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Parliamentary standing committee on finance led by BJP leader Jayant Sinha will on 8 December hold consultation on Competition Amendment Bill 2022 and consider adoption of a draft report on the Bill, according to the committee’s schedule.

The committee will have a briefing by the representatives of department of Legal Affairs in the ministry of Law and Justice on the provisions of the Bill and will take up the matter of consideration and adoption of draft report on the ‘Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Lok Sabha Secretariat said in an announcement.

Adoption of the report by the standing committee will facilitate tabling the same in Parliament in winter session of Parliament so that necessary tweaks may be made before its passage. The Bill was introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament in August and was referred to the committee on 17 August.

It seeks to fine tune the regulatory framework of competition in line with the changes in business models that have emerged over the last two decades. It proposes global best practices like settlement and commitment and enhanced leniency provisions in addition to cutting short the maximum time that can be taken for clearing mergers and acquisitions. The Competition Act presently allows 210 days for CCI to assess the likely adverse effect of mergers and acquisitions on competition.

The Bill also seeks to revamp the leniency provisions by introducing two major changes—one allowing withdrawal of a hurriedly filed leniency petition and another one dealing with disclosure of multiple cartels, as per the Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha. The proposals seek to encourage businesses to come clean on cartelising behaviour.

In an interview to Mint published on 5 September, Parliamentary standing committee chairperson Jayant Sinha had said that it is very clear that competition law needs to evolve to deal with digital markets, which are quite different from traditional markets. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) should also be transformed to be able to deal with issues associated with digital markets, Sinha then told Mint. (ends)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gireesh Chandra Prasad

Gireesh has over 22 years of experience in business journalism covering diverse aspects of the economy, including finance, taxation, energy, aviation, corporate and bankruptcy laws, accounting and auditing.
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