CCP Chairperson Charged with "Conflict of Interest" in Foodpanda Inquiry.

ByFaisal Chughtai | Published date:

(Image credit: CCP)

According to Business Recorder, Rahat Kunain, the Chairperson of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), faces the conflict of interest charges because she was not permitted to participate in proceedings against Foodpanda.

According to the news source, the Commission's members convened an internal meeting last week to examine the legitimacy of a formal complaint against her by the All Pakistan Restaurant Association (APRA).

On July 1, 2021, APRA wrote to the Chairperson, stating that it had just filed a formal complaint with the CCP against R-SC Interest Services Private Limited (Foodpanda Pakistan) for anti-competitive business activities in breach of Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2010.

According to the letter, Foodpanda has an active attorney-client relationship with Kaunain Nafees (HKN). Given that the chairwoman was a partner at HKN until she was named CCP chairperson in July 2020 and her husband is still a senior partner at HKN, the association considers it a conflict of interest.

Despite the fact that HKN is counsel for Foodpanda, the chairwoman is actively involved in supervising proceedings, according to the organization. She has also failed to disclose her conflict of interest, either during or after the meetings. According to the letter, she has taken no move to recuse herself and separate herself from the proceedings.

Section 25 of the Competition Act of 2010 deals comprehensively with disclosure of interests by Members of the Commission, including the Chairperson. Thus, it was the responsibility of other Commission members to ensure that the Commission's affairs were run transparently to save the Commission's reputation as an institution.

As a result, CCP members had an internal meeting last week to examine the situation and the Chairperson's behaviour.

It also issued a press statement announcing that it has launched an inquiry against Foodpanda in response to APRA's allegation.

In response to queries about the Chairperson's concerns, the Commission told the media that "all charges are untrue and unfounded, and have been refuted by the Chairperson in her statement in respect to the conflict of interest problem," according to the newspaper article.