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Center appoints Ravneet Kaur as CCI chief


New Delhi: The government has appointed senior civil servant Ravneet Kaur as the chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), two persons aware of the development said, citing an official order.

Kaur belongs to the group of officers of the Indian Administrative Service from 1968. According to the available information, Kaur is currently serving as an additional chief secretary in the government of Punjab.

Kaur has been appointed for a period of five years or until she turns 65, according to one of the persons named on condition of anonymity.

The appointment gives the competition watchdog a major boost, because it meets the requirement to have three members who can judge cases. CCI has been unable to issue orders, except in the case of mergers and approvals, because it was unable to meet the quorum requirement.

The government is also in the process of recruiting more members to the CCI, in anticipation of the future retirement of members of the Commission, so as not to create a regulatory loophole.

The top post at CCI fell vacant after Ashok Kumar Gupta stepped down from the post of chairman on 25 October 2022, having completed his four-year term. Later, the government gave member Sangeeta Verma the job of acting chairman and also invited candidates for three more members. According to the Competition Act, CCI must have a chairman and a minimum of two and a maximum of six other members.

As the government has stepped up CCI’s regulatory mandate with the latest legislative changes, adding more manpower and infrastructure to CCI has become important. The amendments to the Competition Act earlier this year have resulted in certain transactions meeting the specified value threshold of acquisitions falling within CCI’s purview. CCI is also now authorized to enter into negotiated settlements with companies and other parties in the event of anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominance.

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Updated: May 16, 2023, 11:08 AM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.