CII wants incentives to firms with fair trade programmes

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) Stressing the need for incentivising companies to comply with fair trade practices, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Sunday called for the country's competition watchdog to consider the competition compliance programmes put in place by companies before determining penalties.

"This requires immediate attention so that Indian industry is assured that the Competition Commission of India will consider the competition compliance programmes put in place by companies, before determining penalties, as is the practice in most countries," Chandrajit Banerjee, CII director general, said in a statement here.

CII said the competition regulator should provide incentives to enterprises for instituting competition compliance programmes within the competition law framework.

The industry lobby said the CCI should consider framing penalty guidelines which could include existence of compliance programmes as a mitigating factor while calculating fines on an errant company.

The commission has imposed substantial fines on various companies and trade associations for violating competition rules. It has also been advising companies to institute competition compliance programmes to ensure their business practices do not violate norms.

"There are no provisions under the Competition Act and its allied regulations which set out the criteria that are to be taken into consideration while deciding on the quantum of fines to be imposed on entities which have infringed competition law," CII said.

It suggested the regulator should consider laying out clear guidelines on what would constitute an effective and credible competition compliance programme.

CII has given its recommendations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, which is reviewing the Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2012.

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