Action against cartelisation benefits consumers

Mian Arshad

Islamabad—Finance Ministry’s actions steps and measures taken against various cartels and associations have produced very good results in terms of direct benefit to consumers and from other aspects. “Finance Ministry took actions against 110 companies, associations and other undertakings, for their anti-competitive practices and violations of the Competition Act, 2010 in last three years” a well placed source at Finance Ministry told this scribe here on Saturday.
Resultantly, the source said that there was a deterrent effect on potential violators. Collusion and abuse of dominance was penalized in numerous sectors which led to an increase in consumer welfare. Furthermore, the source added that deceptive marketing practices were curtailed in numerous sectors, especially in the fast moving consumer goods industry, thereby strengthening consumer and business protection. “Businesses are becoming more alert to the possibility of penal consequences in response to collusive, abusive, or deceptive practices and are, therefore, becoming more accustomed to fair competition” the source maintained.
The source further elaborated that action had been taken against companies belonging to sectors like, banking, education, sugar, telecom, power equipment manufacturing, poultry, stock exchanges, cement, jute, medical services, shipping and vanaspati ghee manufacturing etc. “The associations which were previously fixing the prices of consumer goods have materially stopped their practice due to vigilance of Finance Ministry and its issuance of orders against the associations. This has directly resulted into the benefit for general public” the source added.
Due to withdrawal of policy by the Government, the Long Distance and International (LDI, the source said that operators who made cartelization under International Clearing House (ICH) agreement for fixing prices of international incoming calls, has been stopped, through an effective order of the Commission.

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