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Competition Bill signed into law

The Competition Bill 2010 has been signed into law by the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, formalising its elevation into an Act of Parliament, and rendering the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) a statutory body on October 6, 2010, according to a press release of CCP. The National Assembly had passed the Bill earlier unanimously for free market competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity and to enhance economic efficiency and protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour.

The Chairperson, Competition Commission of Pakistan, Rahat Kaunain Hassan, has lauded the government support in the passage of the Bill enabling the Commission to promote competition and protect general consumers from monopolistic practices.

Calling it a major legislative initiative towards the realisation of a competitive and fair economy, a CCP statement quoted Ms Hassan as saying that the Bill is designed to promote a competitive and fair economic playground for the entire corporate sector, while securing economic efficiency and protecting consumers from anti-competitive attitudes and practices. The Competition Bill being passed with a unanimous vote is a testament to the strength of the democratic process, said the CCP press release.

The Commission hoped that, in order to better achieve this mission, other pending matters such as the appointment of the Members of the Commission and constitution of the Appellate Tribunal will be resolved in a timely manner and importantly, that the government will extend its full support in helping it in achieving financial autonomy.

Following the passage of the Bill, all the decisions and acts of the Commission stand validated including penalties imposed on industrial undertakings involved in cartelisation and unfair trade practices. The Competition Act seeks to shift the right of appeal from high court as demanded by the CCP to a three-member Competition Tribunal. Appeals against the decision of the Competition Tribunal would be heard at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The Competition Bill aims to seek that revenue realised through imposition of penalties by the CCP would be deposited in the Federal Consolidated Fund. However, the CCP Fund would remain intact and that would be financed.

CCP and PEMRA agree to promote healthy competition in the electronic media

Also in the news, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) vowed to join hands to promote healthy competition in the private electronic media and to take steps to curb deceptive marketing practices being propagated through media.
This was discussed in a meeting between the Chairperson, CCP, Ms. Rahat Kaunain Hassan and the Chairman PEMRA, Mr. Mushtaq Malik, at the PEMRA headquarters today. Heads of the CCP and PEMRA expressed their unequivocal resolve to cooperate and coordinate in the areas of mutual concern and to exchange information regarding anti-competitive and deceptive marketing practices.



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