India’s Competition Commission Needs Better Data and More Staff News Feed

Location: India

December 7, 2011--According to Ram Tamara, director of Nathan India Pvt Ltd, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been less than rigorous in its economic analysis, suggesting that CCI needs better data and more staff to analyze that data appropriately.
 
In a liveMint.com article published on December 1, Dr. Tamara said, “If there is shortage of reliable data, a discovery process has to be used, but if the Director General has only six months to give its reports, where is the time to discover what is best, especially when there is manpower crunch too?”

The article recounts recent cases that have raised questions about CCI’s abilities. When CCI imposed a penalty on DLF Ltd, the property developer contested the validity of the data CCI used to declare the firm dominant in Gurgaon, Haryana. DLF said that instead of using data from real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle or Genesis Analytics, CCI used data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, an economic think tank. On the basis of economic analysis, two members of CCI dissented from the commission’s decision in June against the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Rival MCX Stock Exchange Ltd (MCX-SX) had claimed that NSE had abused its dominant position in the currency derivatives market.

The article also describes problems CCI is having with sector-based regulatory jurisdiction, but the main issue for the new commission’s performance is lack of data and a severe shortage of personnel. According to CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla, the commission has only 65 people “working on competition law [while] a study by IIM-B (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore) before CCI became functional had suggested hiring around 240 people.”

On May 5, 2011, Dr. Tamara also commented in the press on the performance of CCI.  See
http://www.nathaninc.com/news/regulators-must-be-credible-curb-uncertainty-india

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