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Centre seeks fresh applications for post of CCI chief

New Delhi: The central government has sought applications for the post of chairperson of Competition Commission of India (CCI) a second time after an earlier request for applications did not help in filling up the vacancy.

The government had invited applications for the post of the chairperson in July and had held interviews but it did not lead to an appointment.

The new request, issued on Thursday, has set 9 March as the deadline for sending in applications.

The appointment is for five years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. “The candidates who had applied earlier in response to the previous advertisement/vacancy circular dated 26th July 2022 inviting applications for the post of Chairperson need not apply,” the latest announcement said.

The fresh application process will also give an opportunity to those with indirect tax experience to throw in their hat as the regulator now also handles GST related profiteering as an added responsibility.

The government recently allowed CCI to work with its existing capacity to clear mergers and acquisitions so that corporate transactions and efforts to raise capital by companies do not suffer. At present, CCI has two members, although the Competition Act mandates a minimum of three to pass orders. The post fell vacant after Ashok Kumar Gupta demitted the chairman’s office on 25 October after completing his four-year term and later the government gave member Sangeeta Verma the charge of acting chairperson and also invited applications for three more members. CCI has to have a chairperson and not less than two and not more than six other members, as per the Competition Act.

Increasing the number of members in the anti-trust regulator is a key policy decision to step up regulatory capacity in view of the expansion and structural shifts in the economy. Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, Jayant Sinha, had said in an interview published in Mint on 2 January that the rapid digital transformation of India’s economy—one of the fastest-growing major economies—warrants stronger regulators.

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