industries to develop and grow further. Alongside, mixed economy was also developed as a concept of economic planning. No doubt, there was perceptible growth in industrialisation. However, this also brought
Lesson 12Competition Act, 2002 241 on its trails, concentration of wealth and economic power. This led to widening of the difference between the haves and have nots in the society. The Government of India therefore set up the Monopolies Inquiry Commission in 1964 with a view to finding out the causes, the nature and the extent of concentration of economic power in the country and to suggest remedial measures therefor. The Monopolies Inquiry Commission submitted a detailed report in October 1965 which was well documented and revelatory of many facets of concentration of economic power. Many of the trade practices which were designed to stifle competition in the market and to promote monopolistic tendency were also noticed by the Commission in the course of its inquiry. The Commission observed that there was no need to strike at the concentration of economic power as such but to do so only when it became a menace to the best production in quality and quantity or to fair distribution. Monopolistic conditions in any industrial sphere should be discouraged without injury to the interests of the general public and monopolistic and restrictive trade practices should be curbed except when they were conducive to the common good. The Commission pointed out that on the one hand over the years certain business houses had built vast industrial empires and on the other hand they were trying to accentuate and enlarge the empires by adopting certain trade practices which were intended to distort competition in the market and promote a set of near monopoly conditions. The Commission felt that such tendencies seemed to destroy the basic concept of socio-economic justice enshrined in the Constitution. The Commission also framed a draft Bill as a part of its recommendations. The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Bill was introduced in Parliament in 1967 which after being referred to the Joint Select Committee became an Act and finally came into force w.e.f. 1st June, 1970. The enactment was based on the socio-economic philosophy enshrined in the Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution which provides that the State shall direct its policy towards securing that the ownership and control of material resources of the community are distributed as best to subserve the common good and that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment. The principal objectives of the Act, as spelt out in the preamble were: (i) prevention of concentration of economic power to the common detriment; (ii) control of monopolies; (iii) prohibition of monopolistic trade practice; (iv) prohibition of restrictive trade practices.
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