March 14, 2005, Business Line
New Delhi
By Our Bureau

INDIA needs to find the best talent to head the Competition Commission and various economic regulatory agencies, according to several MPs, including Mr Dinesh Trivedi and Mr Suresh Prabhu, who expressed this sentiment at a seminar organised by CUTS International.

Initiating the discussion with reference to the current stalemate relating to the Competition Act, Mr Yashwant Sinha, former Finance Minister, said: “It is a pity that such an important legislation has run into difficulties because of the petty issue of who should head the commission.”

He added: “The Competition Act 2002 could be the initial step towards developing a healthy competition regime in India. Deficiencies in the Act, could be removed by step-by-step amendments rather than blocking its implementation altogether.”

Mr Sinha also said that the country definitely needs a National Competition Policy to ensure a competition assessment of all Government policies.

“Over the years, we have established several specialised regulatory agencies for various sectors. However, the issue of ensuring accountability of these agencies has not been addressed. There is need to establish a mechanism for effective Parliamentary oversight of all the regulatory agencies. This also requires the need to develop an appropriate methodology to evaluate their performance.”

In the context of competition abuses that exist at the local level, Mr Sinha expressed doubts about the ability of the Competition Commission of India to deal with such issues.