Can­dle light con­gre­ga­tion against smug­gling & coun­ter­feit­ing

FICCI Business Digest - - Contents -

The mar­ket for fake, coun­ter­feit and smug­gled prod­ucts is thriv­ing in In­dia and has be­come one of the big­gest chal­lenges faced by the In­dian industry. It is ad­versely im­pact­ing gen­uine stake­hold­ers and industry, be­sides the gov­ern­ment and con­sumers. This calls for a na­tion­wide cam­paign to high­light the is­sue amongst the masses and to for­mu­late a strong and ef­fec­tive course of ac­tion to elim­i­nate the menace of il­licit trade.

With this view, FICCI CAS­CADE with CANS (Con­sumer Ac­tion and Net­work So­ci­ety) or­gan­ised a can­dle light con­gre­ga­tion in Jaipur on May 14, 2015, which wit­nessed an en­thu­si­as­tic par­tic­i­pa­tion from con­sumers and stu­dents from across Jaipur.

Hem Singh Bhadana, Min­is­ter of Food & Civil Sup­ply, Con­sumer Af­fairs, Ra­jasthan, was the chief guest. He con­grat­u­lated FICCI CAS­CADE for ini­ti­at­ing the con­sumer move­ment against coun­ter­feit and smug­gled goods. The min­is­ter agreed that ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing coun­ter­feit­ing and smug­gling curbs the eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence and one must pledge to not use fake prod­ucts and to fight the menace of smug­gling which was in the larger in­ter­est of the na­tion's econ­omy.

Deep Chand, Ad­viser, FICCI CAS­CADE and former Spe­cial Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, New Delhi, stated that the In­dian gov­ern­ment has ini­ti­ated steps to ad­dress coun­ter­feit­ing, piracy and smug­gling. Two ma­jor ef­forts stand out. First, the le­gal frame­work is fairly well de­vel­oped in In­dia. Sec­ond, the gov­ern­ment has taken steps to pro­tect con­sumers' health and safety from dan­ger­ous coun­ter­feits through sig­nif­i­cant ed­u­ca­tion ef­forts.

De­spite th­ese ac­tions, a study by FICCI CAS­CADE shows that coun­ter­feit, piracy and smug­gling rates re­main high. The to­tal loss to the gov­ern­ment es­ti­mated for 2014, on ac­count of the il­licit mar­kets in the se­lected seven sec­tors of the manufacturing industry is es­ti­mated to be Rs. 39,239 crore, up from Rs. 26,190 crores in 2012. Chand urged con­sumers to be aware and fight against the menace unan­i­mously.

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 can­dle light con­gre­ga­tion or­gan­ised in Jaipur, as a se­ries of such events to be or­gan­ised across the coun­try, is part of a na­tion­wide aware­ness cam­paign to high­light the is­sue and fo­cus on the grow­ing menace of coun­ter­feit­ing and smug­gling. More than 250 con­sumers with can­dles in their hand and ban­ners stat­ing 'Fight Smug­gling' By 'Make in In­dia' and 'Say No to Fakes' par­tic­i­pated in this con­gre­ga­tion .

In or­der to high­light the mag­ni­tude of il­licit trade ac­tiv­i­ties such as coun­ter­feit­ing and smug­gling, FICCI CAS­CADE or­gan­ised a press con­fer­ence on 'Il­licit Trade – A Threat to our Na­tional In­ter­est', pre­ced­ing the can­dle light con­gre­ga­tion on May 13, 2015. The key speaker, Dr. Alok Tripathi, Ad­di­tional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice, ATS & SOG, Ra­jasthan Po­lice, said that tax eva­sion and ex­is­tence of fake goods were a de­ter­rent to for­eign in­vest­ments. No for­eign in­vestor will take in­ter­est and come for in­vest­ment in such an en­vi­ron­ment. He added that Ra­jasthan po­lice was se­ri­ous about tak­ing ac­tion against such un­law­ful ac­tiv­i­ties.

Con­sumers and youth join hands with FICCI CAS­CADE to curb the menace of coun­ter­feit­ing and smug­gling at a can­dle light con­gre­ga­tion in Jaipur.

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