ISLAMABAD - Dr. Joseph Wilson, the Chairman, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), has said that CCP has issued Competition (Reward Payment to Informant) Regulations, 2014, in which CCP has bound itself to keep the confidentiality of the whistleblowers, to the extent that is consistent with its obligations under the Competition Act, 2010.

He said this while addressing an advocacy session at the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), on Thursday. Those present in the advocacy session include Dr Shimail Daud Arain, President RCCI, Malik Shahid Saleem, Senior Vice President, Ifran Manan Khan, General Secretary, Dr Shehzad Ansar, Member CCP, and members of RCCI in large number. The Chairman further informed that CCP may grant reward ranging from Rs. 200,000 (Rupees two hundred thousand only) to Rs 2,000,000 (Rupees two million only), to informants furnishing the information of the prohibited activity and fulfilling all other requirements under these regulations.

Dr Wilson briefed the participants of the meeting on key provisions of the Competition Act, 2010 and said that the law empowers CCP to curb cartelisation, abuse of dominance, and deceptive marketing, and also to take necessary actions to create a competition culture in the country. “By means of promoting competition among business entities, our Competition Law encourages innovation, growth, wider choice and reduction in prices thus contributing towards the overall economic well being of the masses and development of the country,” he maintained.

While responding to various questions from the President RCCI and other Members, Dr Wilson stated that the role of CCP is to improve economic efficiency of a whole sector and not just a single entity. He added that CCP is well aware of its role to review government’s policies for potential distortion of competition and where needed issue policy notes to the government to rectify such distortions. He mentioned that 15 policy notes and two opinions have been issued to various government ministries and departments in the past.

The Chairman further told the participants of the meeting that CCP has recently revised the regulations pertaining to Leniency and Reward Payment with a view to remove inconsistencies with the Competition Act.

While responding to a question, Dr Wilson said that there were no labelling laws in Pakistan due to which the ordinary consumers are not given proper information about the product and added that the business chambers could raise their voice for introduction of labelling laws.

Dr Shehzad Ansar, CCP Member, Office of Fair Trade, gave a presentation about the Section 10 of the Competition Act, that deals with deceptive marketing practices and said that the ratio of compliance with section 10 is over 90 percent. He cited various cases taken up by CCP in the area of deceptive marketing.

While addressing the session, RCCI President Dr Shimail Daud Arain appreciated the performance of CCP in promoting a healthy competition and said that CCP has surpassed many international competition agencies including that of India in enforcing the Competition Law. He ensured the support of RCCI to CCP in creating awareness about the competition rules and regulations.