceptable concentrations, and deceptive marketing practices. The parties affected include several banks, cement companies, the largest refinery, the three stock exchanges, cellular companies, a leading business school, a Government sponsored trust, several leading newspapers, a professional association, PIA and two fertilizer companies held by an Army Trust. The Commission has examined and granted some 110 pre-merger clearances, including one that was taken to the second phase of examination; and further, about 200 potentially competition-reducing agreements have been exempted on grounds of economic merit, with and without conditions, under gateway provisions in the law. Structurally, the Commission has instituted an advisory service to assist business undertakings comply with the competition law, including an acquisitions & Mergers Facilitation Office to provide advice with respect to the Commissions merger clearance regime. An Office of Fair Trading or OFT has been set up to address issues pertaining to deceptive marketing practices. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Ijaz A Mumtaz thanked the Chairman Competition Commission of Pakistan for giving a detailed briefing to the business community on the Competition Ordinance and said that the awareness given the chairman has removed certain misgivings the business community had about the Commission.