14 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

‘Rightsizing’ CCI

‘Rightsizing’ CCI

The government has recently moved to cut the number of members of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from seven to four, including the chairperson.  It may seem like ‘downsizing’ but the government insists that it is ‘rightsizing’. The reduced size, it argues, approximates the size of competition regulators in countries like UK, the United States, Australia and Japan.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs insists that the step will reduce government interference in the working of CCI, stimulate business process of corporates and generate job opportunities by speeding up hearings and approvals. The clincher apparently is that four members will expedite CCI’s work while adhering to Modi’s maxim of “maximum governance, minimum government”.

But observers are sceptical that simply reducing the number of members to four will serve the cause of efficiency, the government is hoping to achieve. Former CCI member S.L. Bunker, for one, has said that the decision fails to “properly appreciate” the nature and functioning of the antitrust regulator. The CCI deals with competition laws and economic laws and decisions need to be made based on data and market situations, he said, adding that more members makes CCI “more resilient and gives it a strong outcome”.

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