New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The government is unlikely to go ahead with its earlier plan of having a separate policy to encourage more competition in the economy, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley hinted on Friday.

"This (competition policy) may or may not be needed. Where is the need when existing regulatory set up is already taking efforts to encourage competition," Jaitley said in response to a question on a drafted competition policy.

Meanwhile delivering the Competition Commission's annual lecture earlier, he said there was a need to ensure greater competition in sectors such as public transport, railways, power distribution companies and insurance that are currently dominated by the public sector.

Describing "competition is at the heart of a market economy", Jaitley said there were still several sectors where public sector firms were provided either a purchase preference or a price preference.

The minister, however, also said price controls can be justified in a sector like pharmaceuticals where it was important to balance the need for innovation with public health considerations.

"India cannot have a situation where essential and life-saving medicines are unaffordable," he said.