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Rahat's tenure ends: Joseph Wilson to be acting CCP chairman

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) is all set to get a new head as the tenure of incumbent Chairperson, Rahat Kaunain Hassan, came to an end on Thursday. Sources told Business Recorder on Thursday that Dr Joseph Wilson, the senior most Member of the CCP, will be given the acting charge of chairman. Joseph currently holds the Office of Member International Affairs and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Established in 2007 under the Competition Ordinance, CCP is an important law enforcement agency responsible to provide free competition in all spheres of commercial and economic activity and to protect consumers from anticompetitive behaviour. Chairperson Hassan, who was associated with CCP as Member Legal since 2007, was appointed on July 26, 2010 as the second head of the CCP.

During her tenure as Chairperson, several key developments took place that gave CCP a new dimension. Her appointment was followed by the passage of the Competition Act, 2010, thus resolving the long standing issue of the Commission's legitimacy. Though Rahat welcomed the long-awaited legislation, she regretted lack of will on part of the government to resolve its three percent funding issue.

"Despite, the enactment of the law, our struggle continues - in one form or the other - be it acute financial constraints, and struggle for financial autonomy," she said. The backlog of pending cases with the courts is another problem that worried Rahat. "Another challenge that we face is to cope with an ever increasing litigation portfolio and pursuing disposal of cases before the courts, which themselves face huge backlog of cases."

Notwithstanding the problems, CCP continue to face encompasses, enforcement which always remained its top priority and some of the decisions even earned international fame. The first ever leniency case in the procurement of power transformers by public procurement agencies was shortlisted by the Global Competition Review (GCR) in the category of 'Behavioural Matter of the Year' in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region.

CCP's firm stand on the issue of establishment of International Clearing House (ICH) against all the odds brought the agency to the limelight. CCP made its presence felt when it unearthed some of the hardcore cartels in the cement, sugar, telecom, banks and chartered accountancy sectors. Though appeals against all the decisions are pending in the courts, they certainly helped in uncovering the heinous financial crimes besides creating a stir in the cartels community.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013


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