The government has initiated the process to recruit the remaining two members of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), with an aim to make the anti-trust body fully functional by June 2009.
In an advertisement released on Monday, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has also invited applications for the posts of three members (including the chairman) of the Commission Appellate Tribunal, the first stage of appeal against any ruling by the commission.
According to a senior MCA official, the entire process is being undertaken on a fast-track basis, but even then it would take at least three months for the CCI to become fully operational.
Recently, the government had appointed five members (including the chairman) of the competition regulator. While three of them, including Chairman Dhanendra Kumar, have already taken charge, two others are expected to join by this month-end.
The total strength of the CCI is six members and one chairman, but the quorum requires only three members, including the chairman. However, the CCI cannot become operational unless there is an appellate tribunal in place.
On being asked why all the members were not shortlisted in one go, the MCA official said the selection committee could not have found suitable candidates among those who had applied earlier.
The committee, which is headed by Justice Altamas Kabir, is responsible for shortlisting the CCI and the tribunal members, while the Chief Justice of India will select the tribunal chairman.
The committee gives its recommendations to the appointments committee of the Cabinet, which finalises the names.
The CCI is an independent body responsible for investigating mergers, market shares and regulation of firms. It will ultimately replace the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission.