ISLAMABAD: The competition commission of Pakistan proceeded the hearing against the 17 members of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) for the allegation of abuse of the market by fixing output.

The member units of APCMA presented their arguments before the two-member bench of the Commission, comprising of Chairman, Khalid Aziz Mirza and member Rahat Kaunain Hassan. The companies submitted their written arguments as well and strongly objected and negated the impression of formation of cartel in the cement sector.

The CCP held a hearing on in the matter of show cause notice issued to APCMA and all its members i.e. all the cement manufacturers. The show cause notice was issued under Section 30 of the Competition Ordinance, 2007 to APCMA and all its members for entering into an agreement to fix the production capacity of cement and attain certain price level.

This is prohibited in terms of Section 4 of the Ordinance. Earlier the hearing was fixed on 11th, 13th and 17th November in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad respectively, however, Islamabad High Court granted a stay in the matter and hearing was adjourned till December 5, 2008.

Today all the 22 APCMA members were present in the hearing and presented their arguments before the two-member bench of the Commission.

According to a CCP official 5 cement units would be filing their written replies and defend their position against the show cause notices during a hearing, the date of which would be fixed soon after Eid holidays.

Source: Daily Times