ISLAMABAD: The National Road Show on Competition Law being organized by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) throughout the country, was kicked off at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).
The seminar was attended by Vadiyya Khalil, chairperson CCP, Atif Ikram Sheikh, president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, members of CCP Mueen Batlay, Shahzad Ansar, Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi and a large number of local business community.
Addressing the seminar, CCP chairperson Vadiyya Khalil thanked all the participants and said that Competition Act was promulgated in October 2010 with the main objective to enhance economic efficiency and create a level playing field for undertakings. “It is pro-Competition, pro-consumer protection, pro-growth and therefore pro-business,” she said.
Vadiyya Khalil said that the timing of the launch of Road Show was important as over 100 competition agencies around the world would be observing World Competition Day on 5th December by organizing events to highlight the importance of competition in the economic progress of their respective countries. She said competition policy was focused on creating the best possible conditions for consumers, investors and innovative entrepreneurs and she urged the need to work hard towards more efficient and prosperous Pakistan.
In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, president, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that anti-competition approaches always proved unfavorable for the economy and the consumers as they benefited only a few at the cost of majority. He appreciated the role of CCP for promoting healthy competition culture by curbing unhealthy cartels and monopolies and addressing the issues of market manipulations. He said an independent, strong and effective CCP was essential to promote efficiency in the economy and encourage domestic as well as foreign investment. He assured that ICCI would fully support the CCP in its endeavors aimed at creating a level playing field for business entities and better protection of consumers interests.
Ikram Ul Haque Qureshi, member CCP presented an overview of the competition regime in Pakistan and explained the substantive provisions of the Competition Act, 2010. He cited case studies to help the participants understand the law. He said the anti-competitive practices such as the abuse of dominance and cartelization not only harmed the consumers, but also inflicted huge financial losses to the national exchequer. He urged the role of the business community in identifying the anti-competitive issues.
Shahzad Ansar, member CCP said the Competition Act protected the consumers from deceptive marketing practices and briefed the audience about various cases taken up by the Commission against fair trade practices. He said the Competition Act forbid false and deceptive claims, claims having unreasonable basis and the fraudulent use of the trademarks of other undertakings.