Stringent actions by state reduced smuggling, says TN Minister at FICCI CASCADE seminar

Chennai, Nov 8 (IANS): R. Sakkarapani, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Tamil Nadu, said on Tuesday that stringent actions taken by the state have reduced the smuggling of watches, gold, alcohol and Indian currency to a considerable extent, but there's a lot that still needs to be done.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Preventive Strategies to Combat Counterfeiting and Smuggling' organised by FICCI CASCADE, the minister suggested to organise such awareness programmes in educational institutions to involve the youth in this fight against illicit trade.

He further urged FICCI CASCADE to propagate the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling on social media channels, newspaper and other promotional sources in order to make the general public aware of this alarming issue.

Speaking on the occasion, P.C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE, and former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, said, "Illicit trade is a grave concern, it undermines the nation's economy, damages brand integrity, and most importantly affects health and safety of the citizens which needs to be addressed on an urgent basis.

"During the last 20 years, the volume of the counterfeiting activity globally has increased 100 times and the size of trade is 10 per cent of the legal international trade (around 2 per cent of the world's overall economic output). The problem of illicit trade is much more serious than it is commonly perceived."

Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE, and former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, emphasised 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 one, 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 need to be explicitly conveyed. Increasing the rule of law and enhancing effectiveness of penalties and sanctions are important to curb the mounting hazards of counterfeiting and smuggling," he said.

Other key speakers included G.S.K. Velu, Chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council & CMD, Trivitron/Neuberg Group of Companies; Bhupesh Nagarajan, Co-Chairman, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council & CMD, Indira Projects; Mahesh Kumar Agarwal, Additional Director General of Police, Chennai; G. Ravindranath, Principal Commissioner, Chennai Customs; and S. Saroja, Executive Director, Consumer Advisory and Outreach Vertical, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG).

The market for contraband and smuggled goods is thriving in India and is today one of the biggest challenges faced by the Indian industry. The country is witnessing widespread smuggling in various product categories such as gold, cigarettes, cosmetics, medicines, jewellery, readymade garments, alcohol, capital goods and consumer electronics, which is severely hurting the country's economy.

The problem gets more acute in states like Tamil Nadu owing its vast coastline and Chennai being one of the major significant seaports. Smugglers use these destinations to get products into the country and then distribute them in the domestic market.

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. The seminar also deliberated on FICCI CASCADE's recent report titled 'Illicit Markets: A Threat to Our National Interests', which examines the impact of illicit trade in five key industries in India — mobile phones, household and personal goods, packaged foods, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

Industry body FICCI has set up a committee named CASCADE, with the participation of leading industries from all sectors of the economy to raise awareness against this issue and work with the government and other agencies to fight the menace.

According to the report, the size of illicit market in the above-mentioned industries was Rs 2,60,094 crore for the year 2019-20, with the FMCG industry -- household and personal goods, and packaged foods -- together accounting for 3/4th of the total illicit value of goods in five key industries.

The report further estimates that unlawful trade in the five above-mentioned industries results in a total estimated legitimate employment loss of 15.96 lakh. The estimated tax loss to the government due to illicit goods in these industries is Rs 58,521 crore, with two highly regulated and taxed industries, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, accounting for nearly 49 per cent of the overall tax loss.



Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: Stringent actions by state reduced smuggling, says TN Minister at FICCI CASCADE seminar

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.