Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday expressed concern about possible cartels in the markets and stressed the need to investigate the causes of raw material shortages.
Speaking at the 13th annual Competition Commission of India (CCI) day, the minister also said the regulator should have a “proactive understanding” of mergers and acquisitions.
“Cartelization will be a challenge…”, said the minister.
While she cited rising commodity prices as a result of several factors, she said the causes of the scarcity need to be looked into.
Her comments come against the background of rising inflation.
Sitharaman, who is also in charge of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, said the CCI must be both sensitive and firm.
Corporate Affairs Secretary Rajesh Verma said the CCI has taken critical steps to address anti-competition issues.
He said the recommendations of the Competition Law Review Committee (CLRC) are under investigation.
Among other recommendations, the CLRC, which submitted its report to the government in July 2019, called for a settlement mechanism to address antitrust disputes.
Amendments to the Competition Act are also in the pipeline.
Speaking at the post, CCI chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta said the regulator has developed solid case law across all sectors over the past 13 years.
Sitharaman virtually inaugurated the CCI’s Eastern Regional Office in Kolkata. This is the second regional office after the opening of the southern regional office in Chennai last year.