Onion, cement price hike under competition panel’s scanner

February 21st, 2011 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 21 (IANS) The Competition Commission of India (CCI), constituted to promote consumer welfare through fair competition in markets, has received various complaints pertaining to the sudden rise in the prices of cement and onions during the past few months — and its officials are looking into them.”Yes, we have received complaints about the sudden rise in the prices of cement during the last few weeks. This is the reason why we are looking into cement industry. We had also received complaints about rise in onion prices; but right now I cannot comment further on these cases,” Dhanendra Kumar, chairman of CCI, told reporters here Monday.

“But I would like to make one thing clear that the CCI cannot control the prices or inflation and it is not even our duty. But we can check that there is healthy competition in the market to safeguard the interests of consumers,” added Dhanendra Kumar.

Talking about the working of the CCI, he said that they have an investigation wing that carries out probe and issued notices to the party concerned.

“After collecting the facts and data and hearing both parties, our investigation officer decides about the guilt. Then a final notice is issued and penalty is imposed. Since 2009 (when the commission was constituted), we have settled 40 out of the 150 cases that the CCI had received,” he said.

The CCI was constituted March 1, 2009. The main aim of the commission is to make markets work well for consumers’ through effective competition.

Talking about the fields from where the CCI was getting complaints, he said that officials were investigating matters related to real estate, cement, steel, film and entertainment, travel, petroleum, health and various government departments.

He admitted that not many people were aware about the existence of the CCI and he was now focussed on spreading awareness about this central government agency.

There are round 120 competition regulatory agencies in the world and India’s CCI is the youngest.

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