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Anti-competitive employment at Competition Commission

Published Time: March 28, 2019, 12:02 am
Updated Time: March 27, 2019 at 9:40 pm

M S Siddiqui writes for DOT :

The Competition Commission (CC) of Bangladesh is a statutory body formed as per the
Competition Commission Act, 2012 and the commission ‘active’ for few years without any
remarkable work. The nomination of member of Commission has made the commission another
government organ in contrast to standard practice of other countries.
In many countries, the practice of nomination of Chairman and members are nominated by
independent search committee who, has been, or is qualified to be, a judge of a High Court, or,
has special knowledge of, and professional experience of not less than fifteen years.
In some of the countries, the nomination has been given by search committee for constitution
position. But the law of Bangladesh empowered government to recruit through interview
process. The Chairperson and the Members shall be entitled to such status, salary, allowances
and other privileges ancillary thereto as may be determined by the Government (section10). The
commission like any other commission has been constitute with retired bureaucrats to serve as
Chairman and Members.
In contract, under Section 9 of the Indian Competition Act, 2002, the Chairperson and other
Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Central Government from a panel of
names recommended by a Selection Committee consisting of –a) the Chief Justice of India or
his nominee –Chairperson; (b) the Secretary in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs – Member; (c)
the Secretary in the Ministry of Law and Justice – Member; (d) two experts of repute who have
special knowledge of, and professional experience in international trade, economics, business,
commerce, law, finance, accountancy, management, industry, public affairs or competition
matters including – competition law and policy. – Members.
The nominating or search committee in some countries devise its own procedure for purpose of
the selection of the Chairperson or a Member of the Commission. The committee shall
recommend a person, or a panel of not more than three persons in order of priority, as the
committee may think fit, in respect of each vacancy
Qualifications of Commissioners (Bangladeshi Competition Act, 2012) under section 7(3) The
person having practical experience of not less than 15 years in economics, matters relating to
market, or public administration or similar subjects or legal profession or legal affairs activities in
different public- private institutions or in any other subject, in the opinion of the Government,
appropriate for the Commission, (fifteen) years, shall be deemed to be eligible for appointment
as the Chairperson or the Member of the Commission.
Bangladesh government in a recent notice no 26.00.0000. dated 13th August
2018 inviting application for two position of member of CC given by Secretary, Ministry of
Commerce. The qualification has been mentioned as for one position is “15 years’ experience
of export of goods and services, knowledge of international trade and law and rule of WTO and
experience of working at working as Commercial Councilor or economic/commercial Minister in
Bangladesh mission abroad”.
The qualification specified has been set to make eligible the ex-bureaucrats only since applicant
should have experience of government job although the law mentioned that the experience in
private sector is also illegible to be Chairman and member of CC. However, the applicant for
another position of member set for experience of District judge or legal practitioner for 15 years.
The culture has post-retirement extra benefits for bureaucrats having right connections in the
state’s power and political corridors have negative impact on performance of those
commissions. Moreover, the appointment by the government, control of appointment secretariat,
salary and budget etc are under control of government.
The existing mechanism is flawed. There is a whispering that all the governments of use to
appoint only the bureaucrats who served as ‘loyal’ during regular service and also with a plan to
keep the ‘independent’ bodies under control. The commission cannot even work independently
even if it has every desire to serve sincerely under ‘loyal’ retired bureaucrats.

M S Siddiqui, is a Legal Economist.

Edited by Saleem Samad