Amendments to competition law likely in Budget session

PTI, Jan 15, 2023, 4:49 PM IST

Representative Image (Source: ANI)

New Delhi: The government is expected to propose amendments to the competition law after taking into consideration various suggestions of a Parliamentary panel, in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament, according to a senior official.

Besides, discussions are going on with respect to amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) as well as the Companies Act, 2013.

The official also said that the corporate affairs ministry is examining a Parliamentary panel’s suggestions on having a new digital competition law.

The ministry is implementing the Competition Act, IBC and the Companies Act, and amendments to these laws are expected this year.

A bill to amend the competition law was introduced in Parliament on August 5 last year and was later referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The panel tabled its report on December 13 last year and the ministry will now be coming up with an amendment bill after taking into consideration various recommendations of the committee.

The senior official said the bill to amend the competition law is expected in the Budget session of Parliament.

The introduction of a ‘Settlement and Commitment framework to reduce litigations’ and incentivising parties in an ongoing cartel investigation in terms of lesser penalty to disclose information regarding other cartels were among the proposals in the bill that was introduced in August last year.

In its report, the Parliamentary panel recommended various changes to the bill to amend the competition law, including bringing cartels under the scope of settlements as a ”pragmatic recourse”.

The Budget session of Parliament will commence from January 31 with President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The session will have 27 sittings and will continue till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers. The first part of the session will conclude on February 14 and after a break, reconvene on March 12.

In another report on ‘Anti-Competitive Practices by Big Tech Companies’, the Parliamentary panel, on December 22, proposed a new digital competition law, ex-ante regulations and creation of a category of systemically important digital intermediaries to curb anti-competitive practices in the digital market.

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