NA passes landmark anti-monopoly Competition Bill unanimously

ISLAMABAD(APP): The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a bill substituting Monopoly Control Authority with Competition of Pakistan having a broader, more progressive and refined mandate for free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity.The Competition Ordinance 2007 was promulgated on October 2, 2007 replacing the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Ordinance 1970. Later, the Monopoly Control Authority was abolished and a news agency the Competition Commission of Pakistan was established in November 2007 and since then the Commission had been working with statutory provision of Ordinance.

The 62-clause bill was moved by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Hina Rabbani Khar that was passed unanimously after the PML-N member Zahid Hamid withdrew his amendment in Clause 43 after the typographical errors, he raised, was corrected by the Speaker. According to the bill, the CCP, unlike the restrictive role of former MCA has a broader, more progressive and refined mandate.

Instead of seeking to curtail the growth of economic activity, it endeavors to engender healthy competition amongst economic agents as well as prevents manipulative business practices; and also, importantly serves as an authoritative advocate on all matters pertaining to competition, says the bill.

The Ordinance was laid before the Parliament in pursuance of the order of the Supreme Court on July 31, 2009 ruling that all ordinances promulgated before November 3, 2007 to December 15, 2008 which were given permanence by the PCO are required to be placed before Parliament within a period of 120 days of judgment passed on July 31, 2009.
According to the bill, The Commission shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and common seal and may sue and be sued in its own name and subject to and for the purpose of this Act, may enter into contracts and may acquire purchase, take, hold and enjoy moveable and immoveable property of every description and may convey, assign, surrender, yield up, charge, mortgage, demise, reassign, transfer or otherwise dispose of or deal with any moveable or immoveable property or any interest vested in it, upon such terms as it deems fit,? the bill states.

The Commission, to comprise up to seven members will have its headquarter in Islamabad and a CCP Fund will be established which shall vest in the Commission and shall be utilized by the Commission meet charges in connection with functioning of the Commission. – App