New Delhi: Now high-voltage mergers and acquisitions of companies will be required to get a stamp from competition watchdog CCI. The government on Friday endowed Competition Commission of India (CCI) with the power to scrutinise amalgamation proposals of companies beyond a certain threshold limit.

Notifying the much-awaited provisions, the government specified that Sections 5 and 6 would grant the CCI the above powers.

"Sections 5 and 6 have been notified. Now, companies with a threshold of Rs 1,500 crore and above will have to approach the CCI for its approval before merging with another. The provisions will be applicable from June 1, 2011," Corporate Affairs Secretary D K Mittal told a news agency.

Among other things, CCI would take a prima facie view on proposed combinations within a month of filing by companies. This would address the major concern of industry about the time limit taken by the body to vet mergers.

"We plan to implement it in a manner that growth of industry is not retarded in any way. What is important is that companies will now have legal certainty and we hope to clear 90-95 per cent proposals in a month's time," CCI Chairman Dhanendra Kumar said.

Also, the maximum time limit CCI would take to vet mergers has been reduced to 180 days, from the earlier 210 days, after facing opposition from industry.

Besides, only those proposals would need CCI's approval which have combined assets of Rs 1,000 crore or more or combined turnover of Rs 3,000 crore or more.

Only companies beyond the threshold limit of Rs 1,500 crore will need to approach the CCI.

Also, the target company's net assets have to be a minimum of Rs 200 crore or turnover of Rs 600 crore for a CCI intervention.

The Commission became fully functional in 2009, with the appointment of a chairman and six members. At present, it has the power to check anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position, drawn from Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.

(Agencies)