Union Finance Minister Shri P.Chidambaram has stressed on the key role of Competition Commission of India (CCI) in defining the role of the government as a regulator of competition and as a participant in the competitive process. Delivering the Annual day Lecture of Competition Commission of India (CCI) in the Capital on 20th May, 2013, FM stressed that Government’s role as a regulator will and should be more important than its role as a competitor.
Mr. Chidamabaram appreciated CCI for bringing about a transformational change, and providing much-needed oversight of a liberal and open economy in a short span of 4 years. The FM was speaking in the capital on the occasion of the Annual Day lecture commemorating four years of enforcement of Competition Law by CCI.
The finance Minister highlighted that the most fascinating development of the last 22 years is the number of unknown entrepreneurs who have built huge and successful businesses and taken over as leaders in their fields. Hence the need for an effective Competition Commission that favours none and spares none.
The finance Minister said there was a need to focus on five key issues for competition policy. These are: mergers and acquisitions, natural monopolies, regulatory capture, governance biases towards Public Sector Enterprises, and predatory behaviour. Mr. Chaidambaram cited the example of the Telecom sector that has thrived with competition. Indian call rates are amongst the cheapest in the world, as Indian firms have evolved a uniquely Indian business model.
The finance minister spoke about other sectors that may well need restructuring,. He highlighted that some public sector banks among the 26 public sector banks may be better off merging. The FM underscored the need for two or three world-size banks in an economy that is poised to become one among the five largest in the world.
Mr. Chidambaram advised CCI to keep an eye open for any anti-competitive behavoiur behaviour and ensuring that the public is well served. Regulating the sectoral regulator in these matters, while difficult and fraught with legal difficulties, is an essential role the Competition Commission may have to play.
The FM advocated the need to bring public sector enterprises under scrutiny for anti-competitive practices considering that India now has an open economy, where the private sector has to compete with the public sector. He said that a key issue for any Competition Authority is to prevent predatory.
Earlier, delivering the Key Note address, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs (IC), Mr. Sachin Pilot informed that Government was working on a national Competitive policy .He lauded the role of CCI saying that it has emerged as a strong Institution in a short time frame.
The chairman, CCI , Mr. Ashok Chawla articulated the Mission 2020 for the CCI and stressed that CCI has set on itself the vision of establishing a robust Competitive environment.
On this occasion, an Annual book of CCI containing silent features of the Competition Act was also unveiled.