‘More stringent laws against cartelisation needed’

February 14th, 2012 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) Competition watchdog,he Competition Commission of India (CCI) is in favour of more stringent laws against formation of cartels as it affects consumers’ interest.

“Cartelisation can become a criminal offence in India in future,” CCI member Ratneshwar Prasad said at a seminar on competition compliance at the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BNCCI) here Monday.

Powerful companies and organisations exercised substantial control over industry pricing by colluding with each other, which affected consumer interest, he said.

CCI currently has the power to impose a penalty of up to ten percent of turnover or three times of the profit made during the cartel period, whichever is higher.

Stating that there was a need to set up a state-level competition commission for an effective check on anti-competition practices, Prasad said: “Not all problems can be solved at the central level. The state governments should have their own competition authority.”

“In Australia, a similar framework is in operation,” he said.

The CCI member expressed hope that the National Competition Policy, likely to be in place by March-end this year, would help in greater promotion of “competition culture” in India.

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