Competition Act amendments introduced in Lok Sabha

The government today introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Competition Act, which vests the fair trade regulator with powers to authorise search and seizures related to investigations.

'The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2012' was introduced in the Lok Sabha by minister for corporate affairs Sachin Pilot.

The amendment bill, which seeks to amend the Competition Act 2002, will require the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to decide on corporate mergers within 180 days against 210 days at present, thereby speeding up industry consolidation.

''The government proposes to reduce the period within which the CCI has to pass an order or issue directions in such matters from 210 days to 180 days by a suitable amendment in the Competition Act, 2002,'' Pilot said.

Once in place, the Act will allow the CCI chief to authorise 'search and seizure' by its director general (DG) for investigations.

At present, the director general of CCI has to obtain authorisation by the chief metropolitan magistrate, Delhi, to carry out search and seizure in any investigation.