ISLAMABAD: The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has taken notice of recent procurement crisis of sugarcane at the hands of alleged powerful sugar millers and convened open hearings on January 25, 2018 in order to discuss competition concerns of the whole sugar sector.
“Taking notice of the recent sugarcane procurement crisis in the country, the CCP will convene an open hearing on 25 January 2018 to discuss competition concerns in the sugar sector,” the CCP made an announcement here on Monday.
It is relevant to mention here that the CCP had earlier allegedly found PSMA (Pakistan Sugar Mills Association) guilty of anti-competitive behaviour whereby the commission possessed powers for imposing maximum penalty of Rs75 million against them but the higher judiciary had barred the CCP for announcing its verdict. All such alleged cartels used to get rescue by obtaining stay orders and such stay orders in some instances prolonged for several years.
However, the CCP in its statement said on Monday that on 18 January 2018, the CCP published a public notice in the newspapers to inform the stakeholders and general public about the open hearing, which is expected to be attended by farmers, sugar mill owners, consumers both from trade and industry and the general public, as well as the concerned federal and provincial government officials. The CCP will listen to the viewpoint of all the stakeholders and will then issue its opinion.
The importance of competition in the sugar sector cuts across various levels of the market from sugarcane growers, through sugar mills, to commercial and common consumers. As a result, this sector has been the subject of various enforcement, advocacy, and policy level initiatives of the CCP in the past, with all efforts invariably aimed at making the sector more competitive. The opening hearing is being held under the CCP’s advocacy mandate under Section 29 of the Competition Act, 2010.
The CCP is mandated to ensure a healthy competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity to enhance economic efficiency and to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices.
Those who wish to attend the open hearing may contact the Registrar of CCP by 23rd January, 2018 through phone number, 051-9100291, fax number, 051-9100297, email, asaeedcc.gov.pk or through CCP’s postal address, 7th floor, 55-B, ISE Tower, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad. For further details, please log on to CCP’s website, www.cc.gov.pk