CCI slaps Rs 3.86 lakh fine on dumper owners

New Delhi: Fair trade regulator CCI has imposed a penalty of Rs 3.86 lakh on Dumper Owners’ Association and its office bearers for indulging in unfair business practices with respect to rates for providing dumper services within the Paradip Port, Odisha.

CCI has also asked the grouping to “cease and desist” from indulging in anti-competitive conduct.

Dumper Owner’s Association is a facilitator between the licensed stevedores and owners of dumpers and hywas for handling of cargo and their intra-port transportation inside the Paradip Port.

In an order dated January 21, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that the association “has indulged in the practice of determining the rates of the provision of dumper services for intra-port transport operations within Paradip Port restricted area which amounts to determination of sale price of the services of dumpers which is in violation of …the (Competition) Act”.

It also noted that the association’s office bearers “are equally responsible along with the opposite party no 1 in the anti-competitive practices of controlling and limiting the provisions of dumper services for intra-port transportation of cargos inside the Paradip Port prohibited area…”.

Accordingly, CCI has slapped a fine of Rs 2.60 lakh on the association and Rs 1.26 lakh on its five office bearers.

This cumulatively amounts to Rs 3.86 lakh.

CCI ruling is based on a detailed probe by its investigation arm — the Director General (DG).

The case relates to complaint by Swastik Stevedores Private Ltd that the association had monopoly position in the port due to which stevedores are fully dependent on it for supply of dumpers and hywas.

It was alleged that taking advantage of its monopoly position, the association in connivance with Paradip Port Trust had been refusing to provide dumpers and hywas.