ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has shortlisted nine candidates for the membership of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) and will present the summary of appointment in the next meeting of the federal cabinet.
According to sources, the shortlisted candidates include CCP former chairperson Rahat Kaunain, CCP former member Moin Batley and Shumalia Lone.
According to sources Rahat Kaunain, who currently works as a practicing lawyer and a partner in Hassan Kaunain Nafees law firm, has previously served twice as a member of CCP, including one term from 2010 to 2013, as the chairperson of CCP. Sources also revealed that Rahat Kaunain is a favourite candidate to head the regulatory body once again.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Hafeez Shaikh was the federal minister for finance during Rahat Kaunain’s tenure as CCP chairperson.
According to sources, during her tenure as the chairperson Rahat Kaunain was accused of favoring her husband’s law firm as well as facilitating telecom companies in preparation of replies while the regulator had initiated probes against them.
According to reports the MoF received more than 100 applications including applications from recently retired Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) officers for positions at CCP. Subsequently a panel consisting of Adviser to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, advisor to prime minister on commerce and secretary finance conducted the interviews of candidates.
According to sources Dr Ishrat Hussain raised questions on the selection criteria mentioned in the advertisement, pointing out that candidates should have regulatory experience, hence rejecting several applicants.
Currently, CCP is working with two members, the acting chairperson Shaista Bano and Bushra Naz Malik, however, five members are needed to fill the quorum in CCP.
According to sources the government will appoint the head of CCP once members have been appointed.
Recently, the CCP has remained in the spotlight after the sugar commission declared in its findings that CCP remained silent over alleged cartelisation in the sugar industry, resulting in the dismissal of the former chairperson of the regulatory body.