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Leniency provisions 'fantastic' in acting against cartels: CCI chief

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

As it pursues efforts to ensure fair trade practices in the market place, D K has said the leniency provisions are "fantastic" in enforcement actions against cartels.

In recent months, the (CCI) has passed quite a few orders against entities for indulging in cartelisation, especially in bidding process. In some cases, the regulator has slashed the penalties on the entities concerned after invoking leniency provisions under the

To a query on how leniency provisions have been helping in acting against cartels, told that it has been "fantastic".

The chief said that initially, when the was being implemented, entities left "smoking gun evidence" and many did not know what a means.

"When we have issued orders, they are very cautious. In the board room, they don't leave any evidence. So the only way is through leniency (provisions) and in the there is a fundamental principle, one or the other member will cheat on the cartel," he said.

He also said that "leniency (provisions) is the way" for enforcement.

Under the Competition Act, enterprises as well as individuals can seek leniency.

Last month, the watchdog invoked leniency provisions wherein quantum of fines were reduced for various entities and for one entity the whole penalty amount was waived off in a case of cartelisation in pricing of zinc-carbon dry cell batteries.

A total fine of Rs 215 crore was imposed on Eveready, Indo National, industry grouping AIDCM (Association of Indian Dry Cell Manufacturers) and their officials for cartelisation in that case. However, the quantum of penalties on Eveready, as well as their officials were reduced.

The fine was completely waived in the case of Panasonic Energy India, which was also involved in anti-competitive practices.

Earlier this month, the regulator significantly reduced the penalties on four firms and their executives in the case of cartelisation with respect to tenders floated by In this matter, the had imposed a total fine of more than Rs 3.5 crore on six firms and some of their executives.

The CCI has the mandate to keep a tab on unfair business practices across sectors.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 18:20 IST