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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

Sarifeen.com

Published Date: Dec 7, 2012

Strict measures to protect consumers from the cartels

Observing
the third ‘World Competition Day’, the speakers at a seminar demanded strict
measures to protect consumers from the cartels. They also demanded independence
of regulators, effective enforcement and monitoring mechanism, awareness
raising and healthy business practices.

The
speakers were discussing at a seminar on ‘Adverse Impact of Cartels on the
Poor’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) to
contribute into international efforts to celebrate 5th of December as ‘World
Competition Day’. The culture of competition is quite weak in many countries
and consumers have limited understanding about the harmful effects of cartels.
Thus, the World Competition Day allows a scope for greater discussions and
dissemination of the beneficial effects of competition on the average consumer
– either directly or indirectly. In effect, it is expected to result in greater
public understanding and support on the need to crack down cartels.

Chairing
the proceedings Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Head-Economic Growth Unit, SDPI maintained
that consumer as a constituent has always been ignored in public policy
discourse and economic growth agenda in Pakistan. He appreciated the revised
‘Competition Act 2010’, calling it a big achievement, but at the same time
raised concern that markets in Pakistan are not still open and performing in a
responsible manner.

He
also drew the attention of competition agencies towards public entities, who in
his opinion, are dominant market players in some cases and are influencing
prices, production and services in the country’s economy.  Appreciating
the recent Pak India trade liberalization initiatives, Dr Vaqar said that now
there is greater need of synergies between ‘Competition Agencies’ in South Asia
to ensure that trade within the region is inclusive, beneficial to consumers
and address the common goal of poverty alleviation in the region.

Nadia
Nabi, Director Enforcement, Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) briefed
participants on various aspects of cartelisation debate and informed
participants that CCP is diligently protecting the rights of consumer by
ensuring that anti-competiveness business practice are controlled which mainly
entails collaborative price fixation, territory/ customers division,
restricting production and collusive tendering.  Citing references, she
said that cartels are major drain on economy whose impacts on prices range from
10 to 20 percent.

Giving
details of recent CCP actions including CNG issue, she added that the
commissions inspection teams have recently conducted inspection visit on CNG
stations and an enquiry committee has been formed to investigate that whether
any malpractices has been done by CNG association on CNG prices . She also
added that the committee would also review policy framework on the issue and a
policy note would be issued in case one is required.

Earlier,
she referred many factors affecting efficiency of CCP including backlog of
cases in courts and lack of understanding and awareness in the society.

Waseem
Hashmi from Consumer Rights Commission of Pakistan (CRCP) said that increasing
influence of cartels, even in policy making circles, has made it harder to make
them accountable. As a result, the consumer and new entrants to the industry
have severely been affected by these malpractices, he added. He discussed
various legal frameworks, and deliberated upon the abuse of dominant position
by companies, deceptive marketing and various penaltiy mechanisms. He informed
that Punjab has only 11 consumer courts in 36 districts under the act of 2005,
whereas there is little work done in KP and Balochistan adding that there is no
competition bill enacted in Sindh. He also added that people are also not aware
of consumer courts as well and how to approach them. This necessitates Empowerment
of consumer through Awareness and Capacity Building,

Eminent
businessman and director Fazal Industries Ltd, Mian Waqas Masud narrated
various examples of cartelization in automobile, cement, power and sugar
industry in Pakistan. He was of the view that consumer interests are
compromised because of weak enforcement, low penalties, and most importantly
complex and costly complaints lodging mechanism. He commented that cartels are
ripping of the consumer in collusion government officials who in most case
turned a blind eye towards unethical and unlawful business practices.