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Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas
Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas

Government panel to review anti-trust law

The 10-member panel, chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas, will pay special attention to merger guidelines and cross-border competition issues

New Delhi: The Competition Act is set for a major revamp with the government on Sunday setting up a panel to suggest ways of making the anti-trust law in sync with the changing business environment and to adopt global best practices.

The 10-member panel chaired by Injeti Srinivas, secretary in the corporate affairs ministry, will pay special attention on merger guidelines and cross-border competition issues, said the corporate affairs ministry.

The review of the competition law comes at a time the Indian economy is witnessing a series of acquisitions as part of a bankruptcy court monitored resolution of stressed assets.

This calls for closer alignment of the bankruptcy resolution and competition regulation regimes. The government amended the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of 2016 earlier this year to streamline procedures under the two regulatory regimes to ensure that the bankruptcy resolution of stressed companies do not exceed the 270-day deadline specified in the code.

The panel, which has the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) chairman M.S. Sahoo as one of its members, will “study other regulatory regimes/institutional mechanisms/government policies which overlap with the Competition Act," said the ministry.

The panel will also look at other matters related to competition it finds necessary.

The Indian economy has in the last nine years grown to be among the top five economies in the world and is poised to forge ahead further, the ministry said. “In this context, it is essential that competition law is strengthened and re-calibrated to promote best practices which result in the citizens of this country achieving their aspirations and value for money," it said.

The Competition Act lays the ground rules for fair trade practices and prohibits abuse of dominance, bid rigging, cartelization, predatory pricing and mergers of companies that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition. Wherever mergers of companies are found to be affecting competition, the Competition Commission of India suggests modifications to transactions.

The panel will give its report in three months.

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