KARACHI: Expressing concern over the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) inquiry into the alleged increase of cement prices during April 2020, the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Saturday questioned the intent and purpose of the investigation.
During April 2020 — which is the fourth quarter of FY20 — Covid-19 was at its peak and the entire country was observing complete lockdown, the association said in a press release. “Business activity during this period was almost negligible and all industries including cement were incurring huge losses. Investigating such a period raises serious doubts about the intent and purpose of the inquiry being conducted by the CCP,” it added.
On November 19, the CCP conducted a search of the offices of some members of APCMA at Karachi. A similar search was previously conducted on September 24 at the office of APCMA and a member’s office at Lahore. The said searches are being conducted by the CCP despite the APCMA members having always cooperated with the commission in providing all information and documents as requested by them, the association said.
“Till this date the APCMA members are unaware of the outcome of any investigation or review of all the documents and information gathered by the CCP during the last one year. Despite fully co-operating with the commission, the harassment of APCMA members and their employees continues,” the statement said.
The association termed the searches of APCMA members’ office at Lahore and Karachi as a blatant violation of the law and in excess of the mandate given to the CCP and its officers as per law.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020