The rescue operation to evacuate the labourers trapped in the Silkyara road tunnel since 12 November concluded on Tuesday evening.
Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Competition Amendment Bill, 2023 even as the opposition forced adjournments in the two Houses of Parliament over its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Hindenburg-Adani row.
The Competition Amendment Bill, 2023 was passed amid din the Rajya Sabha. It was last week passed by Lok Sabha without debate amid sloganeering by opposition members. The two Houses have been seeing repeated adjournments since the start of the second half of the budget session. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till 2 pm and then for the day.
The Competition Amendment Bill, 2023 seeks to amend the Competition Act, 2002, to regulate mergers and acquisitions based on the value of transactions. The government has made several significant amendments.
In view of making the assessment for combinations time-bound and quicker, the bill proposes that the overall time-limit for such assessment to be reduced from the existing 210 days to 150 days from the date of filing of combination notice by the parties.
Further, prima facie opinion be framed on combination notifications within a time period of 30 days from the receipt of such notice, failing which the combination shall be considered as deemed approved;
The bill introduces size of the transaction test in terms of ‘value of transaction’ as another criterion for notifying combinations.
All deal values involving acquisitions, mergers and amalgamations exceeding Rs. 2000 crore having target enterprise in India shall be notified to the Commission for approval before their consummation.
The bill proposes a Green Channel route for certain combinations which shall be eligible for deemed approval in a trust-based framework, upon the filing of a combination notice.
De-minimis exemption for combinations below a certain threshold (measured in terms of asset or turnover) to be provided through rules has been proposed to be included in the Act itself.
Currently, only factors namely, wholesale price index or fluctuations in the exchange rate of the rupee or foreign currencies, are considered relevant for the revision of combination thresholds.
Other factors have been provided through official amendments to factor in situations like global competitive scenarios or revision of thresholds in other jurisdictions.
Government after considering all these factors may also keep the thresholds at the same level. At present, the Government has the option only of either enhancing or reducing the thresholds by way of notification.
The bill proposes changes in certain definitions like that of ‘enterprise’, ‘relevant product market’, ‘Group’ and ‘Control’.
The scope of anti-competitive agreements would be widened to include agreements other than vertical and horizontal agreements which are anti-competitive in nature.
A party which participates or intends to participate in the furtherance of an anti-competitive horizontal agreement would be covered along with parties to such an agreement.
The bill proposes a limitation period of three years for filing information before CCI to ensure that only genuine cases that adversely affect competition in the market are considered by the Commission.
The bill provides for enhancing the scope of inter-regulatory consultations on matters raised before the authorities (CCI and other regulators), to bring more certainty for businesses.
A leniency-plus framework is proposed to incentivize the parties in an ongoing cartel investigation to disclose information regarding other existing cartels.
The existing provision for fine or imprisonment under the said Act by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) would be replaced with punishment for contempt, in accordance with the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, and word ‘fine’ to be replaced with ‘penalty’ in some other provisions of the Act which empower the Commission to impose penalties for various non-compliances.
For greater transparency and participation of stakeholders in making sub-ordinate legislation, it has been proposed that CCI may issue regulations only after public consultation.
Meanwhile, Congress continued its protests as part of its campaign against the government on the Adani issue, “to save democracy” and in support of party leader Rahul Gandhi who has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha following his conviction in a criminal defamation case by a Surat court.
All India Fishermen’s Congress held ‘Parliament March’ in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi.
Fishermen’s Congress chief Armstrong Fernando said they will hold “night marches” outside Raj Bhavans in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi on Monday moved a Surat sessions court against his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his Modi surname remarks at Kolar in Karnataka in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The court granted bail till the disposal of the appeal to Rahul Gandhi in the defamation case and said it will hear his plea for suspension of conviction on April 13.