The government yesterday received a report from a high-powered committee reviewing Hong Kong's competition policy, which is set to trigger public discussion as to whether the city needs a broad competition law. Officials would not comment on the contents of the report from the Competition Policy Review Committee headed by businessman Christopher Cheng Wai-chee, but sources familiar with its discussions confirmed that a competition law covering all industrial sectors was on the drawing board. Such a law would mark a big change from the sector-by-sector approach the government has adopted until now - one that has often attracted criticism from international organisations. The report recommends the setting up of a regulatory authority to investigate suspected anti-competitive conduct and to apply sanctions if necessary, the sources said. Receiving the report, Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said the Competition Policy Advisory Group would discuss it before submitting it to the Executive Council and Legislative Council, and to the public for consultation. The Civic Party and the Democratic Party have previously pledged support for an across-the-board competition legislation, and Democrat Fred Li Wah-ming welcomed the recommendations. A fair-competition law for all sectors should be enacted as soon as possible, he said. 'Only an across-the-board approach will work.' But Raymond So Wai-man, associate dean of business administration at Chinese University, doubted the need to legislate against anti-competitive practices since most businesses operated in a competitive environment. The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce said it would not comment until the government released the report's details.