After cracking down on cement companies for cartelisation, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has initiated a suo motu inquiry against milk retailers for frequent price rise.
"We have initiated a suo motu inquiry against them (milk companies and cooperatives), though it is in the initial stage," Ashok Chawla, chairman, CCI, told Business Standard on the sidelines of a function in Ahmedabad yesterday. CCI has imposed a hefty penalty of Rs 6,200 crore on 11 leading cement companies for cartelisation. Next on radar is tyre companies.
"Real estate, pharmaceuticals, aviation, telecom and tyre industries are on our radar. The inquiry against tyre companies is in an advanced stage and a decision can be expected soon," said Chawla.
He hinted the commission would take a note of the increase in petroleum prices by oil companies. When asked if CCI was considering any action against the public sector oil companies, which are being alleged to operate in unison to increase the petroleum prices even when the international crude prices have declined, Chawla said, "We will take a note of that."
To overcome the disconnect between the government policy and competition law, Chawla said a proposal has been mooted to form a cabinet committee on competition under the chairmanship of the prime minister. “The proposal is with the cabinet at present and it will take a decision on that," he said.
About 267 matters relating to violation of Section 3 and 4 of the Competition Act are being investigated by CCI. These are from sectors such as insurance, automobiles, real estate, pharmaceuticals, financial services and the entertainment industry. "Of these, in over 200 cases we have issued a final order, while penalty has been imposed wherever needed," he said.