Pakistan companies yet to pay CCP fines

Pakistan companies yet to pay CCP fines
Published: 15 October 2009

None of the 22 cement producers, who have been fined a total of Rs6.35 billion (or equivalent to 7.5 per cent of each company’s net revenues in the financial year 2008) by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) for fixing prices, has so far paid the fine or challenged the commission’s decision, sources in the CCP told Dawn on Tuesday.

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) and its members were allowed 60 days to file an appeal before the Supreme Court under the provisions of Section 42 of the Ordinance, the CCP officials said.

‘But neither the APCMA nor any of its member has so far filed an appeal even after the passage of 46 days,’ an official said, adding the commission would move to recover the fine from the manufacturers only after the expiry of time given for appealing.

The commission had passed the order against the cement makers on August 27.

‘Instead of challenging the commission’s findings and imposition of fine on them, the manufacturers are filing appeals against the previous court orders that had allowed the CCP to conduct its inquiry against the cement producers and dismissed their plea against the promulgation of the ordinance governing the functioning of the commission,’ the official said.

According to the officials, the CCP had issued show-cause notices to the APCMA and its members on October 28 last year. The APCMA and its members were required to file their reply to the notice within 14 days and were required to appear before the CCP on Nov 13 last year.

The APCMA and its members filed the writ petitions in the now defunct Islamabad High Court against the notice on Nov 10. The court restrained the commission to pass any adverse order in the matter but permitted to conduct hearing in the matter. Later, the petition was dismissed by the court on July 30 this year. The commission had issued a hearing notice to the APCMA for August 11. But, again, the APCMA and its members instead of appearing before the commission challenged the said notice by filling another writ petition in the Lahore High Court and obtained a stay order.

One of the member companies of the APCMA has also filed a petition in the Sindh High Court in addition to its writ petition filed at Lahore High Court.