Consultative Meeting on Draft Guidelines of CPMP Act 2063
South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), in collaboration with Department of Commerce and Supplies Management (DoCSM) and USAID NEAT activity, organized a consultative meeting to discuss the draft Guidelines of Competition Promotion and Market Protection(CPMP) Act 2063 on July 11, 2012.
SAWTEE has prepared a Guidelines to facilitate the implementation of the CPMP Act. The Guidelines clarifies the provisions of the CPMP Act and explaines various methods that the implementing authorities can rely upon while enforcing the Act. In addition, the Guidelines also serves as a clear and coherent guidance of procedures for the enforcement authorities.
Speaking in the inaugural session, Chair of the session, Executive Chairman of SAWTEE, Dr. Posh Raj Pandey said that the CPMP Act is important in the context of free, imperfect market economy in order to ensure that public monopoly does not turn into private monopoly which could be even more deleterious to the economy and the consumers.
Chief Guest, Mr Lal Mani Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies opined that unless there is effective implementation, the existence of any law is irrelevant. He cited various reasons like lack of proper guidelines, lack of awareness and lack of resources which are hindering the effective implementation of the law.
Mr Narayan Prasad Bidari, Director General of DoCSM highlighted some of the activities of the government like revising its institutional set-up, increasing the number of market protection officers, etc in order to ensure proper implementation of competition law in Nepal. However, the Director General stressed that such efforts are still not enough to ensure effective implementation of competition law in Nepal.
Likewise Dr Dev Bhakta Shakya, Business Enabling Environment Manager, NEAT put light on the fact that NEAT activity works to create a business enabling environment. With relation to that and to ensure proper implementation of CPMP Act, NEAT is working with Ministry of Commerce and Supplies and SAWTEE to technically assist the drafting of the Guidelines and expressed hope that the implementation of CPMP Act would then gather momentum.
The basic features of the Guidelines were presented by Advocate Apurba Khatiwada. Advocate Khatiwada explained that efforts have been made to make the Guidelines as simple as possible. He presented various aspects of the Guidelines and indicated potential difficulties in the enforcement and interpretation of the Act. He further explained some of the techniques that the Guidelines has employed in determining violations of the provisions of the CPMP Act.
Chair of the technical session Dr Ram Krishna Timalsena, Former Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nepal said that the Guidelines should be clear and user friendly and should be able to clarify all the confusions prevalent in the law and regulation. He put emphasis on the need to follow international practices while finalizing the Guidelines and also said that in order to make it more substantive and practical, some of the court cases related to competition can also be included.
Former Deputy Attorney General of Nepal, Advocate Narendra Prasad Pathak highlighted on the procedural part of the Guidelines and explained the basic tenets of investigation and prosecution under the CPMP Act. He suggested that the Guidelines should deal with the investigation keeping in view not just the CPMP Act and Rules but also other laws relating to investigation of crime in Nepal.
Chief Executive Officer of SAWTEE Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari welcomed the suggestions of the participants in the program and said that the comments and suggestions floored in the discussion will be incorporated, as far as possible, in the Guidelines. Dr. Adhikari also clarified that the Guidelines has to be drafted by remaining within the scope of the existing Act, notwithstanding the principle, substantive and procedural shortcoming within the Act. He also reiterated SAWTEE’s vision of promoting competition culture in Nepali market.
Mr Surendra Bir Malakar, Immediate Past President, Chamber of Commerce, Nepal, Mr Purushottam Ojha, Former Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, Mr Narayan Prasad Bidari, Director General, DoCSM were among the experts who commented on the Guidelines.