Anti-cartel watchdog imposes Rs12.9b in fines

December 15, 2012

Rs6.5 billion had been imposed against the cement manufacturers for increasing prices of cement without any valid reason through cartelisation.

ISLAMABAD: The pro-competition watchdog has imposed a total of Rs12.9 billion fines against firms who adopted anti-competitive approaches.

Minister of State for Finance Saleem Mandviwala on Friday informed the members of the Upper House of Parliament that the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) had taken punitive action against cartelisation in the country.

Responding to a supplementary question by Colonel (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, the state minister said that a fine of Rs6.5 billion had been imposed against the cement manufacturers for increasing prices of cement without any valid reason through cartelisation. He said due to CCP’s actions, prices of the cement had decreased.

“Likewise, the CCP imposed a fine of Rs6.3 billion against jute millers while an Rs50 million fine had been imposed on ghee (edible oil) mills for increasing prices of the commodities without any rationale. Moreover, a fine of Rs50 million had been imposed on automated teller machines body for fleecing consumers and following the fine, different banks had decided to drop charges rate against consumers,” he added. He said that poultry associations have been penalised also.

In a written reply, the finance minister said that the CCP is required to ensure free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive behaviour. “Under the Competition Act, CCP as part of its statutory obligation may investigate and penalise undertakings for entering into prohibiting agreements (cartelisation) which have the object or effect of preventing, restricting or reducing competition within the relevant market and restrict free trading and competition between business entities.-APP”

Courtesy: The Express Tribune

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