The government is considering letting the courts adjudicate and enforce the proposed competition law, sources familiar with the situation said. Also, certain statutory bodies may be subject to the law following concerns raised by the public during consultations last year. 'There are some cases like the Housing Authority and Trade Development Council, which have been the subject of complaints of unfair competition from the private sector,' a government source said. 'We are currently looking into the activities of each statutory body and whether they should be subject to regulation under the competition law. We are also discussing with these bodies to hear what they say.' The source said the government had not yet decided the criteria under which a statutory body would be subject to the law. There are more than 400 statutory bodies in the city. One option is to just regulate certain activities of a statutory body that are considered to compete with the private sector, the source said. The competition law will be discussed at a Legco economic development panel meeting next Monday. The change was one of the two major reasons the legislation has been delayed, according to the source. The government had originally planned to table a bill in the current legislative year. It decided to postpone it until early next year, triggering criticism that it had bowed to pressure from the business sector. The business community has called on the government to review their plans on issues including the competition law and minimum wage in view of the global economic crisis. 'It has nothing to do with the financial tsunami ... The policy bureau has been working hard on the bill. Many countries have taken several years to complete a competition law. We are making good progress and we want to do it right,' the source said. Public concerns raised about the original framework, with a competition commission to investigate and impose sanctions, and a competition tribunal to hear applications for review, were another reason for delaying the plan, another source said. 'When we consulted the public last year on the details of the proposed Competition Bill, some said the proposal to give the competition commission powers to adjudicate on infringements and impose remedies in addition to its investigative role amounted to a concentration of too much power in one place. 'In addition, some recent judicial decisions have also had an impact on the bill. We are considering changing the original civil administration model for the enforcement of the bill to a judicial model.' Meanwhile, speaking at a special meeting of Legco's finance committee yesterday, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan said that the city had to decide whether 'to leave the matter in the hands of the courts or have a committee or a council to deal with it'.