The Chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), Rahat Kaunain Hassan, has said that deceptive marketing practices directly impact consumers and business competitors, which is why businesses must be truthful while marketing their products.
While addressing an Advocacy Session on Competition Law organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI), she remarked that businesses should “show what you sell and say what you mean” to be fully compliant and truthful to consumers while refraining from taking undue competitive advantage.
President RCCI, Chaudhry Nadeem A. Rauf; Vice President RCCI, Tallat Mahmood Awan; former Senior Vice President RCCI, Saqib Rafiq; Senior Vice President RCCI, Asim Mehmood Malik; executive committee members, and representatives of the business community attended the session.
Hassan said that businesses are free to make profits as long as they do not violate the principles of the competition. Nothing bars businesses under the law from growing, and per se, dominance is not prohibited, she said and added that it is the abuse of dominance that triggers competition in law enforcement.
Hassan stated that enforcement creates a better understanding of the law and contributes to developing a competition culture, which is why the CCP will continue to enforce the law in letter and spirit without fear and favor as it has been doing across all sectors of the economy.
The Chairperson said that the CCP is also playing its part in the policy reform by offering recommendations that will enhance economic efficiencies and create a level playing field. As part of its mandate to review the policy frameworks, the CCP’s draft pilot study on the ‘Assessment of Supply Chain from Farm gate to Retail’ recommends policy measures to enhance economic efficiency and eliminate distortions in the supply chain of essential commodities. Similarly, its report on the SME Sector will offer recommendations for the improvement of the economic efficiencies of SMEs.
Moreover, consultative sessions have commenced on the CCP’s draft ‘E-Commerce Policy Guidelines’ for deliberations with the stakeholders.
Clarifying the generally misunderstood linkage between the Competition Law and Pakistan’s comparative country ranking on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum, the Chairperson said that the Competition law plays a role in removing entry barriers, improving the market access, and creating a level playing field but the country’s ranking in the GCI is based on other factors such as institutions, infrastructure, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capability.
President RCCI acknowledged the good work done by the CCP and emphasized the need to create more awareness of the Competition Law. He offered RCCI’s platform to educate businessmen on the do’s and don’ts of the law. Rauf also welcomed the Chairperson’s suggestion to exempt the chambers from fees for filing formal complaints with the CCP.
The RCCI’s representatives took an active part in the discussion by asking numerous questions and highlighting many issues. The Chairperson said that the CCP’s doors are open for all, and businessmen must feel free to approach the CCP through the Chambers of Commerce or in an individual capacity.