Competition laws enhance economic efficiency

PESHAWAR: Competition policy is all about creating the best possible conditions for consumers, investors and innovative entrepreneurs while the main objective of the Competition Law is to enhance economic efficiency and create a level playing field.

Addressing a seminar at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) on Monday, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Chairperson Vadiyya Khalil shared the aforesaid views. The seminar was held in connection with the National Road Show on Competition Law being organised by the CCP in 22 cities throughout the country.

KPCCI President Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Senior Vice President Ammad Khalid Rasheed, Vice President Shuja Muhammad, members of the CCP Mueen Batlay, Shahzad Ansar, Ikramul Haque Qureshi, Cartels and Trade Abuses CCP Director General Shaista Bano, CCP Advocacy Director Asfandyar Khattak, members of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and business community in large number attended the seminar.

In his welcome address, Zulfiqar Ali Khan said that the Competition Law enforcement was crucial for purging the economy from cartelisation, abuse of dominance and deceptive marketing practices as well as protecting consumers from anti-competitive behaviour. He welcomed the CCP initiative of holding a countrywide road show saying that it will create the much needed awareness and understanding of the law.

Speaking on the occasion, Vadiyya Khalil said that the enforcement of Competition Law is a must for economic growth. “It (Competition Act, 2010) is pro-competition, pro-consumer protection, pro-growth, and therefore, it is pro-business. The law protects you, the businesses, from any anti-competitive or deceptive behaviour of another competitor,” she remarked. She said that enforcement and advocacy are two sides of the same coin. “Today we are here to advocate our law so that businesses know what is right from wrong and can self-regulate and comply with the law,” she added.

Ikramul Haque Qureshi gave an overview of the competition regime in Pakistan and explained the substantive provisions of the Competition Act, 2010. He said that the anti-competitive practices such as the abuse of dominance and cartelisation not only harmed the consumers, but also inflicted huge financial losses to the national exchequer.

CCP member Shahzad Ansar said that the Competition Act protects the consumer from deceptive marketing practices adding that the Competition Act forbids false and deceptive claims having no reasonable basis and the fraudulent use of the trademarks of other undertakings.

During the questions and answers session, the participants raised important issues concerning competition and the commission’s members answered their questions. The chairperson thanked the business community for extending support to the CCP by participating in the seminar and urged the need to work hard towards more efficient and prosperous Pakistan.


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