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Need to adopt holistic competition policy to counter rising global protectionism: CUTS


 

Eyeing at exploring various dimensions of competition in the global arena, CUTS International recently held an International Conference on "Competition and Development" in the national capital.

Speaking at the event, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India said an 'intellectual climate' change is occurring where arguments for protectionism are being forwarded to justify growth and inclusion, the brunt of which will be borne by consumers and businesses in the long-run.

Ahluwalia further highlighted that jurisdictions across the globe are promoting and implementing policies that erect protectionist barriers in order to promote growth and inclusion. However, there are inherent costs of such measures and the same might actually end up negatively impacting consumers and adversely affecting global competitiveness of domestic businesses, especially exporters.

By explicating the adverse impact of policy-led distortions to competition, Ahluwalia mentioned that the sources of interference in the competitive environment of markets are not limited to business behaviour and anti-competitive practices.

Thus, competition policy could play a much more constructive role in casting its net over broader set of issues and help frame competitive market structures across sectors of the economy.

Also during the conference, CUTS Biennial Report, "India Competition and Regulation Report - 2017", was released, that encompasses sectors such as digital financial services, telecommunications, agriculture, etc and it also covers the competition perception survey results.

Speaking at the event, Pradeep Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International highlighted that competition policy has an inherent and critical role to play in development and it needs to be utilised optimally to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Its role is further amplified in the context of developing countries which intend to promote inclusive growth and equality of business opportunities, he added.

DK Sikri, Chairman, Competition Commission of India (CCI) during the conference stated that the concept of inclusive growth has taken centre-stage and a robust competition regime ensures that the rules of game remain fair for market players and ensures that entities do not enter into anti-competitive practices which distort market competition.

Ms. Teresa Moreira, Head of Competition Policy and Consumer protection, UNCTAD stated that competition policy and law could play a major role in translating development objectives into economic policies. (KNN/DA)

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