ISLAMABAD - Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Chairperson Rahat Kaunain Hassan has said that deceptive marketing practices have a direct impact on consumers and the competitors of the businesses but the businesses must be truthful while marketing their products.

She recommended the businesses to, “Show what you sell and say what you mean,” which can make them fully compliant and truthful to the consumers and not allow businesses to take any undue competitive advantage. She said this while addressing an Advocacy Session on Competition Law organised by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI). President RCCI Chaudhry Nadeem A Rauf, Vice President Tallat Mahmood Awan, Former Senior Vice President Saqib Rafiq, Senior Vice President Asim Mehmood Malik, executive committee members and representatives of the business community attended the session.

Rahat said that businesses are free to make profits as long as they are not violating the competition principles. Nothing bars businesses under the law from growing; per se dominance is not prohibited, it is the abuse of dominance that triggers competition law enforcement, she maintained. She added that enforcement creates a better understanding of the law and contributes to developing a competition culture, therefore, the CCP will continue to enforce the law in true letter and spirit without fear and favour as it has been doing across all sectors of the economy.

The CCP chairperson said that the CCP is also playing its part in the policy reform by offering recommendations that would enhance economic efficiencies and create a level playing field. As part of its mandate to review the policy frameworks, the CCP’s draft pilot study on the ‘Assessment of Supply Chain from Farm gate to Retail’ recommends policy measures for enhancing economic efficiency and eliminating distortions in the supply chain of essential commodities.

Similarly, its report on the SME Sector will offer recommendations for improving the economic efficiencies of the SMEs. Moreover, consultative sessions have commenced on the CCP’s draft ‘E-Commerce Policy Guidelines’ for deliberations with the stakeholders. Clarifying the generally misunderstood linkage between the Competition Law and Pakistan’s comparative country ranking on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum, Rahat said that the competition law does play a role in removing entry barriers, improving the market access, and creating a level playing field, but the country’s ranking in the GCI is based on other factors such as institutions, infrastructure, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labour market, financial system, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capability.

Earlier, the RCCI President acknowledged the good work done by the CCP and emphasised the need to create more awareness of the Competition Law. He offered the RCCI’s platform for educating the businessmen on the do’s and don’ts of the law. He also welcomed the chairperson’s suggestion of exempting the chambers from fees for filing formal complaints with the CCP.  The RCCI’s representatives took an active part in the discussion by asking numerous questions and highlighting many issues. The chairperson said that the CCP’s doors are always open for all, and businessmen must feel free to approach the CCP through the Chambers of Commerce or in an individual capacity.