Faced with manpower shortage and the need for increasing revenues to be self-sufficient, fair trade regulator CCI has asked IIM-Ahmedabad to carry out a study on these issues and suggest viable solutions.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is a relatively new among the various regulators in the country, but its role is getting prominent amid rising instances of anti-competitive practices coming to fore.
CCI Chairman Ashok Chawla said the study by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, is expected to suggest a roadmap for financial self-sufficiency that would make the regulator "truly independent".
"We have asked the IIM, Ahmedabad to do a study to look at mainly three things.
"One is to put in focus the mission and the vision of the CCI for the years (to come), second is on HR capacity and what needs to be done and third is to suggest ways and means to generate more revenues," Chawla said.
CCI currently has just about 110 people, which is even lower than its sanctioned headcount of close to 200 persons.
"We are building on the human resources, both in terms of numbers and quality. We are still quite short compared to the approved manpower strength, which is close to 200 people. We only have about 110 people," Chawla said.
CCI chief said that the shortages are partly addressed by taking experts on contract basis from the market. Such hiring are done for a period of one to three years and is only a short-term solution.
The regulator has been grappling with significant shortage of people in the last few years. As many as 96 posts remained vacant in 2011-12 financial year (ending March 2012), slightly lower than the count of vacancies seen in the previous fiscal, according to CCI's latest annual report.
These include shortage of staff at the Director General (DG) office, investigative arm of the fair trade regulator.
In 2010-11, there were about 100 vacancies and one year down the line, the number came down to only 96.
Speaking at a public function recently, Chawla had said that autonomy and accountability are equally important for regulators, as it can't be anybody's case that regulators are a "mini-state" and they can get away with anything, because they are not accountable to anybody.
Some of the major orders passed by CCI in the recent past include those against cement companies on charges of cartelisation, as also those about players in the real estate and entertainment sectors. Besides, most of the major merger and acquisition deals also need to be cleared by CCI.