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Make compliance audit mandatory
June, 24th 2008

The Competition Commission on Monday said it had asked market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India to amend regulations relating to corporate governance to make compliance auditing mandatory for listed companies.

The CCI has written to SEBI in this regard, Commission Director General Amitabh Kumar told reporters here.

The ambit of Clause 49 of the listing agreement, which deals with corporate governance and disclosure norms, could be expanded to include an audit report on the status of compliance with the Competition Act.

Inclusion of compliance audit would help ensure safety of shareholders wealth, he added.

All companies, CCI acting Chairman Vinod Dhall said, should have formal compliance programme to ensure that they did not violate the provisions of the Competition Act.

The responsibility of compliance should rest with a senior officer of the company, Mr. Dhall said while releasing a booklet on Competition Compliance Programme for Enterprises.

The annual reports of companies should also mention the status of compliance with the provisions of the Competition Act, Mr. Dhall said.

The competition panel chief asked industry associations to develop a code of conduct for themselves to ensure that they did not become a platform for anti-competitive activities.

The associations, he asserted, should exclude discussions on subjects like price, bids, tenders, discounts and the like from their meetings. When asked whether the Commission could look into the restrictions on oil supplies allegedly being imposed by public sector oil companies, Mr. Dhall said, provisions dealing with enforcement had not yet been notified.

The Commission would anyway have to give parties a chance to project their points of view before taking any action, he added.

As regards the operationalisation of the Commission, Mr. Dhall said, the Prime Minister included it as one of the thrust areas and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs was moving ahead in this regard.

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