MCA fast tracks changes in Competition Act 2002

Written by Ronojoy Banerjee | Ronojoy Banerjee | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 25 2010, 05:47am hrs
With the notifications of sections 5 and 6 of the Competition Act, 2002 left in the back burner for more than a year, the corporate affairs ministry is understood to be fast tracking the process.

According to government sources, the ministry has sent the amendment proposals to the law ministry for vetting and a response is expected in less than a month. Before any changes are brought about in the Competition Act, there are certain issues that are required to be cleared. Its because of this that we have sent it to the law ministry, he said.

In a recent interview to FE, corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid said the CCI has to get cracking once the notifications are passed by the government. In the recent past, the commission has come under severe criticism from various quarters for not having disposed of a single case. So far, the commission has more than 35 pending cases.

However, the minister said the commission is still new in the country and is doing a reasonable job. Systems have to be developed. The CCI spent a lot of time in advocacy and travelling in picking up knowledge. I think they have just got about their full staff. I think it will be unfair to say that they have not cleared any cases...I think they are doing fine, Khurshid said.

After the commission was set up, India Inc has bitterly opposed a provision in the Competition Act which gives the commission a total of 210 days to clear an M&A case.

The Investment Commission led by Ratan Tata met corporate affairs secretary R Bandyopadhyay earlier this year urging the 210-day period to be cut down. According to the Investment Commission, the industry was worried that seven months was too long a period. Khurshid said the government would take the commission's concerns into account and reduce the 210-day period. He also hinted that the banking and insurance sector may be excluded from the ambit of CCI but added that so far no final decision has been taken.