The Chairman Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) Khalid A Mirza has said that he was under tremendous pressure in connection to inquiry against cartel-like behaviour of cement industry but he made it clear that no political or government pressure could keep him from following the law.
Mirza expressed his views while talking to The Financial Daily exclusively.
CCP chairman told, "We are not against anyone and not up to gunning down anyone; we are just doing our job, which is to implement the CCP Ordinance".
He said that the Ordinance was actually designed to promote the economy in accordance with the norms of competitive behaviour and healthy rivalry.
Responding to a question the Chairman said, "If the CCP has obstructed the investor's confidence here in Pakistan then USA must be drowning with lack of investors' confidence in result of competition commission inquires there"
When asked about embarrassment to the staff of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturing Association (APCMA) in Lahore recently by the Commission he said, " Only three junior officers of the CCP including a girl member went to Association's office to inspect the record under the authority of law, who were not only obstructed but Association staff also corrupted the main computer and also taken the main file away even then the CCP succeeded to have some 'interesting information' on which the investigation is going on".
"I am under tremendous pressure and these people misguide the media and others when they talk about harassment, he said instead CCP staff was harassed and we have evidence on that", Mirza expressed.
Besides, the Chairman told if there was no evidence against the APCMA, the case would have been dropped but he remained strict to proceed against the Association as well as two other cement companies which obstructed the commission staffers while performing their duty in order to inspect the cement companies' record.
"I want to make it very clear that I have made zero decision in this matter and no decision has been made whether to proceed against cement company or whether to proceed against APCMA staff at the moment", Khalid Mirza informed.
Responding to another question about time frame of inquiry against the cement cartel, Mirza said, "I don't like giving time because these time limits are hopeless, instead we are going to do a thorough job and our emphasis would be on doing a good job".
The chairman maintained that the biggest challenge that he has faced so far is the implementation of law as whenever he tried to implement a low, he was up against the bunch of very powerful people.
"I am facing political and government pressures but nothing could haunt me", he determined.
CCP Chairman connected the financial independence with effective functioning and to discourage political interventions in its operations, and said, "This is supposed to be operationally and financially an independent agency otherwise it is better to close this agency down".