Union Corporate Affairs Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has said that the announcement of the national competition policy will be the second biggest reform initiative after the 1991 economic reforms. Dr. Moily was chairing the first Consultation Meeting organized by the Indian Merchants’ Chamber and the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs in Mumbai today. He hoped that the Cabinet’s nod will be obtained by the end of this year to pave way for the New Competition Policy next year.
Dr. Moily opined that “Ideally, the policy should precede the law, but it is a good idea to have a policy, even if the Competition Act is already in force’”. He said, while the Competition Law is for enforcement, the Policy is for infusion of principles and promoting competition culture in the country.
The Minister observed that Competition Policy is one of the most important instruments to ensure transparency in transactions. On the ensuing Procurement Policy the minister expressed the hope that once in place it will remove lot of arbitrariness and discretionary powers in government purchases.
The minister said the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) wants to strengthen and refine India’s competition laws and the strategy involves the drafting of the competition policy, making changes to laws and norms that government departments need to follow. He said we want to evolve a policy which is based on a vast consultative process. It had posted a draft competition policy on its website, seeking comments from the public during August 2011. Accordingly, meetings with economists and consumer associations as well as business and industry have been organised. Besides, a dozen experts are being approached to suggest sector-specific policy changes that are required to adopt principles of competition. Once in place, the policy will be a guide for various ministries and state governments to follow on competition, Dr. Moily added. He also informed that another national consultation on the Competition Policy will be held in New Delhi on September 22, 2011 following which the final draft will be prepared.
The Minister said, it is not enough for the Centre alone to implement the Competition Policy, but the state governments as well as local bodies should also be encouraged to promote competition. “It is their actions which affect the common man most” he added.