CCI is a regulatory body set up by the central government of India and the main function of this body is to control healthy industrial competition between different organizations and also suggest different guidelines by strictly following Competition Act 2002. This chapter discusses the act for competition briefly and also discusses the duties of CCI in controlling competition. Moreover, international cooperation with maintaining healthy competition is also portrayed in this chapter.
Definition of Competition Commission of India
There are no clouds of doubt that CCI is a government body, which is liable for maintaining healthy competition in the market. Market competition ensures the access of all types of goods or services to the common people at the lowest competitive price. Along with the increase in competition, the product quality and price automatically come down. Therefore, healthy competition is required to sustain a healthy economic situation and also maintain the consumer’s welfare. Hence, the main goal of this body is to promote the freedom of trade in the Indian market. CCI was established on 14th October 2003. However, it started its full operations in the month of May in 2009. This government body consists of a chairperson and not more than 6 members or not less than 2 members. All the other members are appointed by the central government only. The first chairperson has been Dhanendra Kumar and Ashok Kumar Gupta is the current chairperson in 2022. The main objectives of this statutory body are to follow the Indian act and maintain healthy competition in the market by focusing on the development of the Indian economy and consumers’ effective shopping behavior and well-being as well.
The Competition Act, 2002
This is a useful act suggested and performed by the Indian government to establish healthy competition in the market with the help of CCI. This act strictly follows the philosophy of modern competition laws. This act helps to avoid different anti-competitive agreements, and does not support the dominant position of any organization. Therefore, this act promotes an appreciable adverse effect on competition in the Indian market. This act is a useful practice from not only the seller’s point of view but from the consumer’s point of view as well. This act basically replaced The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969, to promote fair trade in the Indian market. The main two features of this act are as follows:
- The framework of this act is the reason for the establishment of CCI.
- This tool is useful to reduce anti-competitive practices and always promote healthy competition in the market.
Duties of CCI
The main objective of this government body is to provide more efficiency in the Indian economy using the facility of market competition and also maintain the consumer’s preferences in the market. Therefore, the duty of this commission is to eliminate all the practices that have adverse effects on the competition. Moreover, this government body is responsible to promote and sustain market competition by protecting various interests from the consumer’s side and also securing freedom of trade for all sizes of organizations. This statutory body also plays a key role in the development of required suggestions on different competition issues referred by any statutory authorities which are established under any Indian law. Moreover, it has a strong influence in creating public awareness and training providence on competition issues.
International cooperation by CCI
This organization also plays a key role in forming any memorandum with other agencies of any foreign country with the appropriate approval from the central government. As per the definition of section 18 of the Competition Act, 2002, CCI has all the rights to enter into any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with any competition agency. From the starting period of its operation in 2009 to 2019, this body successfully entered into MoU with some foreign competitive agencies with proper approval from the government side. Some of the agencies are as follows:
- USA: Federal Trade Commission, and Department of justice.
- EU: Director General Competition.
- Russia: Federal Antimonopoly service.
- Canada: Competition Bureau.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the Competition Commission of India plays a sustainable role to control the economic situation in India. Total structure of this government body is clearly mentioned in this discussion. Additionally, this body is responsible for promoting healthy market competition by proper maintenance of the Competition Act, 2002. All the key duties performed by the CCI are also demonstrated in this chapter. Moreover, some FAQs discussion at the end has tried to add more effective essence for helping the UPSC aspirants to understand this topic better.