Gold, narcotics, and cigarettes are highly prone to outright smuggling: Vivek Johri, Chairman, CBIC
May 12, 2022
Department is using cutting-edge technology to counter
NEW DELHI, 12 May 2022: Mr Vivek Johri, Chairman,
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Govt of India today said, "Gold, narcotics, and cigarettes are highly prone to outright smuggling.
Addressing the 'In
Conversation Series' organized by FICCI's Committee Against Smuggling
and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) Mr Johri
highlighted the extent of the
menace and said that, "At CBIC, we are going aggressively against illicit trade
in these goods. In 2021-22, we seized 92,000 kg of narcotics worth Rs 17,400
crore, during this period, we also seized 14 crore cigarette sticks". He
further added that artificial intelligence and data analytics are playing a
pivotal role in targeting instances of smuggling which have significantly
helped the department to deal with the growing menace of illicit trade.
Mr. Johri also shared those
unscrupulous players indulging in illicit activities misuse free trade
agreements, export promotion schemes, and misuse end user-based exemptions. "CBIC is trying to overcome these challenges in a systemic way, and have ramped
up the use of technology in their operations with 22 cargo scanners at 16
locations to ensure 100% scanning of all containers coming into the country
through gateway ports," said Mr Johri.
Mr Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI
said, "Smuggling and illicit trade is increasingly hurting Indian economy and
have crept into multiple sections of the society. Immediate steps are required,
both in the form of policy intervention and awareness generation, to address
this growing menace."
"It is indeed heartening to see
how CBIC is using AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning to strengthen the
enforcement agencies in detecting such malpractices. Complimenting the GST
council and CBIC for a well-balanced tax policy and maintaining equal thrust on
revenue augmentation and strict handling of tax evaders." He highlighted how
this has led to effective compliance and record-breaking revenue collections.
We can already see some green shoots and are hopeful that going forward
collaborative efforts between government agencies and industries would bring
fruitful results for the country, he added.
Mr P C Jha, Former Chairman, CBIC and
Advisor, FICCI CASCADE while moderating the session stated, "The magnitude of
illicit market is large and with passage of time it is proliferating at an
accelerated pace. One in 3 FMCG household and personal goods available in the
market, is not genuine. Similarly, one out of 4 FMCG packaged food items and
one out of 5 tobacco products including cigarette sold is an illicit product.
FICCI CASCADE study indicates that in FY 2013-14 due to illicit trade in
respect of just 7 items, total loss to government revenue was about Rs. 39000
crores and sales loss to the genuine industry was about Rs 1,05,000 crores."
FICCI CASCADE has been
over the years working closely with government, industry, enforcement
officials, legal fraternity, consumer organizations and the youth to create
awareness on the adverse impact of the problem of counterfeiting and
smuggling. FICCI CASCADE, in pursuance of its agenda, has been
organizing series of such interactions with experts to understand various
facets of illicit trade and its impact on the economy.
FICCI MEDIA DIVISION