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Last updated: 23 Jan, 2020  

FICCI Logo New THMB Economy loses Rs 1.17 lakh cr due to smuggling in five sectors

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SME Times News Bureau | 23 Jan, 2020

Justice S. Tamilvanan, President, Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, has said that as per the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 consumer rights should be protected.

Smuggling and counterfeiting is affecting not only the revenue of the government but is also adversely impacting commerce and industry and the health and safety of the people.

Speaking at a seminar Tamilvanan said, "This national problem can be reduced through proper laws and stringent actions, which in turn will lead to a prosperous nation building. Effective enforcement, special courts and tribunals, proper development and awareness are the pillars to curb this menace."

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.

Dr Prateep V. Philip, IPS, DGP Civil Supplies (CID), Government of Tamil Nadu said that India has a growing and burgeoning market in counterfeit and smuggled goods ranging from electronics to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, apparels, cigarettes, footwear etc.

"Increasing internet penetration of over 302 million internet users makes India the second largest online user base. Owning to the shift in customers from offline purchases to online purchases, a multi-pronged and multi layered approach across all supply chain is required to establish a universal and uniform electronic pedigree. Illicit trade is operated by criminal gangs and terrorist groups which emphasizes the importance of customs and border protection agencies in preventing and reducing this heinous crime," he said.

V Kavitha Dutt, Chairperson, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council & JMD, The KCP Ltd. in her welcome address highlighted that counterfeiting and smuggling adversely impacts industries, consumers, government and economy.

"Illicit trade has a serious decelerating effect on growth which must be curbed substantially. Consumers must be emphasized on taking a bill on every purchase for making India a tax complaint nation and encouraging citizens to be a part of progressive nation building," he added.

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."

As per FICCI CASCADE report, the total loss to the industry on account of illicit markets in just seven manufacturing sectors is about Rs. 105,381 crores and the total loss to the government 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.

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