ISLAMABAD - The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has imposed total penalties of over 26 billion rupees on different undertakings for various violations of the Competition Law since 2007, aimed to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices and restore and ensure free competition in the country’s economy.

This was stated by CCP Member Cartels & Trade Abuses and Legal, Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi, while addressing a seminar at the Sargodha Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), jointly organised by CCP and SCCI as part of the National Road Show on Competition Law. The seminar was also addressed by Shahzad Ansar, Member Office of Fair Trade (OFT) & Advocacy, Mukhtar Mirza, President SCCI, Muhammad Shakir Naveed, Senior Vice President SCCI, Amjad Javed, Vice President, Asfandyar Khattak, Director Advocacy CCP, members of the executive council and general body of SCCI and the business community in large number.

Mukhtar Mirza, President SCCI, in his welcome speech highlighted certain competition issues in the area and requested CCP to take action to restore competition. He urged the business community to fully understand the provisions of the Competition Act and improve compliance. He requested CCP for holding more such seminars as there was a dire need to create awareness of the law.

Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi briefed the participants about the competition regime in Pakistan and explained the substantive provisions of the Competition Act, 2010. He said that the purpose of the Competition Act is to ensure free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity and CCP is authorized to take action against anti-competitive activities such as abuse of dominance, prohibited agreements and deceptive marketing. “The purpose of imposing these restrictions is to ensure free competition among firms,” he said.

He further said that anti-competitive activities not only distort competition in the market, it also harm consumers’ interests and inflict losses to the national economy.

Shahzad Ansar, Member CCP in his presentation on the Office of Fair Trade (OFT), said that the Competition Act protects the consumer from deceptive marketing practices adding that the Competition Act forbids false and deceptive claims having no reasonable basis and the fraudulent use of the trademarks of other undertakings.

He said that deceptive marketing practices not only harmed the end consumers but also the businesses who might lose their genuine market share due to fake advertising by others.