Competition and Policy?

The Cabinet has approved the competition bill despite crucial differences among the members of the Committee on Competition Policy. The importance of these disagreements could be judged by the rather unusual inclusion of two Supplementary Notes, a Note of Dissent, and a Comment on Dissent in the Committee’s report. This is no typical committee report!

The competition law claims to protect consumers against monopolistic, collusive, predatory, restrictive, and unfair business practices.


Earthquake’s Lesson: Building Byelaws or Strict Liability?

The earthquake in Gujarat has drawn attention to the quality of building construction. Most of the damage—to property and people—has been due to collapse of multi-story buildings. Construction of these buildings was such that they could not withstand the shocks of the earthquake. Government engineers tell us that the buildings were not built according to the building byelaws. And now there is a clamour from government, tenants, and consumer activists for new byelaws and strict enforcement.


Tax Freedom Day

Nothing in life is more certain than death and taxes. Death however comes once, taxes every year. How many days of the year an average citizen works to pay for government expenditures? When does he become free from being a slave to the government? Tax Freedom Day (TFD) is the day you stop working for the government and start working for yourself. It refers to the number of days one has to work to pay off the taxes. During the years 1980 to 2000, it has varied between 65 days (1980) to 80 days (1987).


A Victimless crime?

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is again set to tighten the law against insider trading. The law was first passed in 1992 and amended very recently in February 2002. As the amendment is more than ten times longer than the original law, one would have thought that SEBI must have plugged all the loop holes. But one would be wrong; a lot more work is apparently required to banish insider trading from the Indian securities market.