CCI asks for more freedom in hiring staff


Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country's anti-trust regulator wants more freedom in hiring people. The commission along with the government is working on some changes in the recruitment rules. "Although we have freedom in hiring, we would like to get some more freedom in deciding terms of hiring for getting right quality of people,” said Devender Sikri, Chairman, CCI.

The anti-trust regulator is working with ministry of corporate affairs for restructuring the recruitment process. Smita Jhingran, Secretary, CCI, while replying to a question said that 37 per cent of the sanctioned posts at CCI are vacant. About 60 per cent of the sanctioned posts are vacant at Director General's office – CCI's investigation arm. There are 197 sanctioned posts at CCI. Of late, the regulator has been hiring people on contract to fill up the shortfall.

The competition watchdog whose mandate is to look into instances of abuse of dominance and unfair business practices has dealt with 940 cases so far and disposed 725 of them.

The issue of staff crunch at the regulator was also flagged by the Standing Committee on Finance in its report on the Demands for Grants (2017-18) of the Corporate Affairs Ministry.

"Considering its huge workload... The Commission is extremely understaffed with only 114 officers in position as against the sanctioned strength of 197 posts," the panel said in the report. Staff crunch has led to pendency of cases at CCI and the report said that 156 cases were pending for more than a year.

CCI is the host for International Competition Network conference, one of the largest global conventions of competition authority leaders, to be held from 21 to 23 march 2018. It has prepared a special project report on cartel enforcement and competition for the ICN conference. About 63 per cent of CCI's investigations over the last nine years have been of cartel allegations.

The special project will provide a detailed account of the issues that CCI has faced in prosecution of cartels, common underlying cartel inducing elements across sectors, sectors prone to cartelisation, stakeholder awareness and compliance.

The conference is in line with India’s ever-growing engagement with the world on vital policy issues. With globalisation and digitalisation blurring the geographical boundaries for business, need for international cooperation and experience-sharing has increased. The conference will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and strategies for effective enforcement of competition law.