Millennium Post

COMPAT tells cement cartel to pay 10% fine in a month

The Competition Appellate Tribunal on Friday directed cement companies to pay 10 per cent of a Rs 6,307-crore penalty imposed on them by fair trade regulator CCI for forming cartel in the sector.

Passing an interim order, a COMPAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice V S Sirpurkar asked 11 cement producers along with their lobby group Cement Manufacturer's Association (CMA) to pay around Rs 630 crore within a month.

The tribunal also clarified that if the cement firms fail to deposit the amount within a 30 days time-frame, their petition would be dismissed.

The matter would now come up for final hearing in August. COMPAT had reserved its order over a batch of petitions filed by various cement producers and CMA on 18 March this year after hearing them on interim plea.

In the petitions, the cement producers had challenged Rs 6,307 crore penalty imposed on them by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Rs 73 lakh fine imposed on the CMA. The cement companies charged with cartelisation include Lafarge India, India Cement, JP Associates, Binani Cement, Ambuja Cement, Madras Cement and J K Cement.

'The act and conduct of the cement companies establish that they are a cartel. The commission holds that the cement companies acting together have limited, controlled and also attempted to control the production and price in the market in India,' CCI had said in its 258-page order.
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