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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Competition Bill finalised

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JULY 30. The Government has finalised the Competition Bill, 2001, and it will be introduced in the current session of Parliament.

The Union Law Minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley, said in the Rajya Sabha today that the proposed Bill provided for repeal of the MRTP Act.

The salient features of the Bill cover prohibition of anti- competitive agreements, prohibition of abuse of dominance, regulation of combinations (acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations of certain size); establishment of the Competition Commission of India and definition of its functions and powers.

However, in view of the policy shift from curbing monopolies to promoting competition, there was a need to repeal the MRTP Act, Mr. Jaitley said and added that the competition law proposed was flexible and behaviour-oriented.

Mr. Jaitley said there was no apparent need to transfer more subjects to the States from the union and concurrent lists and Article 243 (G) of the Constitution envisaged devolution of powers and responsibilities on panchayats, for the purpose of implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice.

The XI Schedule lists 29 matters which include rural housing, rural electrification, family welfare, maintenance of community assets, drinking water and agriculture and hence there was no need for transferring more subjects to the States, he added.

He said a proposal to establish a National Law University in the capital with three national centres in the northern, western and eastern regions was under the consideration of the Government.

The matter relating to creation of the All-India Judicial Service was still under the consideration of the Government as most of the State Governments had supported the proposal, he said.

He said creation of such a service would require a resolution in the Rajya Sabha to be passed by not less than two- thirds of the members present and voting, followed by an appropriate enactment by Parliament under Article 312 of the Constitution. Hence no definite timeframe could be given, he added.

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