CCI slaps Rs 18.38 crore penalty on BCDA, officials

Tags: CCI, News
Fair trade regulator CCI has imposed a penalty of Rs 18.38 crore on Bengal Chemists and Druggist Association (BCDA) and its officials for indulging in anti-competitive ways with respect to supply of medicines.

Besides, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has directed the BCDA, its office bearers and executive committee members "to seize and desist" from unfair trade practices, an official release said today.

The BCDA and its district and zonal committees were found to be engaged in anti-competition by, directly or indirectly, determining the sale prices of drugs and controlling or limiting the supply of medicines through concerted and restrictive practices, the release added.

The association had allegedly directed its members to sell drugs

only at their MRP (Maximum Retail Price).

Such activities, the fair trade watchdog has concluded, was in violation of the competition law as they caused restraint of trade, stifle competition and harm the consumers.

"After giving due consideration on the issue, the CCI decided to impose a penalty on the BCDA and its those office bearers who were directly responsible for running its affairs and play lead role in decision making at 10 per cent and on the executive committee members at 7 per cent, of their respective turnover/income/receipts," the statement said.

The fair trade watchdog has directed BCDA and its officials to pay the penalty within 60 days from receiving the copy of the order dated March 11.

In a reference filed by West Bengal's Directorate of Drugs Director Chintamoni Ghosh, it was alleged that BCDA issued anti-competitive circulars directing the retailers not to give any discount to the consumers, the statement said.

After considering the entire material, the CCI had asked its investigation arm, the Director General (DG), to probe the matter in detail and submit a report.

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