The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has imposed a total penalty of Rs. 27 billion on different sectors during 2007-2020. These include:
- Oil & gas sector
- Ports & shipping, poultry
- Steel packaging
- Power sector
- Courier services
- Paints sector.
ProPakistani did a detailed analysis of the total penalties imposed on various companies committing cartelization, abusing their dominant position, and deceptive marketing practices show that the anti-trust watchdog has only been able to recover approximately Rs. 35 million out of the total Rs. 27 billion due to the ongoing litigation in different courts.
A huge amount of outstanding penalties, despite the passage of over a decade, is yet to be recovered from the fertilizer sector, cement manufacturing industry, sugar industry, and the poultry industry.
The CCP year-wise trend of penalties revealed that the CCP imposed penalties worth:
- Rs. 1,250,000 during year 2020;
- Rs. 290,500,000 year 2019;
- Rs. 37,750,000 year 2018;
- Rs. 105,992,624 year 2017;
- Rs. 152,000,000 year 2016;
- Rs. 143,250,000 year 2015;
- Rs. 17,736,000,000 year 2013;
- Rs. 1,224,500,000 year 2012;
- Rs. 109,000,000 year 2011;
- Rs. 275,250,000 year 2010;
- Rs. 6,786,487,448 year 2009;
- Rs. 206,000,000 year 2008.
There was no penalty imposed during the year 2014.
Sector-wise penalty revealed that the CCP has imposed a penalty of:
- Rs. 6,402,000,000 on cement sector;
- Telecom Rs. 9,063,000,000;
- Fertilizer Rs. 8,643,700,000;
- Banking Rs. 975,000,000;
- Oil and gas Rs. 318,087,448;
- Health care Rs. 450,000,000;
- ports and shipping Rs. 211,000,000;
- Poultry Rs. 150,000,000
- Automotive Rs. 140,000,000.
The CCP had imposed these penalties on various undertakings for different violations of the Competition Act, 2010. The undertakings include companies and trade associations from across sectors of the economy and were involved in anti-competitive practices such as abuse of dominant position, cartelization and deceptive marketing practices, thus harming the consumer interest as well as inflicting huge losses to the national economy.
Under the law, the penalties imposed by CCP have to be deposited in the National Exchequer of the Federal Government. The Competition Act is in line with the competition laws of over 150 countries that have implemented the modern competition regimes.
Under the Competition Act, CCP is empowered to take action against abuse of dominant position, cartelization, deceptive marketing practices and approval of mergers of the Act.
Moreover, CCP has the power to review the policies of the Government of Pakistan and suggest/recommend changes in the policies where it is required for protecting competition.
Furthermore, CCP has also been empowered to strike a balance between enforcement and advocacy through creating awareness of the law.
The enforcement of the Competition Law fosters the economy by creating a conducive environment for investment, more innovation, lower prices, higher choices, better quality, and bringing the country at par with the global competitors.
The enforcement procedure saying that the orders are passed after following the due course of law that includes transparent and impartial inquiries conducted by the inquiry committees, the full opportunity of hearings to the undertakings and then issuing the orders and making them public as per the law.
Under the Competition Act, appeals can be filed against the orders passed by CCP in front of the Commission and then the Competition Appellate Tribunal (CAT).