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Seminar on Communication, Coordination and Collaboration -Strengthening the fight against counterfeiting and smuggling-

Feb 22, 2019


 

 

LUCKNOW, 22 February 2019: FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) today organized a seminar - 'Communication, Coordination and Collaboration-Strengthening the fight against counterfeiting and smuggling. The seminar discussed the importance of increased awareness on the hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling, and the need for effective enforcement to enhance India's economic development.

 

Mr Brijesh Pathak, Cabinet Minister, Legislative and Justice, Government of Uttar Pradesh, congratulated FICCI CASCADE's initiative in curbing this menace and extended his support in working collaboratively with the industry body. He further urged that the industry should come out with the set of recommendations which will be duly considered while designing future policies. Mr Pathak emphasized that if adequate and necessary support from the general public is received the government will be better equipped to fight the hazards of smuggling and counterfeiting and make new laws on the subject.

 

Mr Amar Tulsiyan, MD-Shudh Plus and Member, FICCI Uttar Pradesh State Council highlighted that counterfeiting and smuggling adversely impacts industries, consumers, government and economies as a whole. It is imperative to understand the need for safeguarding the rights of legitimate industry in developing competitiveness in various sectors of the economy. 

 

As per FICCI CASCADE report released in 2015, the total loss to the government on account of illicit markets in just seven manufacturing sectors is Rs 39,239 crores. Amongst the various sectors, the maximum revenue loss to the exchequer is attributed to tobacco products, estimating a revenue loss of Rs. 9139 crores followed by mobile phones at Rs 6705 crores and alcoholic beverages at Rs 6309 crores.

 

According to another FICCI Cascade report, smuggling in India takes place in various form- mis-declaration, undervaluation, misuse of end use and other means. The report states that the seizure value for mis-declaration of goods stood at Rs 1,187 crore in 2016, while that of undervaluation of goods stood at Rs 254 crore. The seizure value from misuse of end use was at Rs 770 crore and the seizures from other means was at Rs 2,780 crore, seeing a rise of 191 per cent from Rs 953 crore in 2015. This suggests evolution of means of smuggling in India with the need of effective government policies to deal with this issue.

 

As per recent reports, a number of seizures of highly smuggled goods such as gold, cigarettes etc. have been carried out in the past few months in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It was indicated in a recent raid by State's Commercial Tax department in a factory located in Ghaziabad. The department seized counterfeit cigarettes bearing international cigarette brands worth around Rs 11 crores.

 

According to a recent FICCI report, 'Illicit trade: Fueling Terror Financing and Organized Crime', counterfeiting is the second largest source of income for criminal activities such as terrorism, globally. The report also highlights that the total employment losses globally due to counterfeit and piracy stood at 2 to 2.6 million jobs in 2013 and is expected to rise to 4.2 to 5.4 million jobs in 2022, suggesting an approximate increase of 110 per cent.  

 

Mr. P. C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, stated "During the last twenty years, the volume of the counterfeiting activity globally has increased 100 times and the size of trade in counterfeited goods is 10% of the legal international trade (around 2% of the world�s overall economic output). The problem of illicit trade is much more serious than it is commonly perceived."

 

Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, emphasized on the need for consumers being continuously made aware of the detrimental impact of illicit products. Consumer awareness campaigns that explain how to differentiate a spurious product from a genuine product, to demanding a copy of the bill from the seller, along with the harmful consequences of buying illegal products vis a vis a genuine one, needs to be explicitly conveyed.

 

Panel discussions on Role of Government and Industry to Fight Against Smuggled & Fake Products and Ensuring Consumer Protection & Organized Crime Surge in India - Role of Enforcement Agencies in Combating Smuggling and Counterfeiting were also held which were addressed by representative of leading industries, consumer organization and senior officers from the Police and Customs.

Several steps are being taken by FICCI CASCADE and the government to create large-scale awareness among the most impacted segment of this menace: the consumer. The seminar has been organised in a series of such events to be organised across the country as part of a nation-wide awareness campaign to highlight the issue and focus on the growing menace of illegal trade. The event was attended by more than 100 industry captains, representative from consumer forums, government officials and stakeholders in this segment. The seminar was supported by UP Adarsh Vyapar Mandal.