Competition panel to probe possible onion cartel news
07 January 2011

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday ordered a probe into the possible cartelisation by onion traders that might have led to the spike in the prices of the commodity, a staple in most Indian diets.

''The commission met today (Thursday) and decided to ask the director-general to investigate the possible cartel in the onion trade and submit the report in 45 days,'' officials told the media.

"The commission has held many deliberations to study the possibility of cartelisation by onion traders and prima facie there appears to be a case. So, we have taken a suo moto action in carrying out the probe," they said.

On Wednesday, chief economic adviser Kaushik Basu blamed cartelisation by traders for the spurt.

"The CCI has taken the suo moto action after making an economic analysis of demand and supply of the product, studying media reports and data from the mandis," said the officials.

The investigations have been ordered under section 26 of the Competition Act 2002. The section empowers the commission to order an inquiry by the director-general into a matter if it finds that a prime facie case exists for violation of the competition law.

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Competition panel to probe possible onion cartel