Counterfeit & smuggling invisible threat to economy, caused over Rs 39,000 crore loss
The Times of India , Jun 13, 2018
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) representatives have pointed out that stringent enforcement coupled with increased customer awareness is the only way to curb counterfeiting and smuggling of goods, which cause over Rs 39,239 crore annual revenue loss to the exchequer.
Speaking at a seminar organised by FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) on Tuesday, PC Jha, FICCI CASCADE advisor and former chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), said the volume of counterfeiting activity globally increased 100 times in the last 20 years and the size of the trade in counterfeit goods was 10% of the legal international trade. “The problem of illicit trade is severe than it is commonly perceived,” Jha added.
As per the FICCI CASCADE report released in 2015, the government losses revenue due to counterfeiting and smuggling in seven manufacturing sectors was Rs 39,239 crore. While the maximum revenue loss of Rs 9,139 crore was in tobacco products, it was Rs 6,705 crore in mobiles phones and Rs 6,309 crore in alcoholic beverages.
Principal commissioner of customs, Hyderabad, Anil Kumar Jain cited an example from Delhi, where his friend enlightened him about adulterated ghee being sold under different popular brand names at Sadar Bazar. Jain also expressed his concern about far-reaching ramifications of counterfeit medicines on public health. “One way to stop counterfeiting is to purchase products from a reputed place. Always collect a bill. We need multi-disciplinary approach in terms of enforcement to curb counterfeiting and smuggling activity,” the commissioner said. Together the enforcement agencies in two Telugu states had seized about Rs 7.5 crore worth smuggled cigarettes in the recent past.
Finance minister Eatala Rajender assured the business community that the state government would do everything in its capacity to stop counterfeiting and smuggling activities. “We will act sternly against spurious products, counterfeiting and smuggling activity. I appeal to the businessmen to alert us about such illegal practices so that together we can tackle the menace,” he said.
FICCI - CASCADE Seminar on Combating Counterfeiting and Smuggling: An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development