The Central Government has taken a proactive step towards expediting decision-making processes within the Competition Commission of India (CCI). On Tuesday, three new members were officially appointed to the CCI, ensuring a streamlined and timely approach to addressing antitrust matters.
The trio of newly appointed members comprises Anil Agrawal, a distinguished former Director General of Police and former Additional Secretary at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade; Deepak Anurag, a former Additional Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of India; and Sweta Kakkad, an accomplished independent lawyer who previously served as the Interim Chief Compliance Officer at Whatsapp.
This latest development brings the total count of CCI members to four, inclusive of Chairperson Ravneet Kaur. Sources indicate that Anil Agrawal and Sweta Kakkad will soon take their oaths of appointment, with Deepak Anurag expected to assume his role by the following week.
With two members immediately stepping into their roles, the CCI maintains a vital three-member quorum, essential for making decisions regarding mergers, combinations, and the handling of investigation reports. Vinod Dhall, former Chairman of the CCI, expressed approval, highlighting the significance of these appointments in preventing a recurrence of the quorum-related challenges.
Recent retirements of two former CCI members, Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi and Sangeeta Verma, in late August and September 17, respectively, had raised concerns about the regulator's operational capacity, potentially leaving only the Chairperson to carry out its functions.
Earlier this year, in January, the Central Government had invited applications for three CCI member positions, with the deadline extended until May 1. However, no official announcements had been made regarding these appointments, leading to concerns that the CCI might face a situation similar to the seven-month gap in leadership it experienced after the departure of its former chairman, Ashok Kumar Gupta, in October 2022.