New Delhi, Dec 21 (UNI) In a significant 120 page order, the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Commission has indicted the entire cement industry in the private sector and its association - Cement Manufacturers' Association of India (CMA) - for indulging in cartel arrangements during the period February 1990 to April 1990.
The order was delivered by Mr M M K Sardana, Member on behalf of the Full Bench of the Commission consisting of Mr Justice O P Dwivedi, Chairman and Mr D C Gupta, Member.
The public sector cement companies escaped the indictment as the provisions of the MRTP Act were not applicable to the Government companies at the relevant point of time in 1990.
Commission came to a conclusion that the cement industry in the private sector and its industry association except the three companies, who were not in operation during the relevant period, have been indulging in restrictive trade practices and had been acting in concert in fixing the retail prices of their produce drawing the mischief of Section 33 (1)(d) of the MRTP Act.
The inquiry was instituted on an application made by the DG (I&R) of the MRTP Commission who had, inter alia, alleged that the respondents were indulging in cartelization by fixing the retail prices of cement in concert.
Accordingly, the Commission ordered the respondents not to indulge in any agreement, directly or indirectly, through the instrumentality of CMA or otherwise in fixing the prices of their produce in concert or in follow up a concert. The respondents were given eight weeks' time to file the affidavit of compliance from the date of pronouncement of the order yesterday.