Verma says no anti-competitive practices
Even as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) examines the complaint filed against the common head of two public sector undertakings — Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) — CS Verma, chairman, SAIL, and acting chairman of NMDC, has dismissed the issue stating that there is no violation of competition law or adoption of anti-competitive practices by the two PSUs with him holding a dual charge.
Speaking to FE, Verma said: “I don’t think there is any issue of conflict of interest in my being head of both steel making SAIL and iron ore producer NMDC. SAIL has its own captive iron ore mines and is not dependent on NMDC for it. We have, in fact, never purchased ore from NMDC. And if people feel that in my current role I could unfavorably influence ore pricing for private steel companies, who are also SAIL’s competitors, let me clarify that NMDC has just 15% market share in domestic ore sales and companies have choice over input.”
Sources said the CCI has now asked for more information from the steel ministry on the appointment, functioning and role of heads of two PSUs to establish any prima facie violation of the Competition Act. For CCI, this matter is amongst the several matters pertaining to the allegation of anti-competitive practices adopted by PSUs across the sectors including uniform pricing of petrol by oil PSUs, or allegations over fixing of
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