Islamabad - The Office of Fair Trading of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has recently initiated 16 inquiries against undertakings violating Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010 while 9 inquiries have been completed and 27 show cause notices issued.

This was informed by Dr Shahzad Ansar, Member Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Advocacy, while addressing an advocacy session organised by CCP at the Quetta Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Thursday, as part of its awareness programme to educate the business community on Competition Law.

According to the press statement issued here, the advocacy session was attended by President QCCI Moosa Khan Kakar, Vice President Naseebullah Achakzai and members of QCCI in large number. Dr. Shahzad Ansar gave a presentation on the performance of the OFT while CCP Member Legal, Cartel and Trade Abuses, Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi gave a detailed overview of the Competition Act, 2010 and the enforcement measures being taken by the CCP.  

While addressing the session, Dr. Shahzad Ansar urged businesses to avoid the distribution of false or misleading information and making unsubstantiated claims such as “No.1 in Pakistan” or “100pc pure” etc without reasonable basis. He said that CCP recently imposed Rs1 million penalty on a paint company over an advertisement campaign where it made the claim of “No. 1 in Paints” without any factual justification to prove the claim.

Ikram Qureshi while emphasising the benefits of healthy competition in the economy asked the participants to contact CCP in case they had the knowledge of any violation of the Competition Law by any undertaking. It is the responsibility of CCP to correct the behaviour of those who are involved in anti competitive activities, he said adding that under the Competition Act, CCP was empowered to take action against anti-competitive practices such as cartelisation, abuse of dominant position and deceptive marketing practices. Under Section 11 of the Competition Act, CCP is empowered to review mergers and acquisitions that were likely to distort competition in the market, he further said.

Qureshi said that CCP was enjoying full support of the government in discharging its statutory obligations. “CCP is there to help the business community in enhancing and protecting competition in the best of interest of the economy and the consumers,” he maintained.  He gave examples of various countries who have developed their economies by effectively enforcing the competition regime.  It is also imperative to effectively enforce the competition regime in order to provide level playing field to all the parties engaged in commercial or economic activities.  

“The local as well as foreign investors prefer to invest in countries where competition is protected by restricting the anti competitive activities such as abuse of dominant position and cartelisation,” he said adding that CCP has done significant work to promote competition despite having limited resources in terms of funds and human capacity. He urged a close liaison between CCP and the achieve the goal of a competitive economy. He has also informed the audience about the leniency and Reward payment scheme of CCP to restrict anti trust activities.

The participants while appreciating the CCP for holding the interactive session raised a number of issues faced by the business community of Balochistan. CCP Members assured to address any issues dealing with competition and urged the business community to assist CCP in highlighting the relevant problems.