In order enhance “Minimum Government – Maximum Governance”, Govt. reduces three posts from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). There has been reduction from One Chairperson and Six Members (totalling seven) to One Chairperson and Three Members (totalling four) by not filling the existing vacancies of two Members and one more additional vacancy, which was expected in September, 2018 when one of the present incumbents will complete his term.
Govt. points out that CCI has been functioning as a collegium right from its inception. In several major jurisdictions such as in Japan, USA and U.K. Competition Authorities are of a similar size. Thereafter, Section 8 of Competition Commission Act, 2002 (‘Act’) refers that CCI should consist of a Chairperson and not less than two and not more than six Members.
Initially when Act was introduced one Chairperson and not more than ten Members were posted at CCI keeping the requirement of creating a Principal Bench, other Additional Bench or Mergers Bench, comprising at least two Members each. However, Govt. had amended Section 22 of Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 by removing the provision for creation of Benches.
Govt. has taken this decision with the objective of easing the mergers and amalgamation process in the country. Even in 2017 in order to decrease Govt. had also revised de minimis levels, which was applicable for all forms of combinations and the methodology for computing assets and turnover of the target involved in such combinations, had been spelt out. This had led to reduction in the notices that enterprises were mandated to submit while entering into combinations, thereby reducing the load on the Commission.
Govt. was mentions that the faster turnaround in hearings is expected to result in speedier approvals, thereby stimulating the business processes of corporates and resulting in greater employment opportunities in the country.